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Steam & Excursion > Upon completion, Big Boy’s first requirement was a good nose.
Date: 06/08/19 12:55
Upon completion, Big Boy’s first requirement was a good nose.
Trains Magazine Jan 1944 has a 3-page, 5 photo story about the Locomotive Messengers, who were the Alco Company assurance the dead in tow trip got the UP 4001 to Cheyenne without damage. Men assigned were qualified engineers and a good nose, ears and eyes were important attribute. They could smell a hot bearing long before smoke could be seen. Two messengers lived in the cab of the 4001 the entire trip, and also rode on the first assignments of the new locomotives. The story did not say how long those trips took but added that one messenger had done that job for 40 years. The train was totally under the Messenger authority and he could stop movement at any moment. At the time, Alco employed 15 Messengers and they were all keep busy.
TO members who have Trains CD collection can read the entire story in the Jan 1944 issue.