chnhrr wrote:I didn’t know Mr. Novell, but my brief experience with the New Haven the engineers was that they were friendly. In the mid sixties my father commuted between Old Greenwich and New York and during the summertime, he would return home by walking on the golf course to our house on Lockwood Avenue. I often met him at the station at the front end of the platform to accompany him back. Our walk home took us by the waiting locomotive and we would usually say hello to same engineer, have a brief conversation with him and then watch the FL-9 rumble towards Stamford. By chance I was in New York one Saturday with my dad and we spotted this engineer at GCT ready to take controls of the FL-9 for our return home. I asked my dad if he would in turn ask him if I could go in the cab. The engineer was very accommodating and I did spend a few minutes in a FL-9 cab. Being no more than seven or eight years old, I found the controls a little intimidating.
I know he would take LOTS of folks into the cab, and many for rides up front. One of his friends who road frequently up in the cab was Jack Sterling who had a radio show. He would mention it on the radio show. He also had the nickname Lollipop based on his penchant for tooting the whistle. He held the train at Yankee stadium so the passengers could hear Lou Gehrig farewell, he also was one of the engineers for FDR funeral train, and one story a pregnant woman was worried she wasn't going to make the train. Mike saw her, yelled to slow down he wouldn't leave her behind.
I got to be honest I've been trying to find information for a number of years from around this period if anyone remembered him, and about the various New Haven engines. Never got a reply. Then I saw MickD and Mr. Weaver's posts and it was a thrill, and I forward their exchange to my siblings who also thought it was wonderful people remembered him. Especially the timing... All these years no luck and then this.. You see this month is the 50th anniversary, on Jan 25, 1963, there was a engine fire which resulted my grandfathers death. He and his fireman had been able to bring the stricken train into the station, and disconnected the power. when he stepped down onto the platform, he collapsed and died what was first thought to have been a heart attack, but was result of toxic fumes from the burning insulation. You might say he died with his boots on. He spent 46 years on the New Haven Railroad.