Working the Hump

We continue today with a photograph taken at another part of a hump yard operation: the pin puller.

Jack Delano spied this switchman working the crest of the hump in the Illinois Central yard at Chicago, Illinois. It’s a cold day in November of 1942, and the worker is prepared for the day. Don’t let his Fedora fool you into thinking this is management on the hump . . . a look below the overcoat reveals a working man’s dungarees and work shoes. He is preparing to pull the coupler pin on the car just as it crests the hump, allowing for it’s gravity-assisted journey down into the yard beyond.

Sharp eyed readers will notice the open journal boxes on the cars. In this cold weather, workers will open the boxes and squirt some very hot oil into the boxes to aid in the lubrication of the journals in these cold temps. After the car rolls for a short distance spreading the lube, it should easily make it down to it’s destination thanks to this warm-up.

Humping the Cars, ICRR, Chicago, Ill.

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