N&W in 1909--Mail crane accident

NW Mailing List nw-mailing-list at nwhs.org
Tue Jan 20 09:43:10 EST 2009

Bluefield Daily Telegraph
February 4, 1909

But Colored Porter Continued to Hang on to Handle of Pullman Door

One of the colored porters, who ply on the through trains, by the name of Roberts, met with a peculiar accident yesterday morning at Nemours. He had gotten off train No. 4 when it stopped at Bluestone Junction and the train pulled out and passed him before he was sure that it was leaving. Thinking he could catch another car he stood and allowed the train to pull from the station until too late he saw that not a single door was open. He grasped the handle of the rear Pullman and pulled himself on the step of the of the moving train but was unable to attract the attention of any one inside. Hanging to the step and handle he rode to Nemours when a mail crane struck him on the head. A mail clerk saw the accident and immediately pulled the bell cord, stopping the train. The train hands were notified and on going back found Roberts still hanging on. His head was cut, making a scalp wound which was dressed when Roberts arrived in this city. When asked how it was that the crane had not knocked him from the train Roberts said he was holding on tight and knew that another could not strike him, so he just held on.
[Sounds like this could have been straight out of the old "Railroad Stories" magazine, but obviously not.]

Gordon Hamilton
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