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Railroaders' Nostalgia > Mad Dog Chronicle # 318. Roadforeman of Engines


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Date: 07/17/19 16:50
Mad Dog Chronicle # 318. Roadforeman of Engines
Author: mdo

   On the Southern Pacific RR. the first level field supervisors in the Transportion hierarchy are the Trainmasters and the Radiomen of Engines.   I spent my first four years as an assistant trainmaster at Eugene, Coos Bay, Colton, and Strang,  then on a job equivalent to a Tranmaster at large (Assisstant to the Superentindent) on the Coton Belt, and then Traimmaster at Colton.  1969 thru 1972 Working along side me at every location where one or more Roadformen of Engine.

 I had the luck to work with more than a few superior Roadforemen.   Three come immediately to mind.  Roland Roberts, who thought me how to hold a good investigation, among other things,   Al Huston, who was RFofE at Colton in 1969, and later became General Roadforeman (cf: mdc #24, 25)    W D (Dean) Broadbent at Oakland.  He was later a District Roadforman.   There were many others.  J D Ewards, Steamjocky on this board, until he passed away far to early.  We worked together in the early days at West Colton when he was just starting in engine service.   Also on this board,  and posting only 11 threads down, C E Wheery. Also on the LA Division while I was there.

I believe there are at least a dozen other former RFof E who either lurk or post on Trainordersj.  I hope they all chime in here.

Theie were also those who taught at SP’s. Iocomotive Simulator.  Many of these were also Roadforeman at one time or another.

Directly  above the Trainmasters and the Roadforeman were the Assistant Division Superintendents.  And the whole kit and caboodle work for the Superintendent..                        
(for a typical SP Division see the timetable, posted with mdc 155}

My words ( probably learned from Al Huston)  The Roadforemans office should be in his briefcase, which he carries with him as he rides the trains with the engineers that he is superviseing

Roadformen and Trainmasters together are the primary test teams.  Rules compliance is their joint responsibility.

The Roadforeman is not supposed to be a chauffeur, erand boy, or gofer.  Unfortunately in the real world they were frequently used this way all too often.

 



Edited 5 time(s). Last edit at 07/17/19 17:10 by mdo.



Date: 07/17/19 17:27
Re: Mad Dog Chronicle # 318. Roadforeman of Engines
Author: mdo

As I was writing mdc 317,  I realized that I had said very little about the Roadforman in earlier chronicles. To all of you who have filled that role, particularly those who worked with me, I offer my apologies.

mdo



Date: 07/17/19 18:00
Re: Mad Dog Chronicle # 318. Roadforeman of Engines
Author: cewherry

Thanks Mike for the kudos. But to be completely accurate my time as a first line supervisor on the SP was spent 
as Supervisor of Engine Service Training at the simulator. My road foreman of engines and assistant trainmaster
time was on the BN. You and I did rub shoulders at West Colton though, when I returned to the 'craft' after March 1973.
Others of the SP still lurking here on TO's include gyralite, cabhop and SanJoaquinEngr and probably others. Sorry
if I missed any.

I agree, Rolin Roberts was one of the best and the dozens of engineers who attended his retirement party with their spouses,
hosted by Bob Thruston, would attest to that. I don't know how SP ran any trains that evening with most engineers in attendance.

Charlie 



Edited 2 time(s). Last edit at 07/17/19 18:01 by cewherry.



Date: 07/17/19 18:13
Re: Mad Dog Chronicle # 318. Roadforeman of Engines
Author: mdo

JDE from an earlier mdc   John frequently responded with good comments and modifications to many of the earlier chronicles. 
He passed away a victim of COPD several years ago.

Re: SP History: Riding the Wide Loads
Author: Steamjocky 
When I was an RFE and a train had a wide load or even a high value load it seemed that I was the only one available to ride the train. I remember when the messages came out to the division about the load all it said was "....load must be accompanied by a division officer." It always seemed to me that this meant an RFE must ride with the train. I don't remember ever seeing an assistant trainmaster riding a train but obviously they did. Otherwise you would have not written the story. I can remember riding wide loads and high value loads from San Luis Obispo to Yuma and West Colton to Bakersfield. "Need an officer to ride a train over the division regardless of the reason? Get John. He'll go." But I didn't mind. It gave me a way to get out of the office and out in the field with the troops which I preferred anyway. 

Can't wait to hear about your adventures from Houston. 

steamjocky



Date: 07/18/19 10:16
Re: Mad Dog Chronicle # 318. Roadforeman of Engines
Author: Westbound

In the late 1970s or early 1980s W. D. Broadbent was the “star” in the video “Duties of a Locomotive Engineer” made in Oakland at the request of the Law Dept. The video's main usage was for showing physicians the physical requirements of the job when they were treating an injured engineer and considering whether he could return to duty.

 Around 1998 I encountered a lady who seemed lost, slowly driving about near the old, abandoned SP offices at 515 Bay Street in Oakland. I asked if I could help her with anything and she identified herself as Mrs. Broadbent, Dean's widow. She just wanted to look around where her husband had worked.  I told her that I had known her husband and asked if she had ever seen that video. She had not and was very interested. We were already using an updated version made at Roseville so I gave her my last copy. I cannot think of a better place for it.



Date: 07/18/19 11:55
Re: Mad Dog Chronicle # 318. Roadforeman of Engines
Author: PHall

Westbound Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> In the late 1970s or early 1980s W. D. Broadbent
> was the “star” in the video “Duties of a
> Locomotive Engineer” made in Oakland at the
> request of the Law Dept. The video's main usage
> was for showing physicians the physical
> requirements of the job when they were treating an
> injured engineer and considering whether he could
> return to duty.
>
>  Around 1998 I encountered a lady who seemed
> lost, slowly driving about near the old, abandoned
> SP offices at 515 Bay Street in Oakland. I asked
> if I could help her with anything and she
> identified herself as Mrs. Broadbent, Dean's
> widow. She just wanted to look around where her
> husband had worked.  I told her that I had known
> her husband and asked if she had ever seen that
> video. She had not and was very interested. We
> were already using an updated version made at
> Roseville so I gave her my last copy. I cannot
> think of a better place for it.

Very cool thing to do. I bet she loved it.



Date: 07/18/19 16:08
Re: Mad Dog Chronicle # 318. Roadforeman of Engines
Author: johnw

As a former SP Coast engineer let me put in a good word for Forrest Brown who was the RFE in San Francisco back in the 1970's and early 1980's. Augie Jess in SLO was another one of the good guys on the SP! Both appeared to me to be fair and decent men as well as well qualified engineers and officers. If you got chewed out by either one of them you problably deserved it! 



Date: 07/19/19 09:24
Re: Mad Dog Chronicle # 318. Roadforeman of Engines
Author: SanJoaquinEngr

I remember Rollin when I first hired out. He was always kind to me but he was a no nonsense kind of road foreman that was highly respected. Don't forget about the famous Don Green another RFE that was moved all around the system.

Posted from Android



Date: 07/20/19 21:59
Re: Mad Dog Chronicle # 318. Roadforeman of Engines
Author: bradleymckay

johnw Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> As a former SP Coast engineer let me put in a good
> word for Forrest Brown who was the RFE in San
> Francisco back in the 1970's and early 1980's.
> Augie Jess in SLO was another one of the good guys
> on the SP! Both appeared to me to be fair and
> decent men as well as well qualified engineers and
> officers. If you got chewed out by either one of
> them you problably deserved it! 

Even though I didn't work for SP I knew Augie Jess fairly well...his son Rich and I were friends at San Luis Obispo High School and I spent a fair amount of time at their house. I would not categorize Augie as a railfan but there was not much doubt he had a soft spot for SP steam locomotives. He had multiple books on SP steam in his book case; I saw them.

Augie didn't talk much about happenings on the railroad outside of work. But I did get a couple of invites into his upstairs office in the SLO depot. I remember he had a large Western Division map on the wall in his office with a large number of stickpens in it. I never asked him what all the stickpens represented but it may not have been good.

One time, after I graduated high school, he asked me if I would be interested in taking a position in Oakland as a clerk. I was right in the middle of taking classes at Cuesta College so I had to decline, but he seemed sincerely disappointed. Later when SP had to hire several new firemen in SLO he didn't even ask me if I was interested...I would have been better than a couple of the clowns they hired!

The last time I remember seeing Augie in SLO was when the Earth Train was in town with the 2472...

Allen

Posted from Android



Date: 07/21/19 09:21
Re: Mad Dog Chronicle # 318. Roadforeman of Engines
Author: WAF

They only ask once and you turn them down, you'll never hear from them again. Its not a football draft
 



Date: 07/21/19 10:18
Re: Mad Dog Chronicle # 318. Roadforeman of Engines
Author: bobwilcox

I’m the exception that proves the rule for a nonaggremnt job in San Francisco. There was about a two year gap between the two offers.

WAF Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> They only ask once and you turn them down, you'll
> never hear from them again. Its not a football
> draft
>  

Bob Wilcox
Charlottesville, VA
My Flickr Shots



Date: 08/02/19 15:05
Re: Mad Dog Chronicle # 318. Roadforeman of Engines
Author: weather

Anybody remember Tom Novi?



Date: 08/02/19 15:18
Re: Mad Dog Chronicle # 318. Roadforeman of Engines
Author: ExSPCondr

weather Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> Anybody remember Tom Novi?

Yes, he was one of the instructors at the simulator when I was down there taking one of the LA Division Officers classes.

His son Kim was a Sacramento Division engineer whom I worked with in Roseville and later out of Sparks.

Both A-1!
G



Date: 08/02/19 16:13
Re: Mad Dog Chronicle # 318. Roadforeman of Engines
Author: cewherry

ExSPCondr Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> weather Wrote:
> --------------------------------------------------
> -----
> > Anybody remember Tom Novi?
>
> Yes, he was one of the instructors at the
> simulator when I was down there taking one of the
> LA Division Officers classes.
>
> His son Kim was a Sacramento Division engineer
> whom I worked with in Roseville and later out of
> Sparks.
>
> Both A-1!
> G

Tom arrived at the simulator sometime in late 1972 or early '73. I went back running an angine (first time) effective March 1, 1973. Great guy!

Charlie



Date: 08/02/19 18:02
Re: Mad Dog Chronicle # 318. Roadforeman of Engines
Author: SanJoaquinEngr

cewherry Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> ExSPCondr Wrote:
> --------------------------------------------------
> -----
> > weather Wrote:
> >
> --------------------------------------------------
>
> > -----
> > > Anybody remember Tom Novi?
> >
> > Yes, he was one of the instructors at the
> > simulator when I was down there taking one of
> the
> > LA Division Officers classes.
> >
> > His son Kim was a Sacramento Division engineer
> > whom I worked with in Roseville and later out
> of
> > Sparks.
> >
> > Both A-1!
> > G
>
> Tom arrived at the simulator sometime in late 1972
> or early '73. I went back running an angine (first
> time) effective March 1, 1973. Great guy!
>
> Charlie

When I went through the simulator had the following instructors...Joe Stallworth, Tom Novi, Frankie Myers, known as purple air, Tom Gallington, known as Howdy Doody, and a man that was a train master RFE at Alturas. Can't remember his name at the moment it was 45 years ago..All were top notch instructors

Posted from Android



Date: 08/02/19 18:35
Re: Mad Dog Chronicle # 318. Roadforeman of Engines
Author: WAF

What a slow job, Trainmaster/RFE in Alturas. 2 trains a day



Date: 08/02/19 20:41
Re: Mad Dog Chronicle # 318. Roadforeman of Engines
Author: cewherry

SanJoaquinEngr Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> cewherry Wrote:
> --------------------------------------------------
> -----
> > ExSPCondr Wrote:
> >
> --------------------------------------------------
>
> > -----
> > > weather Wrote:
> > >
> >
> --------------------------------------------------
>
> >
> > > -----
> > > > Anybody remember Tom Novi?
> > >
> > > Yes, he was one of the instructors at the
> > > simulator when I was down there taking one of
> > the
> > > LA Division Officers classes.
> > >
> > > His son Kim was a Sacramento Division
> engineer
> > > whom I worked with in Roseville and later out
> > of
> > > Sparks.
> > >
> > > Both A-1!
> > > G
> >
> > Tom arrived at the simulator sometime in late
> 1972
> > or early '73. I went back running an angine
> (first
> > time) effective March 1, 1973. Great guy!
> >
> > Charlie
>
> When I went through the simulator had the
> following instructors...Joe Stallworth, Tom Novi,
> Frankie Myers, known as purple air, Tom
> Gallington, known as Howdy Doody, and a man that
> was a train master RFE at Alturas. Can't remember
> his name at the moment it was 45 years ago..All
> were top notch instructors
>
> Posted from Android

Joe Stallworth’s last job prior to the simulator was RFE at Alturas. Don’t know if that was a combo RFE/TM job though. Prior to that he was at El Paso. I believe his seniority was at Sacramento. Frankie Myers was an L.A. man that last came from Tucson. Don’t know about Gallington or Novi’s pedigree.

Charlie



Date: 08/02/19 21:26
Re: Mad Dog Chronicle # 318. Roadforeman of Engines
Author: JGFuller

Let me give high praise to Bill Deskin, RFE at W. Colton, and not afraid to work vacation relief as the Planner!

Jack Fuller
Lafayette, CA



Date: 08/02/19 21:44
Re: Mad Dog Chronicle # 318. Roadforeman of Engines
Author: ExSPCondr

JGFuller Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> Let me give high praise to Bill Deskin, RFE at W.
> Colton, and not afraid to work vacation relief as
> the Planner!

He held the investigation when the Smurf tried to fire four of us. 
G



Date: 08/03/19 06:29
Re: Mad Dog Chronicle # 318. Roadforeman of Engines
Author: SanJoaquinEngr

cewherry Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> SanJoaquinEngr Wrote:
> --------------------------------------------------
> -----
> > cewherry Wrote:
> >
> --------------------------------------------------
>
> > -----
> > > ExSPCondr Wrote:
> > >
> >
> --------------------------------------------------
>
> >
> > > -----
> > > > weather Wrote:
> > > >
> > >
> >
> --------------------------------------------------
>
> >
> > >
> > > > -----
> > > > > Anybody remember Tom Novi?
> > > >
> > > > Yes, he was one of the instructors at the
> > > > simulator when I was down there taking one
> of
> > > the
> > > > LA Division Officers classes.
> > > >
> > > > His son Kim was a Sacramento Division
> > engineer
> > > > whom I worked with in Roseville and later
> out
> > > of
> > > > Sparks.
> > > >
> > > > Both A-1!
> > > > G
> > >
> > > Tom arrived at the simulator sometime in late
> > 1972
> > > or early '73. I went back running an angine
> > (first
> > > time) effective March 1, 1973. Great guy!
> > >
> > > Charlie
> >
> > When I went through the simulator had the
> > following instructors...Joe Stallworth, Tom
> Novi,
> > Frankie Myers, known as purple air, Tom
> > Gallington, known as Howdy Doody, and a man
> that
> > was a train master RFE at Alturas. Can't
> remember
> > his name at the moment it was 45 years ago..All
> > were top notch instructors
> >
> > Posted from Android
>
> Joe Stallworth’s last job prior to the simulator
> was RFE at Alturas. Don’t know if that was a
> combo RFE/TM job though. Prior to that he was at
> El Paso. I believe his seniority was at
> Sacramento. Frankie Myers was an L.A. man that
> last came from Tucson. Don’t know about
> Gallington or Novi’s pedigree.
>
> Charlie

Tom Novi came from Roseville was an engineer that worked Donner etc. Gallington was a San Joaquin Engineer out of Bakersfield. Another name popped into my memory Tracy Bearden...he was an engineer from Oregon as I remember.



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 08/03/19 06:31 by SanJoaquinEngr.



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