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Re: PC: Boomer & Vietnam era railroads

-----Original Message-----
From: George Alberti <Georgedieselman -AT- webtv.net>
To: penn-central -AT- smellycat.com <penn-central@smellycat.com>
Date: Wednesday, April 07, 1999 9:33 PM
Subject: Re: PC: Boomer & Vietnam era railroads

The 1st time I rode PC was in 73 from St.Louis to Pittsburgh. This was
truely the 1st time I was ever worried about being on a passenger train.
The tracks were terrible but it sure didn,t seem to matter to the hog
head that was driving. You ain't hada thrill until you have bottomed out
at speed on a passenger car.  George Alberti

The fastest ride I've ever taken on any train with even a tenuous connection
to the PC was on the main between Boston and New Yawk, when qualifying for
passenger service during my time on the Cape Cod & Hyannis (an old New Haven
line running from Boston to Hyannis),we Cape Codders made friends quickly
with the Amtrak  engineers  because the majority of our workforce were old
New Haven relics and a great bunch of guys they were.   Well One morning I
marked off sick an bummed a ride on the "owl" because the road foreman would
be riding that day and I would be able to get him to sign my paperwork. I
dont know if that section of the main ever received electrification from the
New Haven but it certainly was not present at that time (1988) but I'll
tell you what was there...... rail that looked to be about 175 lbs...so
straight and true that no amount of squinting  could show any variance,
ballast so tall and heavy that if you needed to stop a train at a bad signal
to go to a phone it was an adventure going down about 10 feet of steep
incline of razors edge ballast ...the  the taxpayers money spent on
something more than missles or welfare bought  a railroad as good as any in
the world. I remember thinking that the  New Haven  must have been a
glorious affair about 1945 or so and although the ride on that f-40 was
silky smooth.... what must a ride on one of the NH's great streamlined steam
engines have been like ....whew!  If you know any old geezers who worked in
passenger service get them to tell you about losing a rod at speed....they
look scared 60 years after the fact!  A gigantic bar of steel flailing and
pounding the rails at over 100mph ...making an emergency application and
hopeing that didn't make matters worse,and just the flailing of the rod
beating on the ties  or being thrown under the tender would bring derailment
at speed and what about the 5 or 600 hundred in the back, sleeping or going
from Boston to attend Cuny, studying earnestly, old folks... mothers and
small children.... people entirely un-equipped to handle the aftermath  of
such  a catastrophe. Truly a scene from the Inferno must have come into the
mind at such a moment.  And to listen to men who went thru such a thing will
make it tough for you to sleep .
                                                               time to go to
bed    BOOMER

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