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Picture of RR Crew ~ Russ is top center

~ ODE TO A TRAIN ~

T'was a cold wet day and the message was clear
Get that "Down River" out of here

Switch the holds and the rip track too
Go get 'em men, you know what to do

So the engine comes out barely huggin' the rail
Like the "314" packin' the mail

Kick that car, ride that brake
Easy Earl, got a joint to make

Pull that pin, bend that rail
Look at 'em fly, see them sail

Grangeville's commin', we need a clear track
Don't worry Buz, just sit back

We'll get him in and weighed in time
To send 'em out on "859"

Just call him for eight and hold onto your chair
We'll have it all finished with minutes to spare

Gavins to six, Platts to four
Shove number one to hold a few more

And so it goes, hour by hour
The dispatcher calls, "What about power?"

Buzzy ain't here, he went to the Mill
And onto he depot to pick up the bills

Now Bratton was draggin', close to the ground
When around the curve, comes Knopes up from town

Nothin' to do but show 'em some speed
Put on a burst and capture the lead

They were up to the nine, before Bratton knew
But he kept right on shovin', down into rip two

"Out of my way, you homely old fart
Get in the clear, or I'll tear you apart"

"We're building the train, and it's called for on time
You'll have to back up, to clear number nine"

As Bratton shoves back, a little too far
Jack Knopes squeezes by on the lead car

For Russ and his crew, that's a bitter pill
Jack stole the lead on his way to the Mill

So Bratton grabs two and doubles to one
Shoves over to air and now he is done

Another day, another dollar
Listen to the town crew holler

They'll have to wait, till the train gets air
But Bratton won't worry, Bratton won't care

For he's taken off, in the dust you see
And right now he's home, watchin' T.V.

And out from the Mill, the town crew is hummin'
Just wait, Bratton.....your time is commin'

And on it goes, nite after nite
Untill the "Down River", rolls out of sight.

NOTE: the top picture on the page is the actual crew, Russell Bratton is at the center top. NOTE: (poem written for Russell Bratton by Jack Knopes or Buz another railroad worker 1970-1978)

NOTE: These men all worked for Camas Prairie RailRoad in Lewiston, Idaho
Russell Bratton retired 1978-79