Saturday, July 07, 2007

Das Alternstigerle

Here’s my favourite story (so far) from the history book about the old railways between Nagold and Altensteig:

It seems that by the village or Rohrdorf there was a small fabric mill, and the apprentice from this mill was sent every day to stand at the gate and give the post to the train as it rumbled over the entrance.
Of course, apprentices sometimes have other things to attend to, and it happened “occasionally” that the train had passed before the duty apprentice had chance to make the gate with postbag. However, all was not lost: speed was not top priority on this line, and anyway, there were some sharp curves here so the train was not rushing. The tardy apprentice would leap upon his bike and pedal after the train.
Once level, the apprentice would throw his bag over to the Post Wagon. The guard was of course ready, and would catch, empty and return the bag in the same manner. Job done, the apprentice was able to return whence he came.

I wonder how often his “mates” would delay him deliberately…

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