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Author Topic: The Atlantic & Southern Saturday Report  (Read 53113 times)

Judge

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Re: The Atlantic & Southern Saturday Report
« Reply #795 on: October 06, 2020, 05:51:43 AM »
Correction made.  Gators wiped out South Carolina, AGAIN!

Judge

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Re: The Atlantic & Southern Saturday Report
« Reply #796 on: October 10, 2020, 02:57:15 PM »
Saturday Report - October 10, 2020

The Board of Directors met a few minutes early (0825 hours) and discussed the liquidation of Jim Miller's railroad.  That project is winding down.  Tom is ready to get back to work on the railroad and scant progress has been made in the last month or so due to Jim's passing.  One item of interst that was discovered was a brass chess piece that depicts General Robert E. Lee.  The monument stands 13 Scale feeet tall and will be placed prominently in front of the Tahope City Hall and County Courthouse.  As Prussian King Fredrick William III once said, "You can't commemorate a war without monuments!"

The project for the day was to speed match two Central of Ga. E-7s with a C of G SD9.  We used the new speedometer.  This project was a little different because the locos were of different types.  Fortunately, they were built by the same manufacturer.  The resulting adjustments are quite satisfactory and may result in a video next week.

Tom has his eye on a brass 2-8-2 on Ebay.  It looks like a pile of junk, but Tom sees it as a challenge.  If anyone can turn this dog into a diamond, it's Tom. 

We went to lunch at Del Dio's again and then moved a Southern Passenger train from Summit to The Bottoms in order to make room.  We tried running a USRA Mike, but it needs some roundhouse time.

                                                                         

This week's story has its origin in the November 1940 edition of Railroad Magazine, although your reporter has taken significant license to shorten the tale to fit the stories presented into this report. 

                                                                                                              Link and Pin Days

One evening, the crew was "sittin' around" in the roundhouse telling tales, when the most senior among them, Capt. Randy Tinker, took up the tale of his experience on the Atlantic & Southern in the early days. 

"Waal," said Tinker, "I started as the greenest brakeman on the road in 1903.  My family had seven children and when I got to 18, I struck out on my own to be a railroader.  Tinker said he went to the roundhouse in Tahope and asked the foreman if he could get a job.  "Sure, you can get a job, " said the foreman, "just show me your hands;  I gotta see if you have enough fingers to be a brakeman."  Next, Tinker went to the trainmaster for a quick interview.  "There was no exam or nothin", said Tinker.  The next day, Tinker was on the run to Jacksonville as a brakeman with a ten-wheeler and 25 freight cars. 

The engine had a big kerosene headlamp, gold stripes on the drivers, and brass rails on the boiler the fireboy had to polish.  The headlamp was no good, but the hogger had couldn't run slow because the engine would stall on a hill.  Those engines were weak in the braking department.  Nobody knew the tractive effort on these locomotives.  They were rated by the number of cars they could pull.

Brakemen had to hury during trips.  They needed to scramble over the tops of the cars and "unwind 'eim" whent the train started to move to avoid flat wheels and a ten-day furlough with no pay.  And when the hogger called for brakes, the brakemen had to twist the brake wheels with Armstrong precision.

They paid firemen $2.90 a day, conductors $3.90, and engineers $4.00.  Brakemen were rated a little better than firemen, most of whom were colored, and were paid $3.92. 

Tinker's typical freight consist included cars packed with vegetables headed for market "up Nawth" and mixed freight, along with several cars of cattle brought up from Osceola County. 

"There's nothin' you can say that's good about them link and pin couplers, said Tiinker, "and it was only a couple of months before one bit me.  I was coupling on the Sanlando Yard outbound track and before I could get my hands clear, the hogger pulled out without a signal and the slack ran out.  The pin ripped the flesh off of two of my fingers. The head shack growled at me and suggested I should go back to the farm where I belonged."  The conductor came by and told the shack to take me to the doc and get my fingers fixed up.  The doc examined the injury and said cheerfully, "Come back tomorrow, I'll have to cut one of them fingers off."  Tinker was too scared to go back and his fingers healed without amputation. 

Most of the cars had Janey automatic couplers by 1910.  They had a slot in the middle of the coupler for a link to fit and when a link and pin were used, the railroaders called it a Jack and Janey. 

One summer day in 1916, Tinker was head shack braking for a ballast scorcher named Lewis Baker, when they tried to make it from Summit to Sanlando on half a tank of water, because that was all they could get.  The water went out of sight in the glass and they were only half-way down the Ovalix.  TInker moved to the top of a boxcar six cars back from the engine and thought, "Water is still coming up from the bottom of the tank because the steam pulls it while the throttle is open.  When Baker closes the throttle, she'll blow to pieces." 

The hogger and the fireboy dumped the fire on the tracks and we made it to Sanlando without blowing up.  But Baker burnt that engine something scandalous and that got him fired.

"Yep," said Tinker, " them were the days.  Back then a brakeman really broke."

« Last Edit: October 11, 2020, 09:45:06 AM by Judge »

PRR Modeler

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Re: The Atlantic & Southern Saturday Report
« Reply #797 on: October 10, 2020, 05:26:01 PM »
Another great story Bill.
Curt Webb
The Late Great Pennsylvania Railroad
Freelanced PRR Bellevue Subdivision

GPdemayo

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Re: The Atlantic & Southern Saturday Report
« Reply #798 on: October 11, 2020, 10:31:02 AM »
Thanks Bill.....enjoyed the story.  8)
Gregory P. DeMayo
General Construction Superintendent Emeritus
St. Louis & Denver Railroad
Longwood, FL

Judge

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Re: The Atlantic & Southern Saturday Report
« Reply #799 on: October 17, 2020, 04:05:06 PM »
Saturday Report - October 17, 2020. 
    The Board of Directors met at 0830 hours.  The Reverend XXX has ordered final window materials for the Chapel in the Ovalix Junction and he is awaiting delivery.  The Board discussed the scheduled mixed freight coming down from Atlanta and decided to video its arrival in Tahope County.  The link for the video is provided below.  Another freight, a unit train with a tank car consist made its run from The Bottoms up the Ovalix to the Midlands.  Some of the cars in the consist have seen over 40 years of service.  The CEO will post related videos on his thread.

                                                                                  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FUQV-z7Ui0s
                                   
    Lunch was at Del Dio's and more videos were taken after we returned.  All-in-all, it was a good day.   

Your Reporter has always been fascinated by traveling vagabonds who chose the railroads for transportation from after the Civil War up until dieselization and better security made "nailing a drag" less attractive.  No doubt, some of the hobo types were of the tough criminal element, on the lamb with outstanding warrants.  Others may have been merely down-on-their-luck looking for an opportunity.  This week's story is of a hobo of the female persuasion, and I understand there were a number of them during the age of steam.  I should thank the November 1940 Railroad magazine for my version of this tale.

                                                                                                               BOXCAR BONNIE
    Back during the depression, things were pretty bleak in northern industrial cities.  There was a daily trek of down-on-their-luck types from New York, Michigan, Minnesota, Illinois, and Ohio heading south looking for jobs and better weather.  Both men and women rode the rails and some of the women became quite famous. 
    Boxcar Bonnie hailed from Columbus, Ohio, and by the time of our story she had traveled the length and breadth of the United States.  She picked up a job or two on the way, mostly farm work, and one fall day in 1940 she jumped from a Pullman Boxcar in the Bottoms of Tahope County, Florida.
    Bonnie walked over to where a number of Bottoms dwellers were huddled around a cauldron of Mulligan Stew.  "Hi, I'm Boxcar Bonnie," she said.  Shortstack, who was tending to the stew, asked, "Are you really THE Boxcar Bonnie?"  "You betcha," she replied.  "i just came in from Jax and let me tell you, I had a helluva time getting out of there.  Them railroad bulls are really mean in Jax.  I nearly got pinched just because I wanted a ride out of their town."
    She seated herself comfortably on the ground, her back against a convenient stump and, with a complete lack of table manners consumed some Mulligan right out of a vegetable can. 
    "How'd you get outa Jax," asked Shortstack. 
    "Well, it was this-a-way," she began.  Them #%&!! railroad bulls wouldn't let me get within a mile of the freight yard without threatening me and I didn't want to get run into the jug if I tried to grab a train, so I went to the southern end of the yard where the train has to slow down due to the new track they're a-laying there.  And when a drag came along I hopped the blind, clum onto the tender deck, took the manhole cover off, an' dropped right on down inta the tender.  The water was tolerable warm and I needed a bath anyway so when I crawled out in Deland, I looked like a drowned rat."
    She paused with a "What do you think about that" expression.  "Well, Bonnie," said Shortstack, "that's one of the biggest lies I dun ever been told.  Nobody could have treaded water all the way from Jax to Deland without getting drown."
     At that, Bonnie became uncoiled and got into Shortstack's face to discuss the truth of the matter.  Things would have gotten out of hand, except at that moment Bonnie nailed a drag as it passed by heading south for Tampa where she planned to pick strawberries.
    "Glad that drag passed by," said Shortstack, "She might be small, but I'll bet she can pack quite a wallop!  What a gal!"


                                                                   

                                                                                                                Boxcar Bonnie

                                                                           At that moment she nailed a drag as it passed heading south for Tampa

« Last Edit: October 17, 2020, 04:12:29 PM by Judge »

GPdemayo

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Re: The Atlantic & Southern Saturday Report
« Reply #800 on: October 17, 2020, 06:14:43 PM »
That Bonnie is some kind of great broad..... ;)
Gregory P. DeMayo
General Construction Superintendent Emeritus
St. Louis & Denver Railroad
Longwood, FL

jerryrbeach

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Re: The Atlantic & Southern Saturday Report
« Reply #801 on: October 17, 2020, 07:40:34 PM »
I think Shortstack might have a future as a judge after he caught Bonnie telling a whopper.  Great video, too.  Kudos to the reporter and the videographer.
Jerry

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Re: The Atlantic & Southern Saturday Report
« Reply #802 on: October 17, 2020, 08:13:21 PM »
Great story Bill.
Curt Webb
The Late Great Pennsylvania Railroad
Freelanced PRR Bellevue Subdivision

deemery

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Re: The Atlantic & Southern Saturday Report
« Reply #803 on: October 17, 2020, 08:17:37 PM »
It must have been Shortstack's experience with police investigations....


dave
Modeling the Northeast in the 1890s - because the little voices told me to

PaulS

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Re: The Atlantic & Southern Saturday Report
« Reply #804 on: October 18, 2020, 06:58:14 AM »
Another great Story Bill !!
Thanks as always for your Saturday report ....
All the best,
--Paul
Modeling the Atlantic & White Mtn Railway

ReadingBob

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Re: The Atlantic & Southern Saturday Report
« Reply #805 on: October 18, 2020, 11:46:51 AM »
Once again a great story Bill!   :D
Bob Butts
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Judge

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Re: The Atlantic & Southern Saturday Report
« Reply #806 on: October 18, 2020, 09:57:58 PM »
Bob, Curt. Dave.Greg. Jerry, Paul et al.  Thanks for taking the time to comment.   I like to introduce new characters to my stories every now and then.