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Working In A Monon Winter Wonderland.


  "I'll say one thing, this snowy weather sure brings back a lot of memories. There were a number of times when I would
  run the middle division and never see the tracks for 104 miles.

  There were several cuts between Whitesville and Roachdale where the snow would drift 4' or 5' deep for a quarter mile
  or longer, and you'd hit a drift at 50 mph, and come out the other end digging and churning at 20 mph.

  The flat front on the Alcos would stir up so much snow that you couldn't see anything out the front, and if you looked
  back you couldn't see beyond the second unit.

  If we had RS-2's, we had to seal around the doors and windows with 2" masking tape because the heaters on those units
  were so bad that we'd almost freeze to death. The mechanical guys at Lafayette and Bloomington would keep a supply of tape for just that purpose.

The yard engines weren't much better, and in the days before walkee-talkees, the engineer had to switch with his head out the window to see the signals. I've seen it so cold in the cab that the gallon jug in the water cooler would freeze and break.

When it got below zero, Cookie's daddy, Bill Eberhard, third trick caller at Lafayette, would leave his car run all night just so he could jump our cars if they wouldn't start when we came in from the road. If they still wouldn't start, then he'd give us a ride home.

Sometimes it was tough, but we were glad to have the job, and what I wouldn't give to be able to do it all over again."



By Ronald Marquardt

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