ENGINE HEAVEN


| May/June 1968


U.S. Soldiers Home, Sheridan Bldg., Washington, D.C 20315

You have heard of dreams? Well I had one and what a dream. I'll bet every old hogger will wish he could have the same kind if he ever reads this. I dreamed I went to steam locomotive heaven.

I was outside a big high wall with a single track going in, but there was a big solid gate across so you couldn't see in. And who do you think opened the gate?? The old legend hogger himself Casey Jones!

He said the main pin and the yardless asked him to show me around. Well Sir, there was a ladder track run plum to the other end looked to me like three or four miles long and engines on both sides. It looked like it was just about full. I'd say there were three or four hundred acres of engines there! Casey said he was kind of busy. 'Now, on this side is all the high steppers and over heres the powerful gals. These hoggers will talk to you. Just ask 'em.'

So, I was on my own and what a time I had. There was a hogger and tallow pot with most of them gals, but a lot of 'em hadn't signed in yet. There was the wood burners with the balloon stacks, diamond stacks, cabbage stacks and the shotguns. And there was the 999 she was dressed uphad her brand on. She belonged to the N.Y.C.H.R. Empire. She was a 4-4-0 shotgun stack, with pretty high heels. This old hogger watching her told me all about her and her famous run. His name was Charlie Hogan. He said he really let her step out on that one! Said she was built for fast rolling. Her slippers were 84 inches highher cylinders 19 x 24 inches.

On down the line and there was another beautiful lady and was she dressed up? Orange and a little black, white and maroon in the right places. She was a 4-8-4, her no. 4352, S.P. brand. She was the gal that used to pin on the famous daylite varnish and step out along the Pacific Coastpull up at the end of her run without a long breath, get a drink at the Company spout, take on a tank of mud, nuzzle her way into a stall to be groomed down and looked over by the barn crew. Then she was ready for the big turn. She belonged to the Espee Harem.