| January/February 1979

  • Foot and A-Half

  • Foot and A-Half

Reprinted with permission from James B. Stevenson, Publisher, 'THE TITUSVILLE HERALD,' Titusville, Pennsylvania 16354. Submitted by Oscar L. Carson, Route 1, Pleasantville, Pennsylvania 16341.

The little group of denim-clad railroad engineers, their cherry-red faces indicating they had worked near steam and hot fire boxes over many years, read with routine interest the assignment sheet just posted on the bulletin board by the yard master.

It created little surprise and very little comment that 'Foot-and-a-Half' had bid in the newspaper run. Having many years of seniority, he was what was known as an engineer's engineer. This was acquired on the Penny, each hour of which he was earnestly and constantly seeking to combine speed with safety.

Strange Name

Foot-and-a-Half was so nicknamed from having lost all toes on one foot in a wreck. That was before the turn of the century.

One could easily get the idea from the speedy sounding name that the Chicago Express was the coveted run. Far from it. Among engineers in the know, it was second or third choice to the night newspaper run. Thus it was expected that Foot-and-a-Half would get it as he did.