What Do They Do? Nurses by Jennifer Zeiger

By Jennifer Zeiger

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He stood by* and watched as the train's crew, under the supervision, put huge crowbars under the trainmaster's wheels of the tender and struggled to inch it back toward the track. It was slow, backbreaking work. Finally George asked he could help. "That you can," a sweating brakeman groaned, as he strained at the end of one of the heavy iron bars. "You're a bier fellow and vou look like you've plenty of muscle. Just if THE INVENTOR 45 take hold of this crowbar and tug when I do. " good For the next two hours George helped the train crew edge the heavy tender closer to the track.

As they approached the station, Tom's uncertainty increased. He wondered if they were acting too hastily, but George continued to reassure him. At the terminal they did not go near the ticket office but loitered in the freight area where they were certain they would not be spotted. "The important thing is not to buy the tickets at the and buy them station, but to wait until from the trainmaster," George explained. " The long wait made them will hungry. Tom opened a tin of biscuits he had filched from his mother's pantry the night before and they ate in silence.

Freight trains were even harder to manage than passenger trains. On freights the handwheels were on top of the cars. The brakemen thus ran the risk of being knocked off by as the low-lying bridges, frozen in midwinter, or missing their footing on windy or slippery nights and hurtling down between the cars. Many brakemen lost their lives trying to perform their dangerous jobs. Because of the primitive braking system the accident rate from collisions, derailings and other mishaps was fantastic. Almost every railroad line experienced several accidents a month.

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