Picture du Jour

Monday, October 01, 2007
Lately I've come across so many cool pictures that I can't stuff them all into the weekly links. So I'm going to post a few of them from time to time. Please enjoy!


Skookumchuk said...

Backwards, but we get the point. I wonder where this was?

Many years ago, I was an "operator" on the railroad, running control towers and other points at which train movement was directed. Even in the early 80s, with radio being universal, orders to a train crew were dictated over the phone by a dispatcher to an operator, who typed them out on three thin sheets of paper with carbon paper between them. (In an earlier day, he would have received the orders in Morse). The operator kept one copy in his tower and put each of the others on the end of a long forked stick, known as a hoop, one for the engineer and the other for the conductor on the caboose.

You would climb down from your tower with the orders in both hoops, and place yourself alongside the track, careful to stand no less than about four feet from the end of the ties, and wait for the oncoming train. As it approached, you held the hoop nearly vertically in your hand, positioned such that the engineer could reach down and grab it as he passed. Then you would step away from the train and approach the track again to allow the second set of orders to be grabbed by the crew on the caboose. As you were passed by six locomotives and 130 cars of grain only ten feet away, there was a tendency to think, if only for a moment, about the probability of scenes like this.

Skookumchuk said...

But only for a moment. Mostly it was, as we would say, a blast.

Skookumchuk said...

Then there were the fighting drunken hobos on the freight cars.

I sense some railroad posts coming around the bend here.

Barry Dauphin said...

And I thought this was a picture of Newt Gingrich's presidential campaign.

Buddy Larsen said...

MHA, sorry, but this post is a train wreck.