OCR Interpretation

New-York tribune. [volume] (New York [N.Y.]) 1866-1924, January 02, 1910, Image 37

Image and text provided by Library of Congress, Washington, DC

Persistent link: https://chroniclingamerica.loc.gov/lccn/sn83030214/1910-01-02/ed-1/seq-37/

What is OCR?

Thumbnail for 13

Heroes of the Engine Cab
N< t news] 'a', er ever reported
the deed of Dan Fair
•:.. whk h made his
• in* his am >ng The railroad
: the < 'anadian Pacific sys
od si ill keeps well kept
tht gra re in which he lies in the
little < emetery at Chapfeau, < >n
tario Like many another hero
of tht- r.iil. Big iJ.m escaped
all the perils of his tailing only
t' i die while e< imparatively y< >ung
:• the sickness following an
ry c 'Id. <>n the Chap
leau division, which includes
m* «t ' 4 the stfetch between Sud
bnry mines and Fort William on
Lake Superior, there is perennial
danger Erom forest tire-. The
track runs through an unculti
vated country of thick bush, and
nearly all the bridges are of
wood, some of them long up
standing trestles spanning broad
rivers or arms of lakes. Fre
quently in late spring and early
r the whole force of the
bridge and building inspector is
detailed for days at a time to do
:. thing but watch these struc
vhile the fires are raging.
With the first of the warm weather in 18M the
fires on this section of the road became even more
. than usual, and the evening when Fair-
Led his engine to No. l (the transcon
tinental mail) at ("artier, a pall of smoke hid the
I .-■ : ir miles from (."artier is Biscotasing,
.■-out a mile farther on is the Long Bisco trestle,
i ■ m the time of leaving the point at which engines
een changed, the tire conditions had been get
teadily worse, and the j»illar of cloud on the
ahead of the engine blacker and denser. The
ar of the consuming tlames could be heard
and from time to time the of the
ould be seen lor a minute or two by
Evidently the tram was approach
: t> i a danger zone instead of leaving the
The express bad cleared Biscotasing and was
: r Ramsay, when the fireman, Howard
i . ■ • .<• discerned a nicker of flame ap
parently in the middle of the track about half a mile
"Great Scott, Dan! I believe the long trestle
is on fire." he said.
Fairbairn scanned the track from his side of the
cab, but could see nothing of the light. "Non
■ • 'he replied. " Between the bridge carpenters
- ■ -.: men, we should have heard of v long
That is the one point they'll
ist now."
At the same time he took in a notch and continued
to Icoq arp lookout. They were within two
train lengths of the trestle at the end of a long down
ten Gougeon shouted once more.
"There it ;^ ! Look now !" he cried.
So need to tell the engineer; he had seen, under
[ already made up his mind. He had only
■nd in which to art. and that small spurt of lire
dim that he was within a lev. yards <>f a long
ridge that had burned kmg since and was
moldering rum To attempt to stop within
• distance was out of the question ; it would
. n a heavy dead v.ei-ht creeping on the
od rork and death lor all.
at just time to jump; but Dan was not
Still tiie young fireman must
bo the engineer threw a curl
en over his shoulder As he shouted
: : . d the throttle wide open and put
speed of which his engine was
• a roar and a rumble the train took
: c In tantl) the i I ■ '
• peed i led as •> gigantic Can on the
: • flames leaped high and en
• ■ ■ Tarn in a inant!<- of lire. Under
■ | . ;:. a quagmire; but « :th
..nd the big l<lond beard
on : aim held tight to the wide
, : ii eternity of a few seconds
on the otlii r ride. High above the
balla ted roadbed sounded
: :■ Bi ■ otasing trestle had
tened ] limbed out of
>i j)amt had been
: . er the tii to the river bank,
i »id Noi even a remnant
• ■■ matned to show that there
• .a that point. For a minute
■ • icken silence, then
made for the engine. Qam
a blond giant oi six feet five
piece of oil • talced cotton
red and ■ eared bj fire.
am id* d grin. "Pretty

Didn't thi . lose it had been?
t pictun ■h.,! might have been, had
this man sought only- his own
safety or hesitated with his duty
for one moment?
They lifted him, giant as he
as, on their shoulders, and
trried him to the dining ear.
ne of their number was a doe
r, who set about bandaging
le face of the hero, much to
)an's disgust.
"That's all right," said the
ngineer; "but first let's find
ut whether they've sent a
nrakeman back. It's no use our
caping if the next fellow fol
owing is dumped into the
Assured that the conductor
had done his best by placing
three red lanterns on the bank
and leaving a trainman in
charge, Dan became only more
impatient of attention. "Get
'em all aboard, gentlemen," he
said almost harshly. "If the
brakeman can't swim, it's up to us to hustle to
Ramsay as quick as we know how and let the
despatcher know what has happened. No time for
tomfoolery just now, though I'm much obliged just
the same."
The seventeen miles to Ramsay were made in
eighteen minutes, and the warning message telling
that the Bisco bridge had gone was sent in. At
Chapleau they wondered what had happened, since
such a message came from the conductor and en
gineer of No. 1 at the station next beyond this very
In due course the conductor and engineer made
reports. Dan's (which has been read by the writer
of these lines, who knew him well) was a dry, terse
statement of facts. That of the conductor had more
of imagination and color. Both were forwarded to
the head office in Montreal, and a little later Daniel
Fairbairn was ordered to report at the office of the
general manager. There he was presented with
one of the best gold watches money could buy,
which bore inside the case a suitable inscription tes
tifying to the gratitude of the company for his heroic
action. On his return to Chapleau another surprise
awaited him. The division superintendent had re
ceived by express from Vancouver an embossed ad
dress suitably framed, from the passengers who had
reached the end of their journey, with a request
that it be presented to Fairbairn, together with the
purse of gold that accompanied it.
A Strange Act of Providence
T_l* IW remarkable are some of the e.\i>erienees of
■*•■■■ those who drive locomotives for any length of
time may be gathered from a story of early days in
the West told by an engineer not long ago in the
official organ of the Order of Railway Conductors.
About twenty-five years ago, while working on
what was known as the P., If. & O. railway, which
ran through the eastern part of Missouri, he left
Tacoma about ten o'clock one morning with a train of
twelve heavily loaded passenger cars containing the
members of ;i Sunday school bound for a picnic at a
place knownas Pic
nic Grove, about
fifty miles distant
It was insufferably
hot , and before the
train had made
more than half the
distance clouds
began i" gather,
and the sky
became black as
ink. Evidently an
exceedingly heavy
thunder ' torm
might be c |
at any time.
a regular cloud
bur t The > hil
dren in the train
though! "!,l\ ■■! a
spoiled out ing . but
ili«- in. in in Ihe cab
was seriouslj
sidering the jx.ssi
bility of a v- . li
out and spn >'i
round a curve and
bore down on a
small station al a
speed "i „1,0111
thin y-five mile! an
hour, the engineer
By Ernest F. McHugh
Drawings by
Suddenly Morgan'! Raider. Opened lire
Hibbard V. B. Kline
keenly on the lookout despi c
the falling sheets of rain, \v
horrified to discover that t ie
switch for the siding was se
foul. Probably a freight tra
had used it and the brakenu
had forgotten to set it proper y
after backing out his train.
To run over it meant a te
rible disaster, and even the fir
man. feeling sure that his ou
death was near, could on
whisper hoarsely, " Oh, the kic s,
the poor kids!"
The engineer reversed and did all in his power to
bring the train to a stop; but he knew he could
not hope to bring up in time; the speed was too
great ;tnd the switch too near.
" Better stick to it!" he shouted to his fireman.
"I mean to," was the answer. "God help us!"
Scarcely had the words left his mouth when a bolt
of lightning more blinding than any before flashed
directly in front of the engine, followed by the ter
rific and peculiar crack of thunder which indicated
that the bolt had struck something. Engineer and
fireman were half dazed, and by the time they hac
fully recovered their senses were astounded to dis
cover that they had passed the switch and were
still riding safely on the main line.
As soon as possible the train was brought to a stop
and both hurried back to discover what had hap
The fireman took off his cap. "If that isn't what
they speak of as the act of God, 1 don't know what
is! " he said.
The lightning had struck squarely between the
switch and the rail, forcing over the track, and s<
allowing them to pass in safety. While the conductor
hurried back t<« the station to make a report and call
for section men to make permanent repairs to the
switch, the pastor in charge of the excursionists was
listening to the story of the engineer. At the end he
gazed at him curiously for a moment, then saie
"Yes. I think we should all give thanks to our
heavenly Father. By the way. your hair was black
when you combed it this morning, was it notr"
"Certainly," answered the driver.
" I'm afraid you won't find much black left there
now," said the clergyman. " It has become almost
entirely white."
Kindness of a Cyclone
/~\\ another occasion. " L E. (j. — Old Sailor of the
Rails," as he signs himself, was running through
Western Kansas during a season when constant
high winds and cyclones brought danger with every
trip. He was pulling an important fruit train oi
twenty ears with order to land the consignment at
the point of delivery on schedule time.
As they pulled out of the terminal there was every
evidence of bad weather, and the fireman stopped
shoveling coal long enough to remark that he guessed
they v ere in for another hatch of trouble before they
readied the end of the division. By the time they
had got fairly into the flat country there was no mis
taking the signs of a storm of more than usual sever
ity. Not only did it begin to get dark, but the clouds

xml | txt