Wednesday, February 26, 2014

February 26, 2104: Pettit Would Understand

A few winters back I caught this scene at Berne, near the rail summit of Stevens Pass.  A broken rail ahead had the westbound Empire Builder waiting for the repairs.  Having experienced power problems earlier the train was already running late and making the last leg of the trip over the Cascades with but one locomotive.  Now this, in the latest serious of delays had the train's conductor pacing, wanting to get his train and his charges into Seattle quickly and safely. 

I couldn't help but wonder; was the spirit of Joe Pettit, the conductor of ill-fated Train 25 also here giving an all knowing and understanding look?  104 years ago, he too was stalled just past the summit of Stevens Pass in a small town named Wellington.  He too only wanted to get his train moving and his passengers down off the mountain safely.

The little drama presented here ended well.  Within an hour the Empire Builder was once again moving west.

Pettit and 35 of his passengers were not so fortunate.

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