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Photograph of railway workers standing in front of a train, including the fireman with his coal shovel


Fireman with coal shovel, 1894

ARCHIVED - The Kid's Site of Canadian Trains

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That's Disgusting!

Engine crews often had to cook their own food while the train was moving. Cans of soup and bottles of tea and coffee could be warmed, and potatoes could be baked, on the top of the boiler. Alan Palm remembers: " ... I watched a fireman fry bacon and eggs on the coal scoop shovel, stuck through the firebox door, over the fire. ... The same shovel would sometimes be used to shovel a bowel movement into the fire box. There were no toilets on the engines or cabooses."
Lions in the Coquihalla: Some of the Not-so-Tall Tales of the Train and Engine Crews of the Kettle Valley Division of the Canadian Pacific Railway, by Alan Palm. [Penticton, B.C.: The Author], ©1998, p. 3-4

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