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Steam & Excursion > Steve Lee's last run, and boy was it a good one!


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Date: 11/14/10 09:31
Steve Lee's last run, and boy was it a good one!
Author: IC_2024

We're on board UP's 50th Anniversary train arriving at North Platte with Steve Lee at the throttle after a fabulous run from Omaha.
On Friday, Steve told us that this would be his final run before retirement, so fellow Amtrak engr. Matt and I shook his hand and wished him well while getting a couple of photos to commemorate the occasion.
He will be greatly missed, but there are others who will carry on his proud tradition of gifted skills, hard work and dedication to keeping steam alive for many more years on the UPRR!

Congratulations, Steve, on this milestone and again, many thanks for giving us such wonderful trips behind UP steam over the years!






Date: 11/14/10 11:57
Re: Steve Lee's last run, and boy was it a good one!
Author: ProAmtrak

Sucks good things like this has to come to an end! Glad I had a chacne to take a few pics of him and even talk to him when 3985 was in LA back in 2000! You're gonna be missed Steve!



Date: 11/14/10 11:59
Re: Steve Lee's last run, and boy was it a good one!
Author: rehunn

One of the problems with age is that your remember Steve when he was damn near a kid!! I agree,
thanks for putting up with us, your courtesy over the years, and a helluva job keeping the suits in
line.



Date: 11/14/10 12:00
Re: Steve Lee's last run, and boy was it a good one!
Author: Frisco1522

Aw crap!



Date: 11/14/10 12:17
Re: Steve Lee's last run, and boy was it a good one!
Author: Lackawanna484

Best wishes, Steve.

Taking the 844 down the line in a blur of speed and some smoke is a pretty good way to pull the pin, I'd say.



Date: 11/14/10 14:00
Re: Steve Lee's last run, and boy was it a good one!
Author: gobbl3gook

Thanks much to Steve for keeping the UP Steam Program running for all of us.

Steve was an active poster on misc.transport.rail.americas from 1995 to 1999. It was fun to read his posts them, it's fun to read them now. He was forthright, highly knowledgeable, and while he was a naysayer in the eyes of many wide-eyed foamers on the board, he always backed up his assertions with data and details.

100 of his 200 posts
http://groups.google.com/groups/search?hl=en&as_q=misc+transport+rail+americas+&as_epq=S+A+Lee&as_oq=&as_eq=&num=100&scoring=&lr=&as_sitesearch=&as_qdr=&as_mind=1&as_minm=1&as_miny=2010&as_maxd=1&as_maxm=1&as_maxy=2010&as_ugroup=&as_usubject=&as_uauthors=&safe=off

List of posts by month
http://groups.google.com/groups/profile?hl=en&show=more&enc_user=UepW1RYAAADmRo7K93GG9421cN4dXTeJlgUpxsgrFUYz4iGseXwOPQ&group=misc.transport.rail.americas

& 1995 posts from bit.listerv.railroad
http://groups.google.com/groups/profile?hl=en&enc_user=T5oKPx4AAAAx2rtNnIddU9XqYqOIN1AwcIpegrRZTpRIcd-lUVZ6Pw

Ted in OR

****

For instance, check out this Jun 1997 post on the Royal Gorge Steam Special. A rider is complaining about the lack of run-bys. Steve is the first person to reply to the original message, and outlines in detail what the problems were with the proposals launched by the disappointed passenger. And the details make it all the better reading, like the pilot crew going dead on the law as they backed into the SLC station. We don't get this kind of insider info anymore.

Here's an excerpt --

"You didn't mention that arrival at Grand Junction on Sunday was at
almost 11 PM. Had we done more runbys, it would have been well after
midnight before we arrived. All of the passengers I talked to had had
more than enough by then and were not interested in trading an even
later arrival for one or two more run-bys. You didn't mention the
number of trains we met or how many were following us. It is
imnportant to point out, as you did, that there were a lot of slow
orders, more than I've seen in a long time anywhere else, and that
hurt. But with the distance involved and the relatively slow track
speeds even when there are few or no slow orders, everyone should have
been aware that these were going to be long days with few run-bys. The
alternative would have been unconscionably long days."

"There was also an hours-of-service problem with the pilot crews on both
Sunday and Monday. We got to Minturn just 8 minutes before our pilot
crew went dead on the law. There were no rested crews at Minturn to
send out to bring us in had we done more photo runs and not made it
into Minturn before this crew died. Which would have meant several
hours sitting in a siding somewhere waiting for a crew, which is
another intolerable situation for most of the passengers. This was
also a problem on Monday, with the pilot crew going dead as we backed
into the station at Salt Lake City."

http://groups.google.com/group/misc.transport.rail.americas/browse_thread/thread/df8d2642f3e6ad8d/12dfb5f994be0517?hl=en&q=misc+transport+rail+americas++%22S+A+Lee%22#12dfb5f994be0517

***********

Again, thanks Steve, for keeping us foamers entertained both trackside and on the bulletin boards.

Ted in OR



Edited 3 time(s). Last edit at 11/14/10 14:38 by gobbl3gook.



Date: 11/14/10 14:02
Re: Steve Lee's last run, and boy was it a good one!
Author: bluesman

A job well done. Thanks for your dedication and service to the UP steam program. Enjoy retirement Steve!



Date: 11/14/10 14:10
Re: Steve Lee's last run, and boy was it a good one!
Author: Mudrock

Steve thank you for all the great trips you gave me and all the special movements we shared like the Badger Runby back in 1992.

Chris



Date: 11/14/10 15:49
Re: Steve Lee's last run, and boy was it a good one!
Author: rattenne

I guess all I can add is "ditto!"



Date: 11/14/10 15:55
Re: Steve Lee's last run, and boy was it a good one!
Author: papio

Yesterday's ride was so memorable for my son and I, we had a ball! Good luck in your retirement Steve!



Date: 11/14/10 16:04
Re: Steve Lee's last run, and boy was it a good one!
Author: nycman

Steve, THANK YOU for all the entertainment you have provided for steam fans for years and years, and I hope you enjoy your retirement as much as I am enjoying mine. These two photos are both from 2005, one with UP 3985 arriving at Salem, OR, with "student engineer" Doyle McCormack running, and instructor Steve Lee backing him up. The other was taken at the Pacific Northwest Chapter NRHS National Convention banquet in Portland, which featured back to back speeches by Steve and Doyle which brought down the house. They were both fantastic, humorous, and I laughed so hard that tears emerged. You can bet that Steve hasn't pulled a throttle for the last time.






Date: 11/14/10 16:06
Re: Steve Lee's last run, and boy was it a good one!
Author: livesteamer

WELL DONE, Steve Lee and and the words of Bob Hope (was it just his theme song) "Thanks for the Memories".

Marty Harrison
Knob Noster, MO



Date: 11/14/10 16:28
Re: Steve Lee's last run, and boy was it a good one!
Author: DelMonte

Remember the pins they wore? 'I AM NOT STEVE LEE' and 'I AM NOT DOYLE McCORMICK'?



Date: 11/14/10 17:12
Re: Steve Lee's last run, and boy was it a good one!
Author: asheldrake

As all have said, best wishes for a GREAT retirement and thank you very much for
giving us many years of enjoyment and some excellent advice. Your ability to
keep the UP Steam program aligned with corporate goals has been an amazing
accomplishment and a great example and lesson for us all. Thank you!

I would echo Jim's comment about you and Doyle at the Go By Train 2005 NRHS
convention banquet in Portland. As convention chair, that, in my opinion,
was our most wonderful event. Sure the double header, 4449/700 trip up
the Columbia Gorge was great but I most cherish the banquest and the
presentation from both you and Doyle. You guys did a superb job! I thank
you again for coming to Portland for this event.

One of my life learning lessons has been how important it is to find something
meaningful to do with ones time. We could all provide advice on what that
might be but what is not as important as doing it. Immediately following
retirement I got surprised at how much of my self worth was tied up in my
career. Took me a while to get refocused and boy, retirement is now GREAT.

Thank you Steve for your most valued career.
Arlen Sheldrake
Portland OR



Date: 11/14/10 17:29
Re: Steve Lee's last run, and boy was it a good one!
Author: drgw0579

At Pine Bluffs on the way home.

Bill Kepner




Date: 11/14/10 17:33
Re: Steve Lee's last run, and boy was it a good one!
Author: burlingtonjohn

Congratulations on a good career and best wishes on well deserved retirement. You did it your way and we are all the better for it.

At the 1990 NRHS convention in St Louis, the crew all had name tags (or was it buttons?) that said "I'm not Steve Lee". He saw me in uniform (I was in the Navy then) and asked if I wanted to check out the cab of a certain 4-8-4 ... ya think?!

Remember riding a Rocky Mountain Excursion behind 3985 in June of 1988. We did a photo run on downgrade around a curve. One the first run, 3985 came screaming by us, shaking the ground and literally blowing us all away in the process. The photo line erupted into cheers and applause as 3985 backed up to (we thought) pick us up. Little did we know that they were going to do a second run. Absolutely stunning. As the last car rolled by, Steve's voice came over the scanner 'what say we leave them all standing there and head for the barn ... its Miller time!' !!!!

Respectfully,
Burlington John



Date: 11/14/10 18:00
Re: Steve Lee's last run, and boy was it a good one!
Author: scwillis

I talked to Steve once at Snowshoe Ski resort when he attended a TRAIN convention. My daughter attended Jr. High at Glendale, KY a few years earlier. Her class came to a halt when the Challenger stopped in front of the school to pick up Steve's mom and dad for a ride up CSX to Louisville for the night. Her teacher said "there goes an old coal burner" to the class. My more informed daughter explained to him it was the worlds largest operating steam locomotive and it was burning oil! Steve thought that was great that she was more informed than the adult in the room.

At that same convention, Alan Harper gave me two passes for the Silverton train. Thanks buddy!
Steve



Date: 11/14/10 18:45
Re: Steve Lee's last run, and boy was it a good one!
Author: ddg

I know how he feels, My last trip will be the 29th or 30th.



Date: 11/14/10 19:48
Re: Steve Lee's last run, and boy was it a good one!
Author: J-1Hudson

All the best Steve. Most railfans just don't know what you did to keep the steam program alive.

Our time in the early 90's with Pacific Limited Group trips and two NRHS Conventions involved so much planning and operations effort. I remember some of the things you did to make the PLG trips work. Things that were between us and very few others.

Thanks for putting up with my windy 'phone calls while we were trying to put all those trips together.

Stay well and stay involved.

Hal Lewis
J-1Hudson



Date: 11/14/10 20:38
Re: Steve Lee's last run, and boy was it a good one!
Author: chico

Congrats and thanks Steve (and ddg)

chico
http://www.heartlandrails.com



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