Working on the
|Milepost 38 Jewell
was a time when the company
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.
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 progressed...in 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.
arrived Hills Transfer not much before Montour Extra 73 East. With
train orders to the East End Salida...it 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
McCartney climbed down off the 73 with a warm greeting. A pick up off
Hills Transfer before heading East.
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.
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
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.
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.
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
Gene P. Schaeffer