Back in the days when trains had yet to be equipped with continuous brake lines, the coaches had to be slowed on downhill sections by means of hand-cranked brakes operated by one or more brakemen. This arduous job disappeared as long ago as the 1920s however: The introduction of the compressed air brake made it superfluous. After this time, hand-cranked braking was used only when shunting.
(Picture: Swiss Museum of Transport Archive)


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