Author Topic: My railroad tool display at Cowan Depot, Cowan, Tennessee.  (Read 8862 times)

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Offline Stoney

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Re: My railroad tool display at Cowan Depot, Cowan, Tennessee.
« Reply #15 on: October 18, 2011, 06:40:24 PM »
Finis/413 my uncle Clifton, who retired as a fireman on the Indiana Harbor Belt, always called ACL The Big Purple.  And always talked about it with admiration.
The Rathole is sweet when big freights are pulling hard upgrade and I was indeed fortunate both to grow up there and to have so many kinfolk that worked the rails.  Beside my cousins and uncle, one of my Grandads was a car wiper for N.C.&St.L.  They were always glad to talk railroads with me.

Johnsironsanctuary, a track transit was mounted on a seat that sat down on the rail.  When the foreman was looking through the transit his butt was only an inch or so off the rail.  I had 2 cousins who were Southern section line foremen.

I have a spike carrier like the one you show but I didn't display it because Cowan was also a  lumbering center and I used it in the lumbering display as a log carrier that I'll show later.  The first 3 track tools to the left, on the rack, are on the far left a National Pattern Combination Tie and Rail carrier, a long handled Tie carrier and a short handled Tie carrier.  Too show how physical track work was, a section hand started the day with a 12 pound spike hammer and an 8 pound track wrench over his shoulder and his pockets full of track bolts, nuts and railroad spikes.  The foreman would drop them off a mile apart and each man would walk a mile in one direction inspecting each track bolt and driving down each loose spike then turn around and do the same thing on the other side of the track back to where he started.  Then the foreman would pick them all up and do what ever he had planned for the day.  Seems like more than lumbar to me.  I applied to Southern when I got back from Nam in fall of '67 but they had done away with section line crews and had gone to area crews.  To build seniority to get on an area crew you had to go on a road crew and be on the road something like 20 days and back something like 10 days.  As I was getting married I decided to take a job with Southern Bell Telephone as a Lineman instead. 
« Last Edit: October 18, 2011, 06:55:52 PM by Stoney »
"Never laugh at live dragons" Bilbo Baggins "The
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"Opportunity is missed by most people because it is dressed in overalls and looks like work."
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Offline Papaw

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Re: My railroad tool display at Cowan Depot, Cowan, Tennessee.
« Reply #16 on: October 18, 2011, 06:49:57 PM »
Great story , Stoney!
It is always cool to hear what we may have done in the old days.
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Offline Stoney

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Re: My railroad tool display at Cowan Depot, Cowan, Tennessee.
« Reply #17 on: October 18, 2011, 07:04:33 PM »
Thanks Papaw, we are the sum of our raising and we have an a obligation to past our heritage on to the following generations.
"Never laugh at live dragons" Bilbo Baggins "The
Hobbit"

"Opportunity is missed by most people because it is dressed in overalls and looks like work."
-Thomas Edison

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Offline Branson

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Re: My railroad tool display at Cowan Depot, Cowan, Tennessee.
« Reply #18 on: October 19, 2011, 06:07:05 AM »
Sometimes the work was even harder.  Destruction of RXR and track was  common in the Civil War, and supplying the army meant somebody had to fix things.  These two pictures are from the Civil War.  A bonus picture shows carpenters building a bridge -- you'll see a couple of men drilling holes for heavy bolts with T handle augers.

Offline Stoney

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Re: My railroad tool display at Cowan Depot, Cowan, Tennessee.
« Reply #19 on: October 19, 2011, 08:53:59 AM »
Branson, that picture of straighten track looked like fun. There was a lot of track destruction during the war in our area by both sides.  The Confederates blew up the bridge over the Tennessee River at Bridgeport Alabama  to stop men and supplies getting to the Federals during the battle for Chattanooga.  The Confederates also tried to blow up The Cumberland Mountain Railroad Tunnel above Cowan but with no success.






The original bridge was a 2 level bridge with a railroad on one level and horse/foot traffic on the other.
"Never laugh at live dragons" Bilbo Baggins "The
Hobbit"

"Opportunity is missed by most people because it is dressed in overalls and looks like work."
-Thomas Edison

http://www.plantshepherdplus.com

Offline johnsironsanctuary

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Re: My railroad tool display at Cowan Depot, Cowan, Tennessee.
« Reply #20 on: October 19, 2011, 12:39:08 PM »
Didn't Disney make a movie about blowing one of those bridges in the 60's?
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Offline Branson

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Re: My railroad tool display at Cowan Depot, Cowan, Tennessee.
« Reply #21 on: October 19, 2011, 01:19:24 PM »
Didn't Disney make a movie about blowing one of those bridges in the 60's?

Are you thinking of The Great Locomotive Chase?  1956.  Based on the same incident as Charlie Chaplin's The General.

Offline johnsironsanctuary

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Re: My railroad tool display at Cowan Depot, Cowan, Tennessee.
« Reply #22 on: October 19, 2011, 01:37:23 PM »
OK Branson, I'm actually older than I remember.
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Offline Bus

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Re: My railroad tool display at Cowan Depot, Cowan, Tennessee.
« Reply #23 on: October 19, 2011, 02:36:53 PM »
The General was a Buster Keaton classic silent film not Chaplin's.

Offline Stoney

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Re: My railroad tool display at Cowan Depot, Cowan, Tennessee.
« Reply #24 on: October 19, 2011, 04:28:26 PM »
And a Great one to Bus.  Buster Keaton devised and performed all his stunts.
"Never laugh at live dragons" Bilbo Baggins "The
Hobbit"

"Opportunity is missed by most people because it is dressed in overalls and looks like work."
-Thomas Edison

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Offline Branson

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Re: My railroad tool display at Cowan Depot, Cowan, Tennessee.
« Reply #25 on: October 20, 2011, 04:46:26 AM »
The General was a Buster Keaton classic silent film not Chaplin's.

Oh.  Yeah.  Having a Sr. moment here.

Offline Wrenchmensch

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Re: My railroad tool display at Cowan Depot, Cowan, Tennessee.
« Reply #26 on: November 24, 2011, 02:49:56 PM »
I have a largish doe wrench with a C&O boss on it that I could be persuaded to part with. PM me with degree of interest, if any, and email address, and I will send a photo.

Offline Stoney

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Re: My railroad tool display at Cowan Depot, Cowan, Tennessee.
« Reply #27 on: December 28, 2011, 07:57:37 PM »
The Smithsonian has a traveling exhibit called 'The Way We Work'. The stops include Cowan, TN in March.  Our Depot is too small for the Exhibit so we will be holding the exhibit in the Cowan Art Gallery. They will also critique our museum displays/ how we tell our story and help us tell it better. Tom Knowles, curator of Cowan Railroad Museum, asked me today to spruce up my 'Railroad Tools Exhibit' as he wanted it in with the Smithsonian exhibit.  WOW Double WOW.  I'm blown away.  So I'll be bounc'ing ideas off ya'll.  Please ya'll I need your ideas.  This is the bomb.  The greatest thing with my tools ever.  Thanks in advance as I know ya'll are the best.
                                                                                                   Stoney
"Never laugh at live dragons" Bilbo Baggins "The
Hobbit"

"Opportunity is missed by most people because it is dressed in overalls and looks like work."
-Thomas Edison

http://www.plantshepherdplus.com

Offline Papaw

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Re: My railroad tool display at Cowan Depot, Cowan, Tennessee.
« Reply #28 on: December 28, 2011, 08:04:08 PM »
Smithsonian? Congratulations, Stoney!
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Offline amertrac

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Re: My railroad tool display at Cowan Depot, Cowan, Tennessee.
« Reply #29 on: February 25, 2012, 06:25:36 AM »
Hmm, seem to be quite a few of us' foamers' here.

I live about 1/4 mile from the D &H ( now CP) Kenwood yards here in Albany.

I spend a lot of time listening to the toots and bangs from the yard.
Stoney, I live about 4 miles from the D&H canal and while recuperating from a couple of operations I did a study and personal inspection of the canal from penn. to roundout have pics and text that i did while tramping through the mess it is in now... bob w.
TO SOON ULD UND TO LATE SCHMART