What a job!
Any railroad buffs here? There are some impressive bridges and tunnels crossing the Sierras. These are not too far from me and I would like to TW to some of them. My house is actually built on the old Verdi Timber Co. railroad bed atop an abutment where a old wooden trestle bridge used to cross the canyon. Too bad they removed the trestle as it would have made a very dramatic driveway.
2003 TW200 "Betty Boop"
2006 TW200 "Nibbler", a.k.a. “Mr.Gizmo"
Hidden Content All Things Considered I’ld Rather Be Motorcycling
Fred, I am definitely in with the railroad thread. I'd love to be able to ride in that area. Video was very interesting. I had no idea of the crew change mascots!
While these threads are mixed, my main motivation behind them is railroad history. Most of the railroad-related items are depot's and I've only been through on tunnel which is not in these threads but another one from a ride to Owyhee Lake way back when. I've been stocking up on some railroad depot's and other places I plan to ride too in the future. Always on the lookout!
I am a twenty-year railroader. Started in the Midwest with Conrail, after having worked with a major contracting company to the Western roads. The manpower situation being what it was, I made Engineer a year after hiring. That was unheard of years earlier and it's not allowed by FRA regulations today.
So I spent almost all my career at the throttle.
Conrail, Cleveland to Buffalo, Buffalo to Crestline Ohio, Crestline to Indianapolis...were the runs I worked in ten years there. Left some years after CSX took over our part of Conrail - the way they worked it it translated into a 40-percent pay cut. When they started getting really ugly with their people, I told them to shove it. That was in June 2008...is my timing grand, or what?
I got a job with the CN, on the former Wisconsin Central, right away - but then the bottom dropped out of the economy and I got furloughed just as fast. Then on to the DM&E in South Dakota, where they paid peanuts. Winters there are nothing to mess with, either. I left there.
A fifty-mile short line in Wisconsin kept me busy for two years, but I got tired of the grind. The money was there; but I was working 72 hours a week. AND...not so much as a lunch break. EVER. I can work like that a week; or a month; or many months. Two years and no letup...time to take my reverser and brake handles and go home.
Now I'm on Montana Rail Link...for the first time, mountain railroading. ALSO for the first time in my career, I'm getting a LOT of ground- work Such as when a train on the Mullan Pass pulls apart - which can happen, easily. It's a LOT of work - a broken coupler-knuckle weighs about 45 pounds; and there are no paved sidewalks to carry that thing back 75 cars to the break. Just a LOT of STEEP drops.
That is no place to fool around with. Trains pull apart whenever there's an issue with brake air, a locomotive in the consist suddenly stalling, or sloppy handlers with the helpers in the middle. People can get killed and do regularly.
It's a GREAT job for a young man; especially MRL, which is run by good guys. But the trouble with that is...young men don't stay young forever. I was really too old to have taken a job with this company.
Interesting background JPT. Much more of the railroading experience than what I heard from my uncle. He was a lawyer for a railroad, not sure which one. His stories are about...um I don't remember so they must not have been interesting.
Very cool, thanks for posting!
"Life Member NRA"
I have a few up on Photobucket.
Ashtabula, Ohio - hitting the ground to stretch my legs while waiting for a signal. July 2005
While the city sleeps. Collinwood Yard, Cleveland, July 2005. Approximately 0200.
The Wait. Control Point 2; outside Frontier Yard, Buffalo. Date unknown.