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Railroaders' Nostalgia > A Movie Train


Date: 03/03/19 11:52
A Movie Train
Author: tehachcond

   Early one morning after the takeover of the SP by the Yellow Peril, my phone rings. It's CMS.  "Brian, want to work a movie train?  0700 on duty at East LA."  I'd been expecting this call, so as I OK'd it. I found out my engineer was to be Jim "Dagwood" Guerin.  Jim and I were both former SP guys, and had been friends for years
   When we reported for work, UP manager, the late Stan Lewis is waiting for us.  He explains to us that we will be shooting a film for Operation Lifesaver.  Stan was an SP engineer before he took that mamagers job, and like Jim, we'd been friends for years.  Three former SP Cowboys on the same crew? That sounds dangerous! Hmm!  Now Stan was a great guy, but he was a bit on the excitable side. 
   We carryall over to J-Yard, where our cars and engine were suppesdly waiting.  We get over there, and guess what, no engine! Stan's burning up the phone lines trying to find out what happened to our engine, and after a time, the hostlers show up with a single SD70M that looked like someone had rolled it in the dirt!  Stan went ballistic when he saw that, and got on the phone to have the roundhouse bring a pressure washer over and clean this thing up!  While we were waiting for the roundhouse, we coupled into the cars, and made an air test.
   After the unit was cleaned up, a light bulb went on over my head.  As i said, Stan was a bit excitable.  I thought to myself, "Brian, God is going to get you for this, but I just can't resist!"
   I casually walked over to the engine, and looked at the fuel gauge.  I walked over to Stan with a look of concern on my face.
   "Stan, we've got another problem."
   "What's that," he asked.
   "That motors only got about 50 gallons of fuel in it." Actually, the gauge showed about 2000 gallons.
   "OH NO!" he yelled.  I don't think his feet hit the ground twice covering the couple hundred feet or so that fuel gauge.  When he saw the truth of the matter, he turned around and saw me grinning like a fool, gave me a go-to-hell look, and said, "Dammmit Brian, don't do that to me!
   So to work we went.  The first series of scenes were to be a recreation of a near miss with a truck at a nearby crossing.  I didn't get to see much of that, since i was stationed on the rear of the cut protecting shoves.  The next series was to shoot from the engine foweard as we went over three or four crossings between Nadeau and Amoco on the San Pedro Sub.  As a note, this is one of the worst neighborhoods in South Cantral Los Angeles.  I caually asked, "how are we going to protect the reverse moves?"
   "I guess you'll have to protect the point like we did at J-Yard," Stan replied.
   "Wait a minute! There is no way I'm riding the point of those cars in this neighborhood at this time of day.  I'm NOT going to be the target of the day for the local little dears!"
   "What are we going to do?"
   "We'll cut the cars off above the first crossing these guys want to film across, I'll tie every brake I can find, and put plenty of blocks and chunks under 'em. That way, we don't have to ride point on the reverse moves.
   "Good idea," said Stan.  "I've got a couple of rail skids in my truck.  We'll use them to.  In other words, those cars weren't going anywhere!
   We completed our filming, and had just enough time to get back to J-Yard and put the cars away before our time was up.  While we were waiting for a ride, a yard crew from East LA came over to get the engine, and you should have heard that hoghead on that yard job cry copious tears about how we were screwing up his quit!
   As I said before, this was to have been an Operation Lifesaver program.  At the time, Jim was a presenter for OLS, and I think Stan had something to do with the organization  too.  The film director took our addresses and promised to send us copies of the film, since Jim and I both had off-camera speaking parts.
   Never did get mine.  Don't know if the others did or not.

Brian Black
Castle Rock, CO.
 



Date: 03/04/19 08:54
Re: A Movie Train
Author: starsandbars

Stan was a funone to tease



Date: 03/04/19 12:39
Re: A Movie Train
Author: hoggerdoug

We had a few movie trains on BC Rail over the years doing commercials and other movies requiring Budd cars or steam locomotives. Most of these movie trains worked out of North Vancouver and there seemed to be one hogger that managed to snag the job everytime, eventually his nickname became "Hollywood".
Doug



Date: 03/04/19 15:07
Re: A Movie Train
Author: PHall

hoggerdoug Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> We had a few movie trains on BC Rail over the
> years doing commercials and other movies requiring
> Budd cars or steam locomotives. Most of these
> movie trains worked out of North Vancouver and
> there seemed to be one hogger that managed to snag
> the job everytime, eventually his nickname became
> "Hollywood".
> Doug

Was he a high seniority guy or did he have friends in the right places?
(And don't answer if there was a contract violation going on. We don't need a fight started because of this.)



Date: 03/04/19 18:46
Re: A Movie Train
Author: px320

Stan Lewis was a good man, He was an immense help when a group of us wanted to erect a memorial to good friend and SP/UP conductor Carl Rogoza next to Frink where he died of a massive heart attack while on the job. Not only did he make arrangements for us to be able to erect the sign, he had the MOW guys auger a hole for the sign post. I understand he was also the reason the siding name was changed to Rogoza.

Pic taken from a private car.



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 03/04/19 19:00 by px320.




Date: 03/05/19 09:22
Re: A Movie Train
Author: Chico43

PHall Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> hoggerdoug Wrote:
> --------------------------------------------------
> -----
> > We had a few movie trains on BC Rail over the
> > years doing commercials and other movies
> requiring
> > Budd cars or steam locomotives. Most of these
> > movie trains worked out of North Vancouver and
> > there seemed to be one hogger that managed to
> snag
> > the job everytime, eventually his nickname
> became
> > "Hollywood".
> > Doug
>
> Was he a high seniority guy or did he have friends
> in the right places?
> (And don't answer if there was a contract
> violation going on. We don't need a fight started
> because of this.)

It's called "sharpshooting the board" or tying up just right so you just coincidentally happen to be first out and rested when the preferred job gets called. And, no, it doesn't hurt to have a friend in the crew office with inside info. Seen it happen many, many times.



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 03/05/19 09:32 by Chico43.



Date: 03/05/19 17:57
Re: A Movie Train
Author: engineerinvirginia

Chico43 Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> PHall Wrote:
> --------------------------------------------------
> -----
> > hoggerdoug Wrote:
> >
> --------------------------------------------------
>
> > -----
> > > We had a few movie trains on BC Rail over the
> > > years doing commercials and other movies

same with PSR, much cheaper to pay us nearly double by working us to death than to add on new people.....and we are sucking it up!
> > requiring
> > > Budd cars or steam locomotives. Most of these
> > > movie trains worked out of North Vancouver
> and
> > > there seemed to be one hogger that managed to
> > snag
> > > the job everytime, eventually his nickname
> > became
> > > "Hollywood".
> > > Doug
> >
> > Was he a high seniority guy or did he have
> friends
> > in the right places?
> > (And don't answer if there was a contract
> > violation going on. We don't need a fight
> started
> > because of this.)
>
> It's called "sharpshooting the board" or tying up
> just right so you just coincidentally happen to be
> first out and rested when the preferred job gets
> called. And, no, it doesn't hurt to have a friend
> in the crew office with inside info. Seen it
> happen many, many times.

It also helps if you are the senior man or only man still qualified on specific equipment that often gets used for special stuff.....I could figure out a 24rl but I'd need a day or so of practice....so I will never get called for any special train that uses such stuff. 



Date: 03/05/19 18:31
Re: A Movie Train
Author: Railbaron

engineerinvirginia Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> It also helps if you are the senior man or only man still qualified on specific equipment that
> often gets used for special stuff.....I could figure out a 24rl but I'd need a day or so of
> practice....so I will never get called for any special train that uses such stuff. 


Naw, just kiss the ass of your local MOP/RFE and you can get called for anything you want, qualified or not. We had a couple of guys here, one in particular, do that and they'd always, and I mean always, get called for anything special even though they were low on seniority and were questionably qualified. Of course they denied it but the MOP slipped one day and indirectly admitted it. 



Date: 03/05/19 21:44
Re: A Movie Train
Author: UPNW2-1083

You don't need to kiss ass, just be willing to go the extra mile to do the job. I've been asked to run countless Operation Life Saver trains, passenger specials, along with the RBB Circus trains. Many enginees don't want anything to do with these trains but I loved running them. They were a nice break from through freight. It all paid off when I was asked to run the special train from West Colton to Pomona to bring the 4014 (Big Boy) down from Covina and was asked to pick the other 3 crews for the move (we needed an engineer and conductoron on each end of the train for the first leg from Pomona to Covina where we were relieved by another 2 crews who brought the train and the 4014 back to West Colton). This was the last special train I had and it  was the icing on the cake prior to pulling the pin after 39 years.-BMT 



Date: 03/07/19 19:39
Re: A Movie Train
Author: brassjournal

In the early 2000's I was active with California Operation Lifesaver.  It was always great to work with Stan Lewis.



Date: 03/07/19 20:00
Re: A Movie Train
Author: Cabhop

Thanks for the great story Brian.  Stan and I were great friends and along with Bo Golson did a lot of rail fanning together.  He was a great photographer and shot all over the country.  He loved to hunt down rare engines.  Someone needs to work with his widow Helen to get his slides saved.  



Date: 03/08/19 10:53
Re: A Movie Train
Author: SanJoaquinEngr

tehachcond Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
>    Early one morning after the takeover of the
> SP by the Yellow Peril, my phone rings. It's
> CMS.  "Brian, want to work a movie train?  0700
> on duty at East LA."  I'd been expecting this
> call, so as I OK'd it. I found out my engineer was
> to be Jim "Dagwood" Guerin.  Jim and I were both
> former SP guys, and had been friends for years
>    When we reported for work, UP manager, the
> late Stan Lewis is waiting for us.  He explains
> to us that we will be shooting a film for
> Operation Lifesaver.  Stan was an SP engineer
> before he took that mamagers job, and like Jim,
> we'd been friends for years.  Three former SP
> Cowboys on the same crew? That sounds dangerous!
> Hmm!  Now Stan was a great guy, but he was a bit
> on the excitable side. 
>    We carryall over to J-Yard, where our cars
> and engine were suppesdly waiting.  We get over
> there, and guess what, no engine! Stan's burning
> up the phone lines trying to find out what
> happened to our engine, and after a time, the
> hostlers show up with a single SD70M that looked
> like someone had rolled it in the dirt!  Stan
> went ballistic when he saw that, and got on the
> phone to have the roundhouse bring a pressure
> washer over and clean this thing up!  While we
> were waiting for the roundhouse, we coupled into
> the cars, and made an air test.
>    After the unit was cleaned up, a light bulb
> went on over my head.  As i said, Stan was a bit
> excitable.  I thought to myself, "Brian, God is
> going to get you for this, but I just can't
> resist!"
>    I casually walked over to the engine, and
> looked at the fuel gauge.  I walked over to Stan
> with a look of concern on my face.
>    "Stan, we've got another problem."
>    "What's that," he asked.
>    "That motors only got about 50 gallons of
> fuel in it." Actually, the gauge showed about 2000
> gallons.
>    "OH NO!" he yelled.  I don't think his feet
> hit the ground twice covering the couple hundred
> feet or so that fuel gauge.  When he saw the
> truth of the matter, he turned around and saw me
> grinning like a fool, gave me a go-to-hell look,
> and said, "Dammmit Brian, don't do that to me!
>    So to work we went.  The first series of
> scenes were to be a recreation of a near miss with
> a truck at a nearby crossing.  I didn't get to
> see much of that, since i was stationed on the
> rear of the cut protecting shoves.  The next
> series was to shoot from the engine foweard as we
> went over three or four crossings between Nadeau
> and Amoco on the San Pedro Sub.  As a note, this
> is one of the worst neighborhoods in South Cantral
> Los Angeles.  I caually asked, "how are we going
> to protect the reverse moves?"
>    "I guess you'll have to protect the point
> like we did at J-Yard," Stan replied.
>    "Wait a minute! There is no way I'm riding
> the point of those cars in this neighborhood at
> this time of day.  I'm NOT going to be the target
> of the day for the local little dears!"
>    "What are we going to do?"
>    "We'll cut the cars off above the first
> crossing these guys want to film across, I'll tie
> every brake I can find, and put plenty of blocks
> and chunks under 'em. That way, we don't have to
> ride point on the reverse moves.
>    "Good idea," said Stan.  "I've got a couple
> of rail skids in my truck.  We'll use them to. 
> In other words, those cars weren't going
> anywhere!
>    We completed our filming, and had just enough
> time to get back to J-Yard and put the cars away
> before our time was up.  While we were waiting
> for a ride, a yard crew from East LA came over to
> get the engine, and you should have heard that
> hoghead on that yard job cry copious tears about
> how we were screwing up his quit!
>    As I said before, this was to have been an
> Operation Lifesaver program.  At the time, Jim
> was a presenter for OLS, and I think Stan had
> something to do with the organization  too.  The
> film director took our addresses and promised to
> send us copies of the film, since Jim and I both
> had off-camera speaking parts.
>    Never did get mine.  Don't know if the
> others did or not.
>
> Brian Black
> Castle Rock, CO.
>  

Yes, Brian we did have a fun day together. Also that was the last time I saw Stan in person before he passed away from Cancer.
Yes am still waiting for my copy of the tape. The film was shown to many crafts such as signal maintainers and operating crafts over the years. Many times have been ribbed about being the star of the film.

Posted from Android



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