Question about Lamberts Point

NW Mailing List nw-mailing-list at
Wed Feb 1 11:43:12 EST 2017

While I do not have specific knowledge of Norfolk Terminal's operating procedures from this time period, I will hazard a guess. Before widespread use of radios by train/yard crews, brakeman had to position themselves in locations to relay hand signals (from other brakeman, or signal lights) that cannot be seen by the engineer. The brakeman would position himself (could be on top of a car or on the ground) where he could see the signal (hand, or light) which controlled the movement of his train/switching move. He would then relay that signal, by hand signal to the engineer, who then moved his engine according to the signal.
I don't know for sure if that is the correct answer for this particular situation, but it definitely was the way a lot of switching moves were controlled in the pre-radio era.
Jeff Sanders

      From: NW Mailing List <nw-mailing-list at>
 To: NW Mailing List <nw-mailing-list at> 
 Sent: Tuesday, January 31, 2017 9:53 PM
 Subject: Question about Lamberts Point
 In 1982, I took slides of the Lamberts Point operation.   Evident in images for several different trains were a man standing on top of a loaded coal car about five or six car-lengths from the locomotives.  The worker was positioned exactly the same as is shown in your negative 100197.   What was the purpose of the employee being so positioned?
 Olev Taremae   
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