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> Issue 28 > Page 12 - Working on the S&L; Railroad Part One

Page 12 - Working on the S&L; Railroad Part One

Published by Ronald Caplan on 1981/6/1 (326 reads)

had a funeral on a Sunday afternoon, brought a special funeral train here. The company supplied the train and we volun? teered to operate it. They left the coaches and were going to take the train down to the roundhouse for water and coal and take her back. And the fellow that was driving, he didn't know about the derail. Ran over it, and he derailed the engine. And that was about 2 or 2:30 in the after? noon- -a funeral train. And they tied up the track till about midnight that night. So that was the end of the funeral train. They were working all that day and night, trying to get her back on. But I think what happened, they sent out a crew from Glace Bay to help get the track cleared. Brought the auxiliary out. And up to then, the company had been giving the cars and everything free--and the crew that came out put in to be paid for their time clear? ing the track. And that was the end of the company supplying the train. Doug MacCormick, Sydney: My father was al- ready a foreman on the railroad, 1909, when I was born--a section foreman. On the railroad at that time were 18 different sections, 18 different section gangs be? tween Louisbourg and Sydney and Waterford. And later years it was cut down to 10 gangs--each with a certain area of the track to look after. Then it was cut down to five--Louisbourg was cut out altogether. My father was foreman of the section right here at The Pier. He went as far as the Coke Ovens area. Say about 9 or 10 miles of track he'd have to look after, with a- bout 60 switches, turnouts. Another sec? tion would have main line, would be long- er--so many miles of track and switches. And at that time they had pumpcars going over the railroad to inspect in the morn? ing for broken rails or any damage, wash? outs or anything wrong--all four men pump? ing- -go all over the road. Go to your work place, get the ties distributed and do your work, then pump the car back in the evening. Inspection every morning--that's the old days. Make sure there isn't a switch damaged or a lever lifted or a switch is open or broken rails, things like this. But then the motorcar came in about 1937-38. And today you have a patrol- man--one--does the whole road. That's all he does all day long--and he reports the Now in my father's time, there were no hardwood ties--all softwood. If you had a derailment or something, the ties would be all chewed to pieces. And the ties would only last a very short time--have to haul those ties out and put new ones in--dig a hole and be all day putting in ties. Then you'd have rails getting bad. Have to change rails. Always something. Ditching-- you had to dig them by hand to handle the surface water, and dig culverts to keep the water off the tracks in the wintertime. It would freeze over your track. You had to have drainage. Oh, lots of work to do, always something to keep you going. Vidal Sassoon Andre Michel Esprit Ziggy Levi Lee & more 'Jean* Hut Sweaters Shirts Jeans Cords Belts etc. Port Hawkesbury - New Glasgow Ramsay's Honda Shop Your Exclusive Bike Dealer' Motorcycle Parts and Accessories Cor. Charlotte & Townsend Sts, Sydney, N. S. BlP 5C6 539-7644 539-1730 (12) CHICKEN CHALET fried 5outleis to sene'you- C.B. Shopping Plaza, Sydney River Sydney Shopping Mail, Prince St. Blowers St., North Sydney Steriing Mall, Glace Bay Plummer Ave.. New Waterford
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