Page 25 - On the S&L; Railroad Part Two
ISSUE : Issue 29
Published by Ronald Caplan on 1981/8/1
Like the fellow said, after awhile you might as well like it. I went on the rail? road from the pit in 1927. I finished up in 1968. When I started, the rate was $4.80 a shift--eight hours--that was the lowest. Then on a shunting engine, it was $5-something--you were on your feet more. Then on the mainline, it was a rate in between. What I did depended on traffic. I'd be brakeman if it was dull. And if it was brisk and busy I'd be conductor--it was seniority. But what was I getting out of it, just a mere pittance. Well, I was raising a family. And I was farming a bit. When I got on there, things got bad other places--and once you were there for a- while, you had to stay. I couldn't pull up and go. My family's all grown up now. I'm independent Charles Bagnell: We took pride in our work. If you made a mistake, you felt guilty, you'd let the others down. There was what we called, well, "he was a good shunter"-- it meant he could do the same job with less moves than perhaps the other fellow. If you made one mismove, you felt guilty, you felt like you did a sin or something of that nature. Yes, felt that strongly. Another thing, too. You took more interest in the equipment that you were using--if you saw something that needed attention. There was no such thing as waste; you tried to preserve everything that was used. I thought that that was my livelihood, and I felt that that was my job, part of my job. I was getting my livelihood out of it the same as somebody else, although probab? ly everybody didn't have the same respect for it. When I left the railroad, I didn't feel that I owed them anything, and they didn't owe me anything. (And what about the line you sometimes hear, that S & L meant Slow and Lazy?) It was slow, anyway. I'll tell you that. They had a train that left here in Louisbourg, Ajsed to go to Glace Bay. That train picked up g'l the way in. At one time picked up pit timber at Catalone and sand and gravel. Perhaps you'd have to shunt at Mira--they had a quarry there, they used to bring pit timber down the Mira River on scows, and load them on flatcars down in what we called the Quarry. You'd be there for a- while shunting gravel, and by the time you got to Glace Bay you'd be an hour or two late. People would be complaining. You met the same people, once a week or so, they'd have a certain train they'd be travelling on once a week to Glace Bay. Of course, Saturday would be the big day. Up here at the station there'd be a crowd go, they'd go to Glace Bay and do their shopping, come back in the evening. Then at Catalone and Mira, all along the line, it'd be the same way. You'd know them all. Sometimes coming out on a Saturday evening, a lot of people would be coming out to their summer homes at Mira. We used to stop and let them off, rather than take them down to the station where they'd have to walk back a mile or so,. They appreci? ated that. . CONTINUED Qraham B*ll Musiuin BRIAND'S CAB V/.V/7 Cape Breton TOURS 564-6161 see the heatttiful. CABOT TRAIL 564-6162 HOME-COOKED MEALS Granny's H & K Restaurant ROUTE 19 Sunday to Thursday 10 a.m. to 11 p.m. DUNVEGAN Friday and Saturday 10 a.m. to 2',jiT' Hockey - Fishing - Hunting - Baseball 4 Plus All Sports Ltd. Port Hawkesbury 625-3744 Mon, Tue, Wed, Sat 9-5; Thur, Fri 9-9 Bemie Warner (Owner) [.Take a Value home today' ... - ' CAPE BRETON SHOPPING PLAZA -- SYDNEY RIVER ''.A. MKtf I Now We Are 3 mayflower mall - grand lake road 'Sknnlrn I i'iv'vv • ?V'''iv'V PORT hawkesbury SHOPPING CENTRE -- PORT HAWKESBURY WyOOliO I ALL OPEN 'TILL 10 PM DAILY P5,yjM5ilTlTP.'P.? [(2
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