by Lawrence Crossing
My imperfect memory recalls a comment made by my late PRR engineer grandfather about steamer smoke. Some time in the 60s, we were watching a Black River and Western engine pulling away in Flemington, NJ, emitting great clouds of black smoke, and he said that he would have been fined by the company for that. According to him (or my memory) they were required to start smoothly enough to keep the smoke relatively clean. I have seen so much dense, black smoke around steamers that I wonder if this was really a concern or a misunderstanding on my part. Was there such a policy, was the smoke "controllable"?