Working at Remote Locations in the Old Days

nw-mailing-list at nw-mailing-list at
Tue May 31 08:37:48 EDT 2005

A.B.  -- What timetables I have don't confirm it, but I've been told  N&W had
operators 24/7 at Juniper.  To the east, the first outpost of  civilization 
be Yadkin, Va.  - 5.5 miles.  To the west, it was Jericho  Crossing - also 
5.5 miles. Whether this is right or wrong, N&W practice was to place  an
operating officer at each end of a detour.  I suspect many a  trainmaster has
spent hours in the remoteness of Juniper overseeing detours.
By contract, the railroad must provide lodging at away-from-home  terminals
for train and engine service employees.  CB&Q put their passenger  service
employees from McCook, Nebraska up at one of Denver's finest  hotels. The
same isn't true for operators.  If you're on the extra board, there's  
a list of "approved" boarding houses circulated among operators.  The  
makes no provision for operators' expenses when  working out on  the road.
Landon Gregory (a.k.a. "the man who stopped ACL No. 1") working VGN's  extra
board slept in his car on various assignments, there being no  boarding
houses in the vicinity.
December is a poor month for operators on the extra board -- the old  heads
attempt to make every day so they can pay Christmas bills.  In Dec.  '64,
I got a leave of absence and went for a month's work on the  Jacksonville
Terminal Company.  When I arrived Jax, I'd been two days without  sleep.
The Chief Clerk of the Baggage and Mail Department suggested a hotel
a couple of blocks from the station, noting that the hosteler offered  good
rates for railroaders.  Paired on a project with Southern's General  Road
Foreman of Engines some 25 years later, he noted that crews on "The  Skyland
Special" laid over at the same hotel.  I checked in and went to the  room and
collapsed.  Then there was a knock on the door.  When a girl  appeared, that's
when it became evident that I'd checked into a um, uh, what do you  call
those places ?
                                                             Harry Bundy
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