Steam Era Train Crews

NW Mailing List nw-mailing-list at
Fri Mar 29 10:37:00 EDT 2013

5 man train crews were the standard for many years but technology has changed that. Today its usually 2 on through trains and sometimes 3 for locals or through trains that do work between crew change points (depends on the union-railroad agreements).
Not on the Shenandoah Division, but continuing into the 70's, Indiana state law specified that any train
over 69 cars had to have a 3rd brakeman. On the Fostoria District (Bellevue-Fort Wayne), for example,
trains would leave Fort Wayne eastbound with a 3rd brakeman. He'd drop off east of the state line at
Payne, OH. laying over until a a westbound showed up needing the 3rd brakeman for the trip to
Fort Wayne. If no westbounds in sight, Fort Wayne would call a taxi to drive to Payne to retrieve the
brakeman. Harry Bundy

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