|CB&Q GP30 974 eastbound at East Eola, Illinois, January 1, 1966. Here's a story from Karl Rethwisch: If you're familiar with the westbound and eastbound yards at Eola Im sure youve noticed the "mirror" effect. Flipped 180 deg. on their long axis each yd. would be a near duplicate of the other. When workin the west yd alls as it should be, that is, the engine faces east, the lead is on the Engrs side, the Switchman is visible to the Engr and everyone has a good time. Now, lets work the EAST yd and compare. The engine faces east, the lead is on the Firemans side, the Switchman is nowhere within the Engrs sight and few (Engineers that is) have a good time. To accommodate the "backward" lead a three color light signal was installed on the south side of trk. 11. This track is roughly in line with the lead before the lead (ladder track) bends to the north. A Switchman is stationed in a metal shack adjacent to trk. 11 built especially for this purpose. In the shack are controls for the signal displays, a stove, paper, coal and a chair. When the Swman on the lead is ready to switch cars he lines the desired sw. and gives a "KICK" sign to the guy in the shack. Obligingly, the guy causes the GREEN light to display and the Engr "pulls er tail out" (throttle WIDE OPEN!!). After receiving a STOP signal from the guy on the lead the fella in the shack displays a RED signal and the Engr shuts the throttle and applies the brakes. Wanna BACK UP?, just light the yellow and green lights at the same time and viola, she go backward. Sounds simple and, if everything and everyBODY works as designed, it IS. This may be a good time to inject a small note as it relates ta KICKIN. A good Engr. will kick until a stop sign is given by someone on the ground. Since the Engr has no idea where or how far the car(s) are goin he relies solely on the signals he receives from the ground. Switchin 101. Now, lets assume things are workin in a NORMAL manner, that is, the gent in the shack is distracted, tired or hung-over. As a result of any of the aforementioned malady's this gentleman may, on occasion, fail to take note of a signal being vigorously given by the guy on the lead. This oversight, however, usually occurs only when the signal being given is a STOP signal. Seems the SHOVE, BACK-UP or KICK sign is never overlooked, just the STOP signal. Fred Huntley is workin the east yd with his Fireman, D. L. McLaughlin. The signal was installed to accommodate an engine without a Fireman and was used even WITH a Fireman. On this particular evening switchin was progressin nicely and Fred was runnin the eng. Don said that a pause in the action was an occasion seized upon by Fred to load and fire up one of his many pipes. Soon after gettin the pipe workin the switchin resumed. Back up, stop, KICK, stop, back up and so on. This went on for a while till, on one signal ta KICK and Fred got er goin real good, Don began ta think, this is one hell of a kick! Well, it WAS one hell of a kick. Seems the fella in the shack, AFTER puttin up the GREEN light, took a short snooze. Soon, as might be expected, the whole shebang came to a BRUTAL stop, even WITHOUT a RED light displayed. A track with a bunch of inert cars makes a HELL of a bumpin post! As happens so many times in similar events, the eng crew was violently unseated and hurled against the front cab windows (no seat belts). Don impacted the window vigorously and Fred, after bouncing off the control stand, did likewise. Don, after recovering his composure, went over ta check on Fred who was still in the process of extricating himself from the various things that one finds on the Engrs side. Dang, the bowl of Fred's pipe was pushed right up to his lips. This situation could be pretty rough on a guy's throat one would think. It probably would have been too if Fred had not been smokin' a CURVED STEM pipe at the time. Unlike the litigious crowds of today no lawsuit or lost time just a "conversation" with the guy in the shack.