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TV - 4

From: manalew@webtv.net (Maurice Lewman)
Subject: TV- 4

As this website covers many generations of railroading in the area, we will take a run on the van train from Avon to Crestline, Ohio. If you get a good run on a freight between these points you are only about 1 hour and 15 minutes longer than the van trains. One engineer said the only difference between the Van's and a freight was the Van Train had all clear signals. This means your on duty was about the same with either train due the different type of operation with each.

You could run Avon-Crestline both ways over the road with the Van's in 4 hours 20, 25 minutes. I tried to run 1 over or 1 under the speed limit if possible. Where a speed dropped to slower speed I was to be at the slower speed at the point where the slow speed started, you will see this in the story and how it can effect your time.


We are called for TV-4 at 2:15am on Oct. 24, 1991. We have engines 5074, 3382, 3345 and 40-45 cars. That makes it about 75 normal cars long. We go on duty after getting all of the paperwork and walk to the engine house. We stop in and ask if the power is ready and make the comment that no question but that it is the best power in Avon. Of course the answer is, "Would we give you anything but the best". I leave on that note and go to the power. Climbing aboard, I check the card bell and horn, etc. As we leave the engine house I make a full throttle and brake test.

Going to the inbound yards and contacting the yardmaster, he tells us to couple onto the train. We start pumping air and relax until we hear from the car department. After about 35 minutes, the air man comes on with, "Set the air TV-4". After the set and time for them to check 3 or 4 cars, I have set the code for old Fred (Flashing Rear End Device) on the rear end, they come on with, "Release the air." OK on the air. TV 4 and I give them a "Roger" on the air. With permission to leave and the dispatcher knowing we are coming, we ease down the lead to "MY" interlocking. We have a "Clear" and as soon as we clear the interlocking with the rear end we go to #8 throttle and 40 per as we head for downtown Indianapolis.

As we approach downtown we start slowing down to 15 mph. They use dwarf signals all through "IU" Interlocking and that restricts our train to 15 mph until the train passes the last dwarf signal. After the train is on straight track at Massachusetts Avenue we come out on the throttle and reach that magic number 40 mph. We are restricted to 40 mph through Marion County. After getting out of Marion County we pick up to 60 mph until we approach CP 251. We have a "Clear" indication.

As we pass the signal at CP 251 I get about 10 lb of air. I ride this to see what the train is braking like and then slip in another 5 lb. We are slowing down to 30 mph and going through South Anderson yards instead of through downtown Anderson. When I judge the proper place to release the air, have the brakes released and the speed down to 30 at the proper point, I release the brakes. This is something you learn by practice. At the east side of town the two tracks come back together.

As the rear of the train gets on straight track we open the throttle and hit 70 mph. Most crossings in Indiana and Ohio are about a mile apart. At 70 Per that means a crossing about every 51 seconds. It is 220 miles to Crestline and there are 225 crossings at which you must blow the horn.

The next town to slow for is Muncie and it down to is 30 mph. It is handled like the slow down at Anderson. After leaving Muncie it is back to 70 mph. From here to Bellefontaine it is mostly moving the throttle a notch or two to adjust the speed and a little bit of air for slack at a few locations. That is about it. You may wonder why I am not using the dynamic brake. With good train handling and "Throttle Modulation" it does not take anymore fuel than the dynamic.

As we come into Bellefontaine we reduce the throttle and because we are going uphill we let the train slow us down to 30 mph. After the train is through the S curve we come out on the throttle and back up to 70 mph. After the top of the grade, 3/4 percent, it is down hill to Ridgeway with some ups and downs and the air is used for a smooth ride and to keep the speed constant. The next slowdown is Marion Ohio and that also is 30 mph. Then it's on to Galion Ohio where we arrive at 7:45 am.

The dispatch tells us that TV-6 is leaving Columbus. About 8:15 he arrives and puts his train in the siding. We get a signal and pull down to where TV-6 is. Our trainmen make a cut of our cars for TV-6 and we pull ahead to clear the switch so that 6's power can come out on the main and back toward our train. We then back our set off to the 6's train, and come back out to the main. The 6's power gets on his train as we back to clear the siding switch. TV-6 leaves town and we pick up the set off he had for us, and pull on down to Crestline. We change crews and away they go to Pittsburgh. We show off duty at 9 am, 6 hours and 45 minutes, not bad.

You could have been and I have been on duty longer and I can show you some 5 hour trips, but these delays are usually at the crew change point or the yards. Your running time should always be close to the same.

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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