Author Topic: A Cab Ride to the Junction Part 2  (Read 7485 times)

Roger Whitney

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A Cab Ride to the Junction Part 2
« on: May 16, 2012, 10:47:47 AM »

   In the last blog we stopped at Day’s Crossing flag stop to pick up a few passengers going to the Junction.  We’ll continue.
   Engineer Elwin French gets the high ball from the conductor.  With his left hand he starts the lubricator, then leans forward to put the Johnson bar full ahead, whistles off, releases the brakes and pulls back a little on the throttle.  There’s a hiss of steam as the cylinder drains are open.  We begin to cross the North Guilford  road.  Soon Elwin kicks the cylinder cocks closed and we pick up speed around a long broad curve to the right.
   Fireman Albin Johnson says that from here on, the grade goes down a little steeper, as we get closer to the Junction.  Day’s crossing is at about 700 feet and the Junction is 422 feet.  We’ve got about 3 miles to go.
   After a few minutes we enter a heavily wooded area.  It’s a nice ride in the woods.  Elwin says that they’ve seen a lot of deer in here and train crews have been known to do a little hunting now and then from the train!  No. 3 really isn’t working very hard, but Albin is careful to keep the fire up and a little extra water in the boiler, in preparation for the long down grade ahead.
   The grade starts to steepen a little more by the time we get to Leeman Brook trestle.  Elwin blows for brakes and you can tell the conductor/brakeman is on the ball as we could feel the braking effect.  After Leeman Brook, the grade flattens out a little by the time we get to Ladd Brook Trestle.  This trestle is a little higher than most on the Monson.  It looks like about twenty feet down to the rocky stream bed.
   The grade is pretty flat now as we approach State Route 15 which goes north to Greenville.  Elwin blows for the crossing and we clatter across.  Albin puts a little more water in the boiler and checks his fire. After crossing the road, we curve to the left and the Junction Station comes into view.  Engineer French applies the steam brakes and comes to a halt spotting the combine right at the platform and walkway which connects to the station.  The conductor calls out that all passengers depart here for points north and south on the B&A 
   We thank the engine crew and head to the B&A station.  Maybe we can get a cab ride on the B&A! We’ll have to ask Agent Giles Fogg.  But wait!  Maybe we can watch the Monson boys switch the yard!