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  Railroads of Madison County
Maurice Lewman

Two of Maurice

November 8, 2002
The first photo features Maurice in the cab of NYC H-5t 2-8-2 at Greensburg, Indiana in 1955. Maurice was 25 years old at the time.

Maurice said...
There were three H-5’s at Greeensburg. Two local engines and the yard engine. Monday, Wednesday and Friday night the Anderson-G’burg local tied up here. They employed around the clock engine foreman, hostler. During the day there were 6-8 rip track men. One night a northbound picking in the old yard turned a carload of washing machines on its side. They called the big hook at Cincinnati and said it would be 5-6 hours getting to G-burg. Decker, the rip track foreman, took his men and jacked the loaded car laying on its side upright and on the trucks in five hours, just as the big hook arrived. A fine job.

Click for larger viewThe engine is headed west and the switch cuts were always on the rear. In the winter the wind was from the north and northwest blowing the man running the engine with his head stuck out. After one night in 20 degree weather I asked the engineer if he wanted a window. "You bet" was his answer. I constructed a bay window of wood with a sliding side window and the front and rear window that about 1/3 of the top hinged out like the front cab windows. When the diesels came the windows were longer so I added a piece to the top. I left the yards and took a road job and the engineer used the window several years until the union had the company install bay windows made of fiberglass.

You will notice the injector handles outside of the cab. This was NYC, not Big Four. The pipe coming from the turret down the boiler in front of the cab was the steam supply for the injector. The pipe coming from the injector by the firebox toward the front of the engine is the supply pipe to the boiler. The rear handle is the water supply from the tank. You opened the front valve first which let water flow through the injector, when it was flowing you opened the middle valve which was the steam and it picked up the water shooting to the boiler.

Maurice Lewman

This was taken at Wabash, the train sitting on the main. The depot was to the left of the picture. It was probably a Wabash turn.

Click for larger view Left to right:
Maurice Lewman, engineer.
J.R. Semon was an excellent brakeman and conductor. His father and younger brother were also trainmen. I could probably write 5 or 6 stories on these three men.
E.A. Patterson was a good engineer but a bad heart restricted him to fireman and caused his death.
Don Wright was a good brakeman and was one of the few men who quit railroading.
Joe Williamson was one of the good ole boys. A good brakeman and conductor. Joe passed on about 2-3 years ago.

The loco is on a yard lead from the 6 track class yard behind the engine to the engine house and 3 industrial tracks leading downtown. About where the camera is located is a switch to the freight house. The switch handle only moved 60 degrees for a full throw. We were going to the house one night and the kids had unlatched this switch and let the points gap. You could not tell this from the engine cab so when I felt the front trucks juump the track I widened on the throttle to clear the main. This worked and they could still run trains. When the trainmaster arrived, he said, "This is not bad at all, I figured you would leave the main blocked just to hear me rave."

I tried to talk him into buying supper but that did not work. Some days you can't win.

Maurice Lewman

Maurice worked the Michigan Division from 1947-1981. He then worked on the Bee Line from 1981-1992. From 1947 until august 1950, he worked on the section at Shirley and Markleville. In 1950 he started firing on steam and then on through the diesels. Maurice said, "I had the pleasure of working with C. C. Staley and Ron Buser many times."

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