Train order forks

nw-mailing-list at nw-mailing-list at
Mon Jan 24 10:06:03 EST 2005

Hoops and forks were not only used to hand up train orders, but
waybills and company mail.  Holding the hi-speed delivery fork--
the clip that held the string was to be  on the side opposite
of the approaching train.  On my first attempt, I held the clip
towards the train and darned near dragged the fireman off the
engine.  During World War II, railroads hired women for agency
and operator work.  My tutor for agency work had a seniortity
date of 01/01/1943.  Crews delighted in watching her skirt blow
up as the train snatched up orders.  Then she got wise.   She'd
take the train order hoop and maneuver the skirt between her
knees and squeeze. 
One operator some of us know as "Aunt Suzie" was assigned at
Glade Spring before installation of TC.  After a trainman gave  him
some grief, "Aunt Suzie" got some redress.  The trainman was
on No. 18.  When "Aunt Suzie" handed up, he hung on to the hoop
for a nanosecond too long.
                                                          Harry Bundy     
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