Re: Street Running Rules
Date: 11-12-2017 - 16:41
Bob2's recollections in this thread reminded me of how much the Santa Fe's south-of-downtown LA operations were like the SP on Alameda St. The Santa Fe's Harbor District (much of it gone now) ran south from Redondo Tower through Vernon, then curved sharply west to run along the north side of Slauson Avenue. We switchmen, as with those on the SP/PE used boxes of 5-minute fusees. One of the toughest places to cross was a shove from the main on the north side to the Goodyear Industrial District on the south side of Slauson. While the Goodyear area was laid out well for switching the many buildings in there, everything going in had to be shoved across four lanes of unremitting traffic. Even at night south LA was busy. Drivers would swerve around numerous fusees as if they marked a pothole each, and only the oncoming boxcar on the point (itself festooned with fusees on top of the lead truck and usually up on the roof catwalk and on the coupler) would cause traffic to stop. I was only on duty for one low-speed crunch there but I am sure there were many.
I always liked working on the Harbor District, where the switching limits went down to nearly Inglewood. The best job to work down there was the midnight one out of the Wingfoot freight station. A high-hood 1000 hp Alco was kept there. By apparently long-standing practice, the night crew ran the wheels off the engine, horn and bell going constantly as we crossed numerous streets intersecting Slauson, the goal being an early quit if we got all the work done. That job usually was done after about five hours, skipping going to beans. About the only things to slow us down occasionally was waiting for a bit at the PE (Long Beach main) and SP (Alameda Street) automated interlockings if the other roads had traffic there first. Different times, different job (I imagine) from today's railroading.