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Page 3 - Remembering the "Judique Flyer"

Published by Ronald Caplan on 1978/6/1 (1428 reads)
 

and he came along and he didn't expect a washout and he plunged right into it. And the train toppled over on her side and it was a steam engine and he was scald to death. Hughie Dan: It was between Christ? mas and New Year's, in the 'forties. I think it was Frank Philpott. Alex Mac- kinnon could tell you about that. I think this fellow was replacing him during the holidays. Gussy: We went off down at Dunmore one day with the plow. The plow jumped the track and turned over and caught fire. And the engine went the other way up the bank. It was common, yes. At that time there was no such a thing as a tie-plate. It has shoulders and the rail sits in it and you put that under the rail and you spike it on both sides • that keeps the tracks from spreading. Years ago they didn't have that. And it was all spruce ties. And you're coming around the curve with heavy loads, spreading the track • and at the last of it the gauge would get so wide a- way she'd go off the track. They used to have run-offs here • well, once a week at one time. Until they started getting hard? wood ties. Before that they bought the ties from the farmers, you know. (I guess spruce ties were good for the farmer but not so good for the railroad?) It was no hell for the farmer either. He was only getting 35 cents apiece • 8 by 8 by 8 feet long, and hewed with a broad axe. Hughie Dan: There were other fellows killed on this road on account of wrecks. There was a fellow killed up at Troy. At that time there was a spur at Troy Station. They decided to push this boxcar ahead of the engine, into Port Hastings. Now Neil MacLean from Inverness • he was following the rules of the railroad. You'd have to stand on top of the boxcar if it was up ahead. And up on a curve there, didn't she leave the rail. She started rolling, right down on the beach. Went over this man and killed him • and he was doing the right thing. Gussy: Maclntyre Lake • that was a bad one. 23 cars off the track. Bad rail. We worked there k days and 4 nights. In the middle it got as high as 37 degrees below. There are two cars under the rails yet, never took them out. There was such a tear that this hole was made • and in place of taking the cars out they were left there and we just put ballast over, lifted the track up and covered it. That's the way you do this track here • lift it up all the time and ballast put under it. This track is I suppose 2 and a half feet higher than the original. Hughie Dan: And in the dumps I imagine this track is 10 feet higher. Gus? sy: See, there's cuts and there's dumps. Cuts is where they had to dig through to get a grade. Then you'll go along so high and there's a hole and they had to fill it up • and that's a dump. Alex MacKinnon, Engineer: My father was the first driver that ever took an engine over the I&R road. He came to Cape Breton when they were building the railroad, with a company called MacKenzie and Mann. He ran a shovel and he ran an engine both. That was in 1899. His name was James Mac? Kinnon. So he married here and he stayed here, at Inverness • and then he bought a home here in Port Hastings. A shunter job opened, looking after all the freight be? tween Inverness Junction and Point Tupper. The first engine that came down here was an engine by the Number 3* My father took her from Stellarton to Mulgrave. And he put her on a scow at Mulgrave. And they took her across the strait here to Hast? ings. Old 3- She burned coal of course. And he went on as one of the drivers from Inverness to Hastings. I grew up around it and I started on the railroad in the win? ter of 1921-22. I started off firing an engine. You're right in the engine, keep up steam, water in the boiler, shovel coal. I fired for my father. (And your Ideal Ice Cream Co. Ltd. A Complete Line of Frozen Foods Ice Cream and Fountain Supplies 162 Prince Street 564-4549 Sydney
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