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Railroaders' Nostalgia > Information!
Date: 10/12/19 21:46
Another story from the late Al Hughes about a Sunday afternoon on the PE in the late forties, and the results a couple of months later.
Al was the conductor on a two car train to Glendora, and on the return trip the operator at Arcadia Tower opened the derail under the middle
of his 2nd car, putting the rear truck on the ground. They have both the PE and the Santa Fe 2nd District blocked, and everybody was trying to get things cleared up in a hurry, and not having the operator get in trouble, so Al has scrounged up a bunch of scrap wood and is putting it in front of the wheels in an effort to rerail the car.
Its a hot afternoon and Al is on his knees under the car in his uniform when a guy walks up and says "What happened?" Al comes out from under the car mad, and says to the guy "The information office is at 6th & Main," (The PE Headquarters) and went back under his car. Between Al and the towerman and all the scrap lumber for a hundred yard radius, they got the truck back on the rail, the towerman went back upstairs and closed the derail, and Al was on his way to LA.
A couple of months later Al wanted to take a leave of absence which required the Superintendent's signature. Al made an appointment, and at the appropriate time, the secretary lets him in, and there behind the desk sits the guy who had walked up to him at Arcadia Tower and wanted to know what was going on! Al felt his stomach sinking, and thought that not only was he in trouble, but his chance of getting his leave was nil.
The first thing the new Superintendent said was "information!" Obviously he had checked on who the crew was on that train, and had talked to the towerman who told him the truth. The next thing the Superintendent said was that "I had no business walking up to you without identifying myself, and you were exactly right in telling me to contact the information office." "Heres your leave, its nice to meet you, and keep up the good work."
Date: 10/12/19 22:16
Date: 10/13/19 08:26
They just don't make that kind of manager any more.
Date: 10/13/19 20:59
Who has the broken mold for true a true manager ?
Date: 10/13/19 22:27
I wonder what the Supers name was?
We still run things that way at LA Metro.
There's a lot of mishaps that go unreported :)
In the name of efficiency.
You break it.
You fix it.
Date: 10/15/19 10:44
That might have been Burt Mitchell, but some of you older-than-I SP heads might be able to confirm or deny this.
Castle Rock, CO.
Date: 10/15/19 16:50
> That might have been Burt Mitchell, but some
> of you older-than-I SP heads might be able to
> confirm or deny this.
In the time frame of this incident, "the late forties", Al was working for PE, which had their own management, as high as President.
To 90mac's question; a real possibility was E.B. Whiteside who was a PE trainman with a 1917 'date'. In 1944 and later, Mr. Whiteside
held the title of Superintendent of Personnel, and likely he was the one to have the power to grant or deny personal leave requests.
T.L. Wagenbach who held the office of Asst. General Superintendent of PE at least as far back as 1944 and by 1948 was the General Manager,
could be another, even higher authority. Mr. Wagenbach was a former Los Angeles Pacific employee and officer who, by the way,
provided many photos to the authors of the book Trolleys to the Surf--The story of the Los Angeles Pacific Railway, Interurbans
Date: 10/18/19 11:48
Thanks, I've only heard the names.
Never met them.
It was before my time at SCRTD, although when I started there in 1976 there were quite a few PERy/LARy veterans approaching retirement.
Date: 10/18/19 14:13
> Thanks, I've only heard the names.
> Never met them.
> It was before my time at SCRTD, although when I
> started there in 1976 there were quite a few
> PERy/LARy veterans approaching retirement.
The seniority roster that I draw upon often is the PE "System Merged Seniority Roster" effective February 1, 1952.
Of course that date was prior to PE's sale of passenger service and includes all employees, both rail and motor coach
operators. If you wish, PM me with some names that you remember from your early days at SCRTD and I'll try to find
their names. Another PE roster, from 1967, shows 10 PE men still working on the SP at that time with former
Los Angeles Motor Coach seniority; the oldest of which had a 1927 'date'. These rosters would not have included any LARy vets.
The old ones were sure tough!