Set Up Running
The Life of a Pennsylvania Railroad Engineman, 1904–1949
By John W. Orr, Introduction by James D. Porterfield.
Softcover, 6x9", 392 pages, 50 color / b/w illustrations, maps. new printing of the 1999 1st edition.
"An engaging book, one that has become a railroad classic. The major strength of Set Up Running is detail, particularly when it involves locomotives, train movements, and patterns of operation. Especially enjoyable are the depictions of Orr as a loyal Pennsylvania Railroad employee and of his overall pride of workmanship." - H. Roger Grant, Clemson University
"Set Up Running tells the story of a Pennsylvania Railroad locomotive engineer, Oscar P. Orr, who operated steam-powered freight and passenger trains throughout central Pennsylvania and south-central New York. From 1904 to 1949, Orr sat at the controls of many famous steam locomotives; moved trains loaded with coal, perishables, and other freight; and encountered virtually every situation a locomotive engineer of that era could expect to see.
"John W. (Jack) Orr, Oscar's son, tells his father’s story, which begins at the Central Steam Heating Plant in Bellefonte, Pennsylvania. Oscar operated nearly every kind of steam locomotive the Pennsylvania Railroad owned, working from the bottom of the roster to the top position (number one in seniority). Orr has an ear for detail and a vivid memory. He tells about his father's first encounter with an automobile along the right-of-way, about what it was like to operate a train in a blizzard, and about the difficulties railroaders encountered in stopping a trainload of tank cars loaded with oil in order to take on water and coal - and many other stories.
"This compelling railroad history will enthrall not only everyone in the railroad community but also the general reader interested in railroads and trains, past and present."