RME: This is from the article downloaded from this website, which I gave as a reference:
Our last scheduled stop was in Van Wert, Ohio. Again, Harry drove into the station, making a precise spot so that the various mail and express carts did not have to move far to find an open door. He called me over to his side of the cab and said, "Johnny, this may be our last chance at one of these beasts. What do you say about seeing just what she'll do between here and Fort Wayne?" As he spoke, I noted that his face was completely covered with dirt, except for the two white circles behind his glasses.
My deferential reply was, "You're the boss. My side of the cab is still attached to yours." He nodded in reply to my answer, and issued a warning. "You'd better get your fire ready, 'cause we're going to move out of here."
With this bit of information, I began to work on my fire. I grabbed the No. 5 scoop shovel and filled the back corners of the firebox. I shut off the stoker jets and ran a big ward of coal into the firebox, right in front of the firebox doors. When finished, I felt satisfied that I was ready for what was to come.
With the first peep of the communicating whistle, Harry turned on the bell and sanders. A second later came the second peep. He cautiously opened the throttle. The first six or so exhausts were relatively gentle "chuffs" as we began to move. One of the exhausts blew a perfect smoke ring. When Harry was satisfied that we had a good supply of sand under the drivers, he pulled open the throttle a little farther. Until then, the sounds of the exhaust had been drowned out by the sound of the whistle, but no more. The exhaust began to snap and crack out of the twin stacks. The presence of nearby warehouses and lumber yards created a pronounced echo effect so that each exhaust was multiplied as it bounced back and forth from building to building. This was the ultimate in stereo. With the heavy throttle, the engine began to rock slightly from side to side.
We rounded the curve at Estry Tower, and now between us and Fort Wayne lay 31 miles of perfectly straight track. As soon as we cleared the Cincinnati Northern diamond, Harry pulled the throttle wide open. The engine began to quiver, and it was easy to note the acceleration. With a good supply of sand, there was not a hint of a slip, although I did note that Harry kept his hand on the throttle in anticipation of such an event. As the speed built up, he began to move the reverse lever from the corner up towards center, in effect shifting from low to high gear.
The busy U.S. 30 crossing slipped by with the speedometer showing 78 mph. Soon the needle showed 86. In spite of the large demand for steam, I had no problem maintaining 300 pounds of steam pressure. This was not necessarily due to my prowess as a fireman, but rather to the fact that the engine was a free steamer. I cracked open the firedoors to check the fire. I was satisfied to note that its color was bright yellow-white. The coal that I had put into the back corners and in front of the fire door was long gone.
Dixon is the location of a cast-iron post indicating Ohio on one side and Indiana on the other. We did not have much time for reading as we were now running at 96 mph. Harry had now moved the reverse lever to within just a few points of being vertical. He was kept busy blowing for road crossings. At our speed, there was not too much time from the passing of a whistle post until the crossing showed up.
We bounced straight through the Monroeville crossovers at 108 mph, with the needle still unwinding. West of town we hit 110. The "T" still had reserve left. The only problem we had was with dirt and soot. This was compounded by coal dust from the tender.
At Maples the speedometer needle quit moving. We were now covering a mile in 30 seconds - 120 mph!
We blazed by Adams Tower with the engine and tender each trying to go their separate ways as they passed over the crossovers and siding switches. The tower operator beat a hasty retreat as the breeze we created tried to blow him over. Clearing the interlocking, Harry applied the brakes and pulled our speed down to a more respectable 80. We slipped into town, stopping at the coal dock for a load of coal. With the tender full, we made our final dash of a mile to the Fort Wayne station.
Arriving there, we got off and headed downstairs to the crew room. The passenger crew dispatcher, Chet Glant, met Harry as he turned in his timeslip. "Harry, the dispatcher wants to talk to you upstairs." So without cleaning ourselves, we both went up to the dispatcher's office.
The dispatcher eyeballed us, shaking his head in wonder. Somewhat sarcastically he asked, "Which one of you two clowns has a pilot's license?" He paused for dramatic effect and continued, "You guys were certainly flying low today. According to your timing by Estry and Adams, it took you only 17 minutes to cover 27miles. Now my math is nothing to brag about, but that averages out to something like 95 miles per hour, and that from a station stop."
Neither of us offered any comment. He looked at us for a few moments and closed with the admonition, "Don't do this again." As we walked out he grinned and added, Good job, guys."