NW Mailing List nw-mailing-list at nwhs.org
Tue Nov 15 19:31:32 EST 2016

In the Powhatan Arrow thread, abram said,

Fred Whitaker was a jewel.  A real gentleman, and a thorough professional
at his craft.  He was somewhat famous amongst the workforce for being the
first man every to "pull" a train through Ball's Hole (instead of braking
it through Ball's Hole.)  One one day I asked him about it, and he smiled
and said, yes, the story was true.  Then he said words to the effect that,
"I thought about the break-in-two problem we were having with bunch-braking
trains through the Hole, and pulling the train through there just seemed
like the thing to do.  So I tried it, and it worked."  (Actually, N&W men
did not use the term "bunch braking," so Fred used some other term,
although I cannot remember his exact words.)  I believe the train on which
he executed this experiment was an eastbound coal train (those were the
ones which gave the problem.)

OK, I'll bite -- where the heck is "Ball's Hole"? That's a new one on me.

Bruce in Blacksburg
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