My friend Dennis, who lives in Port Gibson, sent me this the other day and thought you would enjoy reading about something we call RULES. This came from his life-long friend, Fritz.
After Fritz graduated from high school, he followed in his father's and brother-in-law's career and he went to work for the Lackawanna RR in Hoboken. The only opening was for a locomotive fireman. The Lackawanna RR had diesel locomotives, by that time and he did not have to shovel any coal, (Thank Goodness), but they hauled a lot of the black dirty stuff. Remember there is no such thing as "Clean Coal". In the vein of this story, coal trains were the heaviest thing we pulled. The yard engines struggled mightily to pull them and they were scary loads to stop. We had to lay down a lot of sand on the rails and sparks would fly out of the diesel stacks going up grades. We started a few fires alongside the rails too. However, we would have been smart enough NOT to stop on a wooden bridge!
The Good news: It was a normal day in Sharon Springs, KS, when a Union Pacific crew boarded a loaded coal train for the long trek to Salina.
The Bad news: Just a few miles into the trip a wheel bearing became overheated and melted, letting a metal support drop down and grind on the rail, creating white hot molten metal droppings spewing down to the rail.
The Good news: A very alert crew noticed smoke about halfway back in the train and immediately stopped the train...in compliance with the rules.
The Bad news: The train stopped with the hot wheel over a wooden bridge with creosote ties and trusses (In defense of the crew, according to Six-gun Jr., the crew tried to 'splain to higher-ups but were instructed ‘NOT’ to move the freakin train!)
“RULES IS RULES!”
But, don't let common sense get
in the way of a good