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The New Zealand Railways Magazine, Volume 2, Issue 8 (December 1, 1927)

Grabbing Signals

Grabbing Signals.

“Hell, yes,” answered Parker. Then, “I've got to watch for the Iles target. Bean and me both is supposed to grab all signals.”

While Parker leaned far out of the cab window behind me, I concentrated on the track ahead. Presently, the long overhead belt line of another railroad that spans the Chicago and Alton yards in that sector came into view. I studied the winking lights of green and red. Suddenly Bean, who, too, had been watching very closely, pulled his body toward the throttle and called out loudly: “Clear board!”

“Clear board!” echoed the fireman, and I could feel engine 659 start throbbing. For a little while I noted the exhaust, and thus calculated the revolutions of the six-foot drivers underneath. After a time that bit of rhythm was swallowed up in other noises which soon graduated into a perfect roar. Even the whistle, which the engineer used freely from then on, was dwarfed by the din in that engine cab. Clearly, the time had come to settle down and mark well the speed.