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Railroaders' Nostalgia > Fly By Orders


Date: 01/29/21 10:22
Fly By Orders
Author: Bob3985

One day at our model railroad here in the CHeyenne Mall a gentleman asked if any of us worked for the railroad.
I said I was a retired 4th district engineer. He said small world as he started as an operator at Potter Nebraska, on the 4th district.
Then he related a story of his first day on the job and the dispatcher out of North Platte gave him orders to deliver to a westbound "City" passenger train.
So he copied the orders, repeated them and got the dispatchers initials. He then prepared his orders for the delivery sticks.
Well the "City" trains did not slow down that much and as it approached he got very nervous. The engineer hung his arm out to snag the orders and 
in the process the paniced operator loosened his grasp and the train took his order stick with them.
He did grab the conductors orders and got them delivered too but kept the hoop this time.
He ended up walking the track a ways to find the engineer's hoop laying along the right of way.

Bob Krieger
Cheyenne, WY



Date: 01/29/21 10:47
Re: Fly By Orders
Author: tomstp

Handing up orders and weigh bills could also be a problem but not as scary as the one you mentioned.   The agent in my old home town put weigh bills in a order fork to give to the conductor in his T&P caboose.  The local had finished its switching  and was moving about 15 MPH going down the passing track at the station.  The conductor  missed the middle of the fork and hit one of the legs pulling it out of the metal holder and the bills scattered on the ground.  Even tho the caboose had a radio he did not stop the train to get the weigh bills.  It was about lunch time and I imagine they were in a hurry to get to Ranger so they could eat.   But the weigh bills  were picked up by  the next days local.  The cars of course sat in Lancaster Yard in Ft Worth with no bills.  



Date: 01/30/21 08:33
Re: Fly By Orders
Author: rob_l

Bob3985 Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> One day at our model railroad here in the CHeyenne
> Mall a gentleman asked if any of us worked for the
> railroad.
> I said I was a retired 4th district engineer. He
> said small world as he started as an operator at
> Potter Nebraska, on the 4th district.
> Then he related a story of his first day on the
> job and the dispatcher out of North Platte gave
> him orders to deliver to a westbound "City"
> passenger train.
> So he copied the orders, repeated them and got the
> dispatchers initials. He then prepared his orders
> for the delivery sticks.
> Well the "City" trains did not slow down that much
> and as it approached he got very nervous. The
> engineer hung his arm out to snag the orders
> and 
> in the process the paniced operator loosened his
> grasp and the train took his order stick with
> them.
> He did grab the conductors orders and got them
> delivered too but kept the hoop this time.
> He ended up walking the track a ways to find the
> engineer's hoop laying along the right of way.

On the UP Oregon Division under the Consolidate Code of Operating Rules, we were required to hoop up THREE times to passenger trains (because the head brakeman was not in the locomotive). An operator HAD to let go of the first hoop or else he had no hands left to separate the remaining two hoops. And you had to do this FAST. The old heads would tell me about hand-hooping up to 100 MPH passenger trains. I had to hand hoop-up to 105/106 on occasion, but not at that speed!

Best regards,

Rob L.



Date: 01/30/21 10:30
Re: Fly By Orders
Author: Zephyr

Reminds of the first time I attempted to hand up orders without the help of a delivery pole or post at Santa Barbara.  The "Lark", No. 75 was due into Santa Barbara just prior to shift change from second to third trick.  Freight trains always stopped to change crews in those days at the freight depot, a couple of blocks east of the passenger depot in Santa Barbara, but the passenger trains traded engine crews up at the passenger depot.  In my attempt to hand up the orders to the head end as No. 75 rolled by, the hoop hit the side view mirror on the lead locomotive and the orders went flying.  The conductor got his.  I jumped into my trusty 56 Chevy and drove up to the passenger depot to deliver the head end orders in person after I collected them from the ballast.

Pete
Clio, California



Date: 01/31/21 00:27
Re: Fly By Orders
Author: aronco

In the 60's, I worked for SP in Los Angeles as a brakeman.  One of my favorite runs was to go to San Luis Obispo on the Lark, leaving LA at 900pm, and arriving in SLO about 200am.  After a good nite's rest in the Park Hotel, we would return the next afternoon on the Southbound Daylight, leaving about 200pm.  In the 60's, the Daylight was still a very popular train, and a young brakeman could surely find some attractive young ladies in the dome car.  An hour out of San Luis, the train would be approaching the ocean as it got closer to Surf station.  I usually would ask the young lady (ies) if they would like to enjoy the ocean from the vestibule.  Of couse they would!  As we started down the long grade toward Surf, the train order signal could be seen for at least a half mile.  I would just squeeze by the gals in the vestibule, and casually reach out at 60 MPH and snare the orders as we passed the depot.  Doing that really seemed to impress those young gals!  I met some really fine girls on those trips, and took several of them out to dinner upon arrival in LA.  Of course, I could have been fired for "fraternizing" with the passengers, but who cared?  I was 22 or 23 years old and life was great!

TIOGA PASS

Norman Orfall
Helendale, CA
TIOGA PASS, a private railcar



Date: 01/31/21 11:03
Re: Fly By Orders
Author: retcsxcfm

Good story,Norm.
Kinda like things I used to do.
Whenever a public railfan trip out of Jacksonville,Fl.
My friend and I would scout the train for some lovely
ladies.He would take pictures while I told them we
were from Railroad magazine.Seemed to work like
a charm.We met and photographed some nice ones.
On one trip,I asked for her name.She said Michelle
Traintime! No way you would have a name like that.
She showed me her DL and yes,that was her name.
Believe it or not.You never know who you might meet.

Uncle Joe
Seffner,Fl.



Date: 01/31/21 15:02
Re: Fly By Orders
Author: mapboy

A guy came into the travel agency where I worked and was bragging that he was taking a flight with his new girlfriend he met at a strip club.  My co-worker said she needed to know the exact, correct spelling of her name.  "Velvet Pillow".

mapboy



Date: 02/04/21 08:14
Re: Fly By Orders
Author: 2-10-2

I lived in SLO in the late 70s and always thought the Park Hotel looked like an old railroader's rest. Short walk from the station, just a few floors of basic housing for a night.
Don't know if it was still in use by the SP by that time.

Here's a 2019 story about its renovation:
https://www.sanluisobispo.com/news/local/news-columns-blogs/photos-from-the-vault/article230130814.html

There's a nice Creole place on the ground floor that I've yet to try, but the reviews sound pretty solid.
2-10-2


aronco Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> In the 60's, I worked for SP in Los Angeles as a
> brakeman.  One of my favorite runs was to go to
> San Luis Obispo on the Lark, leaving LA at 900pm,
> and arriving in SLO about 200am.  After a good
> nite's rest in the Park Hotel, we would return the
> next afternoon on the Southbound Daylight, leaving
> about 200pm.
>
> TIOGA PASS



Date: 02/04/21 11:24
Re: Fly By Orders
Author: OldPorter

Since we're talking about hoops and orders and recollections, let's go back to Central Missouri, about 1960.
A tiny town called Clark (near Moberly, if that helps) was where my Mom's uncle lived. Clark was a Junction
with a staffed Depot (now long gone) on the confluence of the GM&O and Wabash. Possibly even a branch of
the old CB&Q as well, according to my old 1948 Rand McNally.

While the fam was visting, I'd spend my day with the Man in the Red Shirt- the day operator at Clark.He showed me the
ropes of his job; the place was a old time RR dream with everything you'd expect, the wooden clock, the skeleton phone,
even had a telegraph key I think.

An impressive bank of colored Switch Levers with cables, used for lining the junction Switches. A loud brass bell (annunciator) would
herald any incoming Trains about 2 mi. out.  Almost every Train got Orders, handed up by the Red Shirt Man. And they didn't slow down
much; prob a good 60+ by the civil war era gray Depot. Finally he asked me if I wanted to "hand up" the next set of Orders
with the forked pole myself. I gave it some serious thought. Just couldn't muster up the courage, I guess. But heck- I was only 8 years old!
My Pop took a pic of the drama, which I'll post if I can find it.

But those days really got my head into Railroading as a possible line of work. And after college- off I went to SPTC, then Amtrak and
an assortment of jobs with NRPC, until I retired. I never forgot those old, humid halcyon days of Midwest summers, with
the creosote oozing out of the black crossties and telegraph poles and unseen insects chirping. Some memories stick hard, eh?



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 02/04/21 11:31 by OldPorter.



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