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Jay Lake
Date: 2012-11-17 06:27
Subject: [photos] Your Saturday moment of zen
Security: Public
Tags:photos, zen
Your Saturday moment of zen.


Signboard, X4449, Oaks Bottom, Portland, OR. © 2006, 2012, Joseph E. Lake, Jr.

The current photo series is from my 'favorites' file, hence the dates jumping about

Creative Commons License

This work by Joseph E. Lake, Jr. is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 3.0 United States License.

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Kevin Standlee: Beware of Trains
User: kevin_standlee
Date: 2012-11-17 16:38 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
Keyword:Beware of Trains
BTW, the reason there's an X in the signboard of former Southern Pacific Locomotive 4449 is because it was the practice of the SP in steam days to put the train number in the sign boards. That would either be the train's schedule number if it was a scheduled train, or "Extra [train number]" if it was not a scheduled train. Thus, this signboard means "Extra 4449."

Train numbers were not just a convenience for the passengers in those days — they were life and death. All trains, passenger and freight alike, ran on timetables, and there was no direct communication to the individual trains by radio like there is today. Without easily being able to tell what a train's schedule number was, it could be very difficult to figure out if a train was in the right place, and a mistake could lead to two trains in the same section heading at each other with no way to stop them.
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Jay Lake
User: jaylake
Date: 2012-11-17 17:08 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
Thank you. I'd always assumed it was a special designator for 'permanently out of commercial service' or something, sort of like the 'X' in experimental aircraft numbers.
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January 2014
2012 appearances