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> Issue 28 > Page 6 - Working on the S&L; Railroad Part One

Page 6 - Working on the S&L; Railroad Part One

Published by Ronald Caplan on 1981/6/1 (347 reads)

bounced up and disconnected--the front end kept on going. Perhaps another flat wheel behind. And she made another break and jumped the road and went into the woods. They were lost. All winter. Couldn't find them. They had me up on the carpet--! was conductor--claiming I didn't take them. Couldn't find them. I didn't know when it happened. You were always getting bumps, and I remember getting some awful surges, you know. But you'd get that anyhow. And the run-ins. When you'd tip the hill and the slack would all run in. There's slack in every car, you know--a foot and a foot- and-a-half sometimes. The older the car gets, the more slack. Things get stretched. And 6 cars of coal went in the woods. It was a stormy, stormy night and I couldn't see. Couldn't see. And I know that I took them because I had a job get? ting a train made up. We got away from Cal? edonia up here--we were out about 4 hours then--because we started our train with Waterford coal in at Victoria Junction. We had to get so much Waterford coal; and we picked up at O'Neil's Junction--26 coal. You know.the way it was in those days, a boat came in, she had 6 hatches--she wanted one kind of coal in this hatch, an? other kind in the next hatch--"slacked," "screened," perhaps "nut" or something. And you'd pick up according to that--pick up and make up your train, according to your engine's capacity--depended which en? gine you had. If you had one of the big en? gines, you'd take 1000 ton, or 1100, to Louisbourg. Then you could take 1600 the other way, to Sydney. With the big engine. (Why could you take only 1100 to Louis? bourg but 1600 to Sydney?) The grades were steeper. All the hills. Going to Louis? bourg, first you got a hill coming into Caledonia from Glace Bay, a little hill; then from Caledonia you do down a hill here, and when you get down by the bridge down here, you go up Morien Hill--and that was a tough grade to get up, too. You could stall there. It was uphill. Then you go down the old Washplant. That was down? hill. Then up Beaver Dam, and that was the steepest hill of the lot. So uphill, down? hill, all the way to Louisbourg. Out a- round Mira you had a flat. Then around Cat? alone you had to make a run for the hill there, get up Clark's, then you went down? hill to Louisbourg. And going into Louis? bourg you went downhill, you had to be careful you didn't go out over the pier-- 'cause it was three miles, all downhill to the pier. But stuff got away on them, dif? ferent times. Sometimes they got in the yard and just got stopped. There have been cars go over the wharf, but no engines went over. The S.S.Wendover raising a railroad car that went out over the wharf in 1939. (And did you mean that ships could order a different kind of coal for each hatch?) Oh, yes. Every boat that came in, she had a loading order. And we'd be told what they wanted. The dispatcher would have to keep track; he'd have the loading order. So he'd tell the conductors: this is what we want at O'Neil's, this is what we want at the Hub, this is what we want from Cale- (6) A Shop for Cape Bretoners and their Friends Island Crafts WHOLESALE - RETAIL Visit our store for distinctive gift or souvenir. Whether it's a beautifully handcrafted C. B. wool sweater, a high-fashion mo? hair or boucle sweater, an accessory item, jams and jellies. Mad Potters, a toy for that special child, or some? thing for yourself or a friend--a gift from ISLAND CRAFTS is always appreciated. WE FEATURE ALL "MADE IN CAPE BRETON" ITEMS AND EVERYTHING IN THE STORE IS HANDCRAFTED. OUR WHOLESALE DEPARTMENT HAS A FULL RANGE OF EXCELLENT SOUVENIRS. 335 George Street, Sydney Monday through Saturday 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Open All Year 'Round 36 Modern Units Swimming Pool Air Conditioning Tour Buses Welcome Seal Island A Moteland ''' Dining Room ''''L (Licensed) 'l''B Seafood ''V our specialty ''' 674-2418 '''''''' Located between Baddeck and Sydney ''''K Overlooking the Bras d'Or Lakes Country Living at the Seal Island Bridge
Cape Breton's Magazine
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