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Nostalgia & History > The everyday railroader. Glimpses of the life close up.


Date: 02/22/21 03:54
The everyday railroader. Glimpses of the life close up.
Author: Roadjob

It will most likely never happen again, but once upon a time, you could actually interact with railroaders up close and personal, doing their jobs. I can remember that one interesting aspect of photographing these guys at work, was the fact that many times they were fascinated that I was fascinated in what they were doing. To most of them, it was their job, and at the end of their run, trick, shift, turn, or whatever parlance you prefer, they just went home if lucky, or, to a motel to await the homebound call. The 2nd time I went to Cumberland in early Spring of 1968, I was walking around the shop area like I owned the place. I had come up on a passenger train that morning, and would take one back late that same day. That was an adventure unto itself, since it required going back to DC, then catching a Budd Car back to Baltimore. I was detained by a railroad cop, who took me to the order station at Virginia Lane. I got talking to the cop, the operator, and occasionally a crew, while I was "detained." They were amazed that I knew so much about the B&O, and that I had actually come from Baltimore on one of their trains. Long story short, the cop drove me back to the ready track, and dropped mr off with the standard, don't climb on equipment speech. I never had another incident with a railroad cop in my dozens of trips to the area after that. Today I'm going to drift back to the Baltimore Belt Line, and share some images of being on the ground, or in the cab, with the railroaders who taught me railroading in Baltimore.

top...engineer in FM H10-44 watches intently as he spots a car in a siding.

middle...under my Sisson St. bridge perch, brakeman dramatically letting the engineer know how much room he has left to hit end of track at Huntingdon Ave. yard. No radios, all hand signals back then.

bottom...brakeman ready to hop off at a local industry to make a pickup.

Bill Rettberg
Bel Air, MD
Railroad photography








Date: 02/22/21 03:59
Re: The everyday railroader. Glimpses of the life close up.
Author: Roadjob

top...the guy who was regular engineer on the Oak Street job, and the man who gave me my first ride, Charlie D. The shakey image was from that of a nervous 13 year old with a crummy camera.

middle...Sisson St. view of working Huntindon Ave. yard

bottom...I used to tote a flash with me. and if the guys minded, they never said.

Bill Rettberg
Bel Air, MD
Railroad photography








Date: 02/22/21 04:04
Re: The everyday railroader. Glimpses of the life close up.
Author: Roadjob

top...coupling on


middle...Conductor George B. discusses the next moves with the brakeman as he is caually signalling for the engineer to keep backing up


bottom...color view of working Huntingdon Ave. yard. Under Sisson St. bridge

Bill Rettberg
Bel Air, MD
Railroad photography








Date: 02/22/21 04:09
Re: The everyday railroader. Glimpses of the life close up.
Author: Roadjob

top...Oak Street job arriving at Huntingdon Ave. yard. Taken from Sisson Street bridge.

middle...Off the main on the west end of Bay View yard. That is conductor George standing there. Train 682, has CNJ Fs on it today.

bottom...Brakeman is drifting downgrade, so power can push the cars into Oak Street yard, a quarter mile down the line from Huntingdon Ave.

Bill Rettberg
Bel Air, MD
Railroad photography








Date: 02/22/21 04:14
Re: The everyday railroader. Glimpses of the life close up.
Author: Roadjob

top...Best trips were down to Camden Station through the Howard St. tunnel. We are backing away from our interchange with the crew that will take phosphate loads to the Western Maryland at Port Covington. We will then head east back up through the tunnel.

middle...switching out a cab at Bay View yard.

bottom...from Sisson Street, what Huntingdon Ave. yard , at the right, looked like in 1975. Fortunately, I was an "EL man" at that point, so the pain was tolerable

Bill Rettberg
Bel Air, MD
Railroad photography



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 02/22/21 04:17 by Roadjob.








Date: 02/22/21 04:42
Re: The everyday railroader. Glimpses of the life close up.
Author: skinem

As always...very nice shots. Good to see the people.



Date: 02/22/21 05:28
Re: The everyday railroader. Glimpses of the life close up.
Author: rrpreservation

wonderful shots!!! Thank you for sharing them.



Date: 02/22/21 06:32
Re: The everyday railroader. Glimpses of the life close up.
Author: 3rdswitch

Great bunch. Funny, in the second shot the engineer can't even see him ;-)
JB



Date: 02/22/21 06:43
Re: The everyday railroader. Glimpses of the life close up.
Author: refarkas

Very well done.
Bob 



Date: 02/22/21 06:49
Re: The everyday railroader. Glimpses of the life close up.
Author: ClubCar

All great photos as usual Bill and I appreciate seeing all of them.  I have my own memories of the B&O but I was not smart enough to take a camera with me.  I'm really familiar with all of the locations in the Baltimore area, especially the Camden Station area of Camden Yards.  Love the photo of the RDC heading over to Washington, D.C.
John in White Marsh, Maryland



Date: 02/22/21 08:16
Re: The everyday railroader. Glimpses of the life close up.
Author: MP90

You sure made good use of your film back in the day. Thanks for the look back.



Date: 02/22/21 08:32
Re: The everyday railroader. Glimpses of the life close up.
Author: Rmosele

Wonderful shots and commentary. That sure was the good old days of watching and (in your case, apparently) riding trains.



Date: 02/22/21 09:24
Re: The everyday railroader. Glimpses of the life close up.
Author: perklocal

My favorite is the two guys watching you take their picture by the Wagon Top caboose !



Date: 02/22/21 09:43
Re: The everyday railroader. Glimpses of the life close up.
Author: Ritzville

A very enjoyable series, bring back great memories of my early teen years with my uncle's SP crew. Those were good days!

Larry



Date: 02/22/21 18:21
Re: The everyday railroader. Glimpses of the life close up.
Author: SCKP187

Nice bunch of photos with the human element of RRing
Brian Stevens



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