Buckland Brothers

NW Mailing List nw-mailing-list at nwhs.org
Thu Nov 4 17:19:16 EDT 2010

Another "policy"(?) was to run up
Elkhorn Grade with the reverse lever down in the corner (slow, max power
stroke), but he would hook the lever up higher out of the corner for better
performance, something he first learned on 1400's. A fond memory was
demonstrating this to a skeptical Asst. Road Foreman of Engines.

The last time that I had the privilege to spend time with Mr. L.W. Buckland was on a West bound time freight to Portsmouth Oh. in the mid. 70's. I sat with him on the Fireman side of the cab while my brother ran the train giving L. W. a short break. L.W. made sure that the groups of kids waiting by the track received their fair share of candy from his little brown bag.
He told me many stories of his steam days including one when an "Official" in the office car behind the locomotive had to be in Bluefield at a certain time. Late was not an option. L.W. threw back his shoulders and said I told that Official, "Yes sir, I will have you there on time". I could see a great pride in his face when he said, "And I got him there too"!!!!
Now, I'm thinking, how can that old engineer have that much confident control over the road ahead that he could make such a promise. I guess that there was a skill in knowing the territory, how to efficiently use the Johnson bar, having favor with the dispatchers, and so many other secrets learned over the years. Is there such a skill today??

Gene A.
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