Set Up Running: The Life of a Pennsylvania Railroad Engineman, 1904–1949

Paperback | August 18, 2005

byJohn W. Orr

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Set Up Running tells the story of a Pennsylvania Railroad locomotive engineer, Oscar P. Orr, who operated steam-powered freight and passenger trains throughout central Pennsylvania and south-central New York. From 1904 to 1949, Orr sat at the controls of many famous steam locomotives; moved trains loaded with coal, perishables, and other freight; and encountered virtually every situation a locomotive engineer of that era could expect to see.

John W. (Jack) Orr, Oscar’s son, tells his father’s story, which begins at the Central Steam Heating Plant in Bellefonte, Pennsylvania. Oscar operated nearly every kind of steam locomotive the Pennsylvania Railroad owned, working from the bottom of the roster to the top position (number one in seniority). Orr has an ear for detail and a vivid memory. He tells about his father’s first encounter with an automobile along the right-of-way, about what it was like to operate a train in a blizzard, and about the difficulties railroadmen encountered in stopping a trainload of tank cars loaded with oil in order to take on water and coal—and many other stories.

This compelling railroad history will enthrall not only everyone in the railroad community but also the general reader interested in railroads and trains, past and present.

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Set Up Running tells the story of a Pennsylvania Railroad locomotive engineer, Oscar P. Orr, who operated steam-powered freight and passenger trains throughout central Pennsylvania and south-central New York. From 1904 to 1949, Orr sat at the controls of many famous steam locomotives; moved trains loaded with coal, perishables, and oth...

John W. Orr graduated from Penn State in 1949. Recently deceased, he resided in Ralston, Pennsylvania.

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Format:PaperbackDimensions:392 pages, 9.27 × 6.06 × 1.12 inPublished:August 18, 2005Publisher:Penn State University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:027102741X

ISBN - 13:9780271027418

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“The cumulative effect is an extended meditation on a lost world of rugged, single-minded men—almost monkish in their devotion to their job and ‘the company’—who once threaded their engines along river banks and down grades to deliver carloads of coal and lumber and merchandise to larger towns, where the freight was reshuffled into other trains and delivered to virtually every point on the continent.”—Mark Reutter, Pennsylvania Magazine of History and Biography