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Grandaddy Fischer

GERRY FISCHER


Part 2


Henry Fischer Sr. worked in the L & N Roundhouse, in Decatur, Alabama. A roundhouse was a “C”-shaped, semi-circular, brick building, with a large opening on one side with several concentric train tracks following around the circular tracks. The roundhouse was a very large structure and was the steam engine repair shop. All the maintenance crews were there to work on the trains and keep them running. Now, at that time, about 1923, trains were like airplanes today. They were the only mass transport besides trolly cars, and the roundhouse was like a hangar for planes. That’s where repairs and routine maintenance was done. To alert the crews that a train was coming in, since each crew was responsible for several different engines, the engineer, like a pilot today, would have his own steam-whistle blast. For example, 3 long toots and one short, would be the signal for Bob’s engine, and those men would get ready for that engine. Four longs would be another engineers signal and so forth. The engineers became friends with the crews who worked on their trains. Just like pilots do today. Those crews saved lives by k