Roland's Notes 12/26
- Some of the newer members might not remember, but we used to have a guy
on the list who worked for the FJ&G in the forties. His name was Roland
Bowers and he has since past on. From time to time he would entertain us
with stories from when he worked on the line. I've been going through his
notes and I will post them a few at a time. Here's a story he sent us
about a derailment near Vail Mills in the 1940's...
When a steamer derailed at Vail Mills in the forties. The hook was hired
from Kingston, N. Y. at a rate of $150.00 per hour from the time it left
Kingston until it returned to Kingston. In those days, this was a very
expensive amount for our little short line to sustain. I remember at the
time all the Railroad personnel were afraid the hook would go over to Vail
Mills and derail itself, because of the condition of the rails. The rails
from Broadalbin Junction to Broadalbin were of the smaller size. We thought
we would all lose our jobs, but the hook came, righted the engine back on
the tracks and returned to the New York Central tracks without incident. We
all breathed a sigh of relief, because we were afraid of losing our jobs.
That's correct. $150.00 per hour doesn't seem like much today. In the days
of the wreck, a clerk's salary was $86.00 per month and the hook's rate was
It was the total cost, (manpower, equipment) but remember the New York
charged from the time they left Kingston until they returned to Kingston.
Kingston was the closest hook on the NYC...
A Division of Quad/Graphics
Saratoga Springs, New York