Montour Railroad 

Montour Railroad


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Milepost 38 Jewell

Miners Vaction 1975.
It was a time when the company was able to catch its breath. For two weeks each summer the coal miners were on vacation. The mines were idle except for those who wanted to work and do maintenance. For the Montour RR, the SW-9's were shut down and routine maintenance performed.

Usually just one railroad crew worked each day...depending on work. Car shop and Groveton... Brookside...Muse..Imperial... As the 2nd week of Miners Vacation period 1975. The Local as it was called early in time was out on the road. The first coal run...usually the senority men held those runs. Early on duty, early off duty. This particular week, the 1st coal run and its counterpart...the 1st pool crew... Montour Engineer H. Wirth... Montour Conductor D. Leonard. Montour Trainmen McCartney & Parkinson. My kinda crew.

I arrived Hills Transfer not much before Montour Extra 73 East. With train orders to the East End was to be that kinda day. Not long after, Extra 73 east was whistling over the dirt crossing up near Grers. Then that chant...and into view came Extra 73 east running cab first. Trainman McCartney climbed down off the 73 with a warm greeting. A pick up off Hills Transfer before heading East. From Caboose 34 came Leonard and Parkinson. Leonard and Parkinson took just seconds inviting me along. With the pick up made, I was onboard caboose 34 as it danced off the 115 pound rail... And onto the well worn 90 pound rail at Montour #4 tipple.

Up through Thompsonville...McMurray...and up the main at Library Junction we went. We backed in the East Leg of the wye and set off cars for the B&O at Snowden. A brief rain shower greeted the crew as they took lunch inside Library Junction. Pulling back out onto the main at Library Junction, McCartney had to step off the 73... As Wirth brought the train to nearly a stop. As a household appliance was dropped off Brush Run overpass and onto the main track below. Up the tangent east of the Junction we went. Rounding the curve at Jewell, late afternoon sunshine greeted the arrival of Extra 73 East.

With the camera aimed out of the cupola window, a eastward view looking at Jewell. After picking up empties out of Brookside, train dispatcher Schofield made the decision to turn us at Brookside. Time was running short on the crew to make it back to Montour Junction.

Back to Library Junction we went, and into the East Wye. The Quaker Oats tankers were left at Library Junction. And out the West Leg of the wye Extra 73 went. Back down at Montour 4... Montour Engineer Wirth was leaning way out looking back. To make sure the camera guy was safely off the hack. A gigantic back up highball came from Wirth. As Leonard returned the Highball  to Montour Engine 73...
Gene P. Schaeffer