All Aboard! Exploring the Newfoundland Railway

Railway Workers

Making It Work

Wayne Greenland - Coach Yard Work

Wayne Greenland speaks of Coach Yard Work

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Length: 4:13 Min
File Size: 16.7 MB
Transcript

I'll talk about my job. For a while it was in our coach yard and again it was in the month of August and I would say about 1967, 68. The trains were still running, the passenger trains, and my work day would consist of coming into work at 4 pm and the coach yard was on the extreme end of the commissary building and we had actually a punch clock and we - uh - just of that the we had our ice shed and the big blocks of ice were probably two feet by four feet and they were locally bought and they would be placed in sawdust to keep them from melting in the summer. And we would chip of this ice to use in the passenger trains. In the coaches and second cars who had drinking fountains and we would put the ice into the fountain, not in the water but there was a reservoir around the water fountain itself and this would keep the water cold. Plus we would ice up the dining car the coolers on board there and that would be done prior to the train leaving at 11:30 in the night. On the off nights at the passenger train is not running we would water up the way freight that had coaches on board going to Corner Brook. And part of the watering process, once that was done I usually had about an hour to spare. There was usually a private car in the yard and I remember going into the Bristol or the Avalon and listening on a battery powered radio to the local soccer games. And that was unique sitting in this old private car and you smell the old tobacco pipe tobacco it was just you know such a way back and you can visualize these old cahoons I guess... railway types talking about the railway.

Again part of my duties was to drive the baggage truck, the electric truck up to the baggage car prior to the departure of the express. This one night there was two remains to be transported up. And as I took those up to the baggage car it was near the departure time and the baggage handler on the train refused to take them. He said you're too late. So I didn't object I mean I just... he said no. So I stayed there and the train pulled out. So I started to take that two remains back to the baggage room, closed nobody there. So there I was with two suitcases... two remains, two cases on top of them and both were supposed to go on the train. So I had no choice but to bring them up to the coach yard into our little office area and wait till midnight so I could punch out. So I wrote a note saying Too late for train please handle next night and I signed my name to it and went home. Well you can visualize the foreman coming in the next morning at eight o'clock. The first person they call was me. Wayne, what have we got here anyway again many questions had to be asked but so I did have another incident where the remains never even go sent out because they arrived too late for the train and I had to sit with them for a half hour so waiting for the time to go home.