Home Open Account Help 242 users online

Western Railroad Discussion > Still the Best Part of the Job


Pages:  [ 1 ][ 2 ] [ Next ]
Current Page:1 of 2


Date: 12/07/17 00:21
Still the Best Part of the Job
Author: funnelfan

Even with all the long hours day after day, there is still one aspect of being an engineer that will never get tiresome. That is watching young girls and boys get really excited seeing your train. I do whatever I can to put on a good show for them as well. Today I was well rewarded with excited young kids that I hope will have a lasting memory of my train in action. It started in Almira, WA. I rolled into town with three light engines and as I poked out from behind a grain elevator I spotted three young girls and a mother breaking up the ice on what was a shallow puddle in a gravel lot near the tracks. The young girls initially started to run away thinking things were going to get really noisy. But since I was already slowing to a stop beyond a industry switch, I just gave them some light sweet horn play that got their attention. They immediately turned around and began to wave. So glad we have the good ole' air valves instead of a push button! The girls resumed joyfully jumping up and down on the ice as we assembled 15 cars of grain and headed east.
Then coming into Wilbur there is a young family that just loves the sounds of a train. Problem is there is no crossing anywhere near their homestead now. But there was a crossing at one time, now a trail....good enough for me! The father and kids were out vigorously flashing a flashlight and the porch light trying to get my attention. I responded with lots of horn play bell ringing, and even revved the engines for them. Oh how they just love that!
Finally after picking up an additional 12 loads of grain at Creston I proceeded through town on the mainline. There is a gated crossing in the middle of the town. Just east of that crossing is a two story house with big picture windows facing the tracks. By this time it was dark and I could see the silhouette of the two young boys there, glued to the window despite barely being tall enough to see over the window sill. I did my normal whistle routine for the crossing there, but then threw in some extra horn play just after the crossing. Those kids went from being motionless to bouncing all over the front room in a nanosecond knowing they got some attention from the train. Nope, I will never tire of that part of the job!

PS, pic is from earlier this year, but my train had a similar consist.

Ted Curphey
Cheney, WA



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 12/07/17 00:26 by funnelfan.




Date: 12/07/17 04:01
Re: Still the Best Part of the Job
Author: dpudave

Way to go, Ted. Yours is virtually a Christmas story. d



Date: 12/07/17 05:11
Re: Still the Best Part of the Job
Author: Korigaoka1811

Great story. Hope for the future!

And I have a question. Down here in south Florida I would feel like a darn fool to wave at passing train crews (I'm a 57-year old dude). But my arm still has the urge to lift my hand and offer a friendly greeting.

Do grown-ups still wave in the rest of America?

John



Date: 12/07/17 05:17
Re: Still the Best Part of the Job
Author: santafedan

You are more of what we need. Thanks!



Date: 12/07/17 05:19
Re: Still the Best Part of the Job
Author: bmarti7

Korigaoka1811 Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> Great story. Hope for the future!

>
> Do grown-ups still wave in the rest of America?
>
> John

Absolutely including 71 year olds as in me and many waves and/or toot-toots back.

Ted-thanks for sharing your great gift of writing!

BB



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 12/07/17 07:03 by bmarti7.



Date: 12/07/17 05:31
Re: Still the Best Part of the Job
Author: Korigaoka1811

bmarti7 Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> Korigaoka1811 Wrote:
> --------------------------------------------------
> -----
> > Great story. Hope for the future!
>
> >
> > Do grown-ups still wave in the rest of America?
>
> >
> > John
>
> Absolutely including 71 year olds as in me and
> many waves and/or toot-toots back. Ted-thanks for
> sharing your great gift of writing!
>
> BB

OK. Next FEC freight I'm waiting for at the grade crossing while walking to and from the parking lot and office, I'm going to be courageous and wave. The crews look so grim . . . but I'll do it and see what happens!



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 12/07/17 05:31 by Korigaoka1811.



Date: 12/07/17 06:10
Re: Still the Best Part of the Job
Author: crazybill

Korigaoka1811 Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
>
> Do grown-ups still wave in the rest of America?
>
> John

I do.
-Bill-

William Hesse
Caliente, CA



Date: 12/07/17 06:23
Re: Still the Best Part of the Job
Author: dash944cw

Wonderful story! Wish there were more guys like you running the rails for guys like me with grandkids who love trains! I suspect (and wouldn't be surprised) if the "black box" aboard locos nowadays may be why hoggers strictly follow horn and bell "protocol" and thus may hesitate to use them in situations you describe. Anyway, "hats off" to you!



Date: 12/07/17 06:53
Re: Still the Best Part of the Job
Author: CM1

I wave all the time. Most of the time they wave back. It's a social grace we seem to have forgotten. Try waving to people walking across the street. Most of the time they are so into themselves that they are not aware of what is around them. But, some times they actually wave back. Call me optimistic. I still wave.



Date: 12/07/17 07:16
Re: Still the Best Part of the Job
Author: OHCR1551

When the kid was five, we were on a sidewalk near a seldom-used spur when the monthly train happened by, led by an ancient Geep in Chessie paint. The engineer waved and called out "Hi, buddy!"
I don't have to recall the details...the kid is 28 now and he still remembers.

We still wave around here. As Tecumseh said, "always give a word or a sign of greeting..." He knew what helped keep the peace.

Rebecca Morgan
Jacobsburg, OH



Date: 12/07/17 07:34
Re: Still the Best Part of the Job
Author: rev66vette

Here in New Jersey we recently had a seldom used branch re-activated for an environmental clean-up. The line is the NS ex Erie Newark Branch and the railroad made some hasty minimal repairs to an old passing siding siding to facilitate loading of gondola cars. One Sunday I heard horns and went out to get some photos....I came upon the train adjacent to a small city park. It was a nice day and many children were using the park. The train sounded it's horn for a crossing nearby and everyone's attention was drawn to it. The train did a few moves in preparation of exchanging unloaded for loaded cars. A group of about 10 mothers took their toddlers that were in strollers to the edge of the playground to see the train. It was quite a site, about 10 strollers all in a row...the engineer saw the audience and did a small display of the horn and bell for everyone's entertainment. Not one child was complaining. The curiosity a train generates can surely be a magical thing.



Date: 12/07/17 07:52
Re: Still the Best Part of the Job
Author: bmarti7

I'll add another thought with the intent NOT to offend anyone. I do believe the Mid-westerner's and Southerner's are generally more friendly as well as people living in smaller cities and towns are generally more friendly than those in the larger metropolitan areas. Certainly there are some friendly people everywhere. There are also some grumpy ones everywhere as well.

BB



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 12/07/17 07:54 by bmarti7.



Date: 12/07/17 09:04
Re: Still the Best Part of the Job
Author: PRR_4859

Great story! You never know when a simple wave or toot of the horn will influence a child to become a future railfan or advocate of the industry.



Date: 12/07/17 09:07
Re: Still the Best Part of the Job
Author: railstiesballast

Bilmarti7 explains why many people do not want to live in high pressure, high cost areas of the country: in the rural places there is less stress and there is time for the courtesies that make life enjoyable.
So much of contemporary values have prices and are quantifiable. Just living life and making yourself and others happy can't be quantified so it is ignored by the marketers who drive our tastes.
(End of editorial)
I also wave to train crews, especially if I am photographing them. This is partly to let them know I recognize their work. I am 73 but still trying to act like an adult.
Wonderful original post and comments.



Date: 12/07/17 09:15
Re: Still the Best Part of the Job
Author: Hookdragkick

@Bmarti7, I hear what your saying. I'm from the Southwest and moved to the Southeast (GA) for four years before moving back. I'd sooner get the shirt off someones back there, if I needed help, than I would back home. You are right though, more friendly and hospitable.



Date: 12/07/17 09:19
Re: Still the Best Part of the Job
Author: trainjunkie

Korigaoka1811 Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> Do grown-ups still wave in the rest of America?

When I'm working, I appreciate a wave from bystanders, young or old, and I try to wave back. Crews always like to know their presence is acknowledged by people near the tracks. It's the folks with their heads down, who are not paying attention, with or without ear buds in that we worry about. When you wave, we know you see us.

By the same token, when I'm not working and see a train I wave for the same reason. Those guys/gals in the cab don't know who I am or that I'm "one of them". They may not wave back, and I don't care. I just want them to know I see them and that I'm not going to do anything stupid.



Date: 12/07/17 09:45
Re: Still the Best Part of the Job
Author: Korigaoka1811

trainjunkie Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> Korigaoka1811 Wrote:
> --------------------------------------------------
> -----
> > Do grown-ups still wave in the rest of America?
>
> When I'm working, I appreciate a wave from
> bystanders, young or old, and I try to wave back.
> Crews always like to know their presence is
> acknowledged by people near the tracks. It's the
> folks with their heads down, who are not paying
> attention, with or without ear buds in that we
> worry about. When you wave, we know you see us.


In light of what you wrote, trainjunkie, I just had a flash of insight. I wrote above that the FEC crews look "grim" as they go by. If my observation is true, I can't blame them. The FEC from West Palm Beach to Miami is just one busy urban grade crossing after another, one downtown after another, and the trains are moving fast.

I don't think I'd be very relaxed in a locomotive cab. In fact, I wonder if I could handle the job they have.

And the Brightline "bullet" trains from West Palm to Ft. Lauderdale (and later Miami) are scheduled to begin next month on the FEC too. One pedestrian was already killed on the right-of-way by a Brightliner test train last week.

Sorry for being such a downer. Railroaders don't need me to tell them about their job but this talk of waving, like I said, has given me a little insight I never had before and I wanted to let you know.

John



Date: 12/07/17 10:23
Re: Still the Best Part of the Job
Author: DFWJIM

It also could be that tinted windows in the cabs along with AC and heat (meaning that the cab windows are closed) make the crew members less visible to the public. I work near the FEC line through Fort Lauderdale and I can not see who is in the cab when a train rolls by.



Date: 12/07/17 10:43
Re: Still the Best Part of the Job
Author: Txhighballer

When I'm running, I always wave at anyone who waves at me, and occasionally, a little extra horn play if I can make it sound pretty decent, maybe a little extra at a grade crossing every once in a while.

A lot of the fun has been taken from railroading,and I still love to run. It was an engineer on a Santa Fe F7 who got me firmly on the path to being an engineer...maybe I've influenced someone else to follow the same path.



Date: 12/07/17 11:20
Re: Still the Best Part of the Job
Author: Ritzville

Glad you are still having fun Ted in today's not so much fun in railroading as it was. I always waved and tooted my horn when people waved at me or took a picture. When I take pictures from the backyard I always give the crew a wave. I also get waves from the crew and a friendly toot-toot. But there are is still lots of grumpiness out there, but I wave anyway, lol. Keep the enjoyment up Ted! Unfortunately, railroading isn't as much fun as it was, makes me glad I'm retired, lol.

Larry



Pages:  [ 1 ][ 2 ] [ Next ]
Current Page:1 of 2


[ Share Thread on Facebook ] [ Search ] [ Start a New Thread ] [ Back to Thread List ] [ <Newer ] [ Older> ] 
Page created in 0.1297 seconds