Railroad corporation Norfolk Southern recently featured Carnegie Hero James E. Dowell in a #throwbackthursday Facebook post.
Including a photo that Norfolk Southern Assistant Manager Jennifer Davis McDaid found in Ties, a Southern Railway magazine, the post highlighted Dowell’s rescue of a 16-month-old child who was playing on train tracks in St. Charles, Va., nearly 70 years ago.
Dowell, a 60-year-old Southern Norfolk brakeman, was working July 10, 1950, at the caboose of a locomotive pushing six other cars at a speed of about 12 m.p.h. From the platform, Dowell spotted Jimmie A. Woodward playing on the tracks and his mother, Frances Woodward, running toward the track. Dowell shouted a warning, jumped from the train, ran 50 feet alongside the train, and grasped the boy, pulling him from the path of the train when it was 3 feet away. As the train, in emergency braking by then, passed, it brushed against Dowell’s jacket and trousers, stopping 270 feet from where Dowell stood.
According to Norfolk Southern’s post, “Jim did a great job,” conductor Hugh H. Kestner said. “I don’t see how he made it in time.”
Dowell also received the Interstate Commerce Commission bronze Medal of Honor.
“#Safety at Norfolk Southern remains our highest priority. NS trains transport the nation’s goods to businesses and communities across our 19,500-mile rail network, passing through small towns, big cities, and everywhere in between. No matter where we travel, NS works around the clock to deliver a better and safer future,” the Facebook post concluded.
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Other articles in this issue:
- Friends Remembered: Dianne R. McKenzie
- Friends Remembered: Jarrett M. Cherok
- 2019 in review: 73 awards made, more than $786K dispersed in grants
- Board Notes: Global pandemic requires everyone to sacrifice
- Carnegie hero memorializes act with forearm tattoo
- Hero laid to rest in Indonesia, grave in family plot marked with Carnegie medallion
- Symposium named for Carnegie hero celebrates 10 years
- Carnegie Medal Presentation to Carnegie Hero Danny Lee Tiger
- Carnegie Medal Presentation to Carnegie Hero Michael Benjamin James
- Carnegie Medal Presentation to widow of Carnegie Hero David Covington