Shows how the cars in a freight train are scheduled, inspected and assembled. Follows the fast freight number 40 on its journey from Kansas City to Chicago. Examines the specific duties of train personnel and the operation of safety devices. The conductor, yard master, engineer, fireman, brakemen positions are highlighted. The cars are separated into groups that are going on to the same train. They pass over an inspection pit and are marked for repairs if necessary. Switching of the tracks during train assembly and departure from the stockyard is managed from a large tower. Cars are sent down the tracks to join the train with which they will travel. Ice is put into refrigerator cars. In an hour and a half, a mile of freight cars is loaded, inspected and coupled. During the trip, the front brakeman watches the train to make sure everything runs smoothly. The conductor sits in his office, reads orders and completes paperwork. The rear brakeman alerts the engineer when the last car is clear of turn and bridges, so the train can pick up speed. Explains why freight trains are important to many people.
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