This is a wonderful children's book about trains, specifically those exciting steam engines that covered our country in the early 1900's. It describes what it was like to ride in them, work in them, repair them, fix the tracks, repair 'hot boxes' and lots of other interesting things about those glorious days when America traveled by train. So if you want to know what 'high balling ' it means, and what the job of a brakeman or an engineer was, listen to our LibriVox readers tell you all about it. This is a children's book, but if you like trains (and who doesn't?) you will enjoy this book. You will also learn the proper way to 'flag down' a train if the track ahead is broken and goodness knows, we all need to know that! «Sam is the fireman on a big freight locomotive. Like lots of people who work on trains, Sam belongs to a family of railroaders. His father was a locomotive engineer. His grandfather was one, too. And, long ago, grandmother was an “op.” That means she operated the fast-clicking telegraph key in a railroad station. Her telegraph messages helped to keep the trains running safely and on time.
When Sam was a little boy, he listened to his father and grandfather talking railroad talk. They used all kinds of words that ordinary people didn’t understand. They had wonderful nicknames for each other, and slang words for many of the things they did.» — Summary by Phil chenevert and the author