Gunther and His Railroad by Morton Morris
Page 3

     It seems almost incredible, nowadays, to think of the B. R. T. cars alone transporting in a single day to and from Coney Island more than a quarter of a million people. I often stand at the Culver Terminal along about 11 o'clock in the evening, on days when especially big crowds visit the island and people are beginning to rush homewards, and watch and wonder at it all. Trolleys and "L" trains arrive and depart from that single depot at the rate of ten a minute.
     In the old days a large church bell, with a tongue like a country gossip, always rang for some seconds before each trip from Coney island was commenced. This by way of notifying passengers that the train was about to start.
     It was a serious thing in those days to miss a train, for the Modock only made two trips in the morning and two in the afternoon. in the height of the summer this schedule was increased to five trips a day. The Modock could be relied upon to run off the track at least once during each trip. We all grew to love the old engine dearly. Perhaps it was on account of the familiarity we had with it. I remember that one time the draw bar came out that attached the Modock to the trailer, and the trailer being free to do as it saw fit, started down the hill from Locust Grove at a smart clip. Some bystanders, quite unused to modern railroad equipment, thought to stop its progress by throwing pieces of wood in front of it as it shot down the hill. This attempt at obstruction only added to its rambunctiousness, and as it struck the wood, it flew off the track. The passengers, who had been spilled out at various stages of the car's progress, secured some fence rails and boosted it back on the track again.
     The engine did not have the power to carry a load of passengers up the hill at Locust Grove, so the gentle folks would get off at the foot of the hill and walk to the higher grade, again climb on the cars, and the journey would proceed

At the time of our story, the locomotive Clifford poses with train at its depot.   Paul Matus Collection

Continued on page 4








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