Press enter after choosing selection

Bob Burdette's Train To Glory

Bob Burdette's Train To Glory image
Parent Issue
Public Domain
OCR Text

ftol Burdette visited Lebanon. Ind-, and on his return thls happened to üiiit : Qn the road once more, with Lebanon fading in the dlstance, the fat passenger drumming idly on the winde w -pane, the cross passenger sound flfcieep, and the tall, 'thin passenger readiug 'General Grant's Tour Around the "World," and ■wondering why 'Gieen's August Flower," should be prlnted above the door of "A Buddist temple at Benares." To me comes tbc brakeman, and seatlng liimselj on the arm ol the 6eat, says : "I went to church yesterday." Yes," I said, with that interested inflection that asks for more. "And v, Inch church did you attend ?'' "TVhich do you guese?" he nsked. "Pome union mission church ?" I hazardedt "Now," he said, "I don't iike to run on those branch roads very tnuch. I don't often go to church, and when I de, I want to run on the main Une, where your run Is regular and you go on schedule time, and don't have to wait on a branch. Good enough, Viub I don't like it." Episcopal?" I guessed. 'Limited express," he said, "all palore cars, and $2 extra for a seat ; fast time and only stop at. big statioiis-. Nice line, but too exhaustive for a brakeman. All train men in aiiiform. conductor's punch and lantoin silver-plated, and no train Jboys allcwed. Then the passengers are aliowed to talk back to the :onductor ; and it makes them too íree and easy. No, I couldn't stand the palacij carö. Kich roads enough. Don't cfter. hear of a receiver being nppointbd tor that line. Some mighty nice pcople travel in it, too." . Universalist," I 6uggested. "Broad gauge," said the brakeman; "t'oefe too much complimentary busiesfc. Everybody travels on a pase. Conductor doesn't get a fare once In fiíty miles Stops at all tlag stations, and won't run irrto a unión de pot. No smoking cars on the train. Train orders are vague though, and the trainmen don't get along wel] wlth the passengere. No, I don't go to the Universalista, though I xnow some awful good men who run on that road." " Presbyterian 1" 1 asked. ■ïarrow gauge, eh ?" sald the biakeman. "pretty track, straight as a rule ; tunnel rlght through a mountain ratlier than go around it ; spiiit-level grade ; passengere haveto sl.ow thelr tickete be.'ore they jret 011 train, mlguty strict roadt but tlie cais are a little too narrow ; üae tij sit on a seat and no room in the aihit to dance. Then there are no stop-over tickets allowed ; got to go stiüight through to the station you are ticketed for, or you can't get on i at al!. When the car's ful no extia ; coaches ; cars built at the shops to hold Just so many and nobody else a'iowed on, but you don't o.ten hear of au accident on that road. It's run right up to the rules." "Maybe you joined the Free Thinkei-s ?" I said. ■gcrub road," said the brakemau ; ' öirt road-bed, and no ballast ; no time card and no train dispatcher. All trains run "wild and every ngineer makes his own time, just rxs he picase. Smoke if you want to ; kind of go-as-you-ílease road. Too many eide tracks and every switch wlde open all the time, with the switchman sound asleep, and tlie target 'lamp out. Get on as you please and get ofl when you want to. Don't have to show your tickets, and tlie conductor is not expected to do auything tmt amuse the passengers. No eir, I was ofïered a pass, out 1 don't like the line. I don'to travel on a road that has no terminus. Do you know, eir, I asked a división superintendent where the road run to. and he said he hoped to die il he kuew. I asked him ïf the general superintendent could teil me, and he said he didn't believe they had a genera! Buperintendent, and if they had uj didn't know any more about the road than the passengers did. I asked him who he reported to and he said "nobody." I asked a conductor who he got orders from and he didn't take orders from any living man or dead ghost. And when I a&ked the engineer where he got his oide-rs lrom, he said he'd Hke to see anybody glve him orders, he'd run tbal train to suit himself or he'd run it In the ditch. Now, you nee, I'm a railroad man, and don't care to run on a road that has no time, make no connections, runs nowhere, aud has no superintendent. It may be al' rlght, bút I have railroaded too long to underetand it." Did you try tbe Methodist ?" I stüd. ''Kow you're shouting," he said, witl: Bome enthuslasm. ''Nice road eli ? Faet time and plenty of passengere. Engines carry a power of stoam, and don't you iorget it ; stram gauge shows a hundred and cnough al! the time. Live!y road ; when the conductor shouts 'all aboard' you eau hear him to the next station. F.Tery train lamp shines like a headliirht. Stop-over checks given on all thiough tickets ; passenger can drop off the train as often as he Ükes, do tbe Btation two or three days, and hop on the next revival train that comes thundering along. Good, who'e souled, companionab'e conductora ; ain't a road in the country the passengers feel more at home. No passes ; every passenger puy.s full traffic rates for hls ticket. Wesleyanhouse air-brake on all trains, too ; pretty safe road, but I didn't ride over it yesterday." "Maybe you "went to the j getional church ? ' I said. ' Fopular road," sald the brakenian, "an oíd road too, one of Ihe uest li the country, (ood roadbed ;ind confortable car?. Well managed too; director don't interfere witli división eiperintendents and train orders. Road's mighty popular, but it's pretty independent, too. See, lldn't one oí the superintendents down cast discontinue one of the oldest stations on this line, two or three years ago ? Cut it is a mighty pleasant road to travel on. Always has a pleasant i!;iss of passengers." "Perhaps you tried the Baptist ?" I guessed once more. Ha, ha," said the brakeman, "fihe Ia a daisy, isn't she ? rivei road ; In oud, beautiful curves, sweeps around anything to keep close to the river, but it's all steel rail and rock baliast, track all the way and not a track from the round house to the terminus. Takes a heap of ' Ier to run it, though ; doublo tanks at : every etation, ana there Isn't an eni gine in the shops tihat can pull a , pound or run a mile in less than two j Ranges. But it runs through a beau, tiful couDify ; these river roads :y.s do ; river on one sidO and hills 0:1 -the other, and it's a steady dimt) ui grade all the way til the run ends w here the fountain head of the river begins. Yes, sir, m take the river ,,ioad every time ïor a lovely trip, sure couections and good time and no prairie dust blowlug in at the winde is. And yesterday, when he r.ondiicto? came around for the ticket witu a litt'-e basket punch, I lidnt atk .him to pass me, buü I paid my aie like a iittle man- twen tyiive cóntK for an hour's run and a 'lttle concert by the passengers thrown in. 1 telï you, Pilgrim, take the river rcau when you want-" Bul just here the long whistle from tlie engine announced the station, and Ulo brakeman rushed to the door íLoutlng : "Zionsville ! Thls train mnkes no siop.í between here and Indianapolixf Robert J. Burdette, the author of the above, will appear in the Y. M. C. A. Lyceum Course - in which J. M. Barkley lectures at the Presbyterian church next Tuesday e veiling, 26Nov..


Ann Arbor Argus
Old News