The Section Gang

The section foreman and his straw boss stand on opposite sides of the track inspecting an eastbound.  As the train passes they wave to the conductor on the rear of the caboose who calls out some silliness.  The foreman smiles, looks at his watch, checks the lineup and signals the men back to work.

Tools and material and men are ready to go.  Lining bars and track jacks.  Cross ties and track plates. Spike mauls and claw bars and spikes and track anchors.  Pull the spikes and the ties but never too many at a time.

The foreman walks down to the track phone to check the lineup.

Men posted on the eastbound and westbound mains keep watch.

Raise the rails, pull out the ties and get the new ones in.

The foreman heads back and yells, “he’s by the river, get those rails spiked”.

“Westbound” is called out as the headlight appears.

Jacks drop and the straw boss checks to make sure everything is clear.

The foreman and the assistant foreman stand on opposite sides of the track and wave to the engineer as he comes through.  Tools and material and men are ready to go.

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