Monday, May 12, 2014

Aboard The Boundless: The Brakemen

It is the most dangerous job on the railroad.

A brakeman's job is to apply the brakes to slow the train. Sometimes this is done from the safety of a caboose or guard car. Other times the brakemen must cross on top of a moving train, to turn the brake wheels of individual freight and boxcars.

Every day during the 1880's, somewhere on the continent, at least one brakeman is killed on the job. It is common for brakemen to be missing fingers, hands, arms, or legs.

The Boundless has over 900 cars. There are dozens of brakemen aboard.

Their pay is low, their chance of death or injury is high. Some of them, who risked life and limb for the CPR, are looking for payback. They think it might just be in that fancy funeral car of Cornelius Van Horne...

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