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Railroaders' Nostalgia > Working Christmas Day

Date: 01/02/21 06:39
Working Christmas Day
Author: MEKoch

Christmas Day - 1974.  I was the dining car steward out of Chicago on #40 - the Broadway Ltd.  I had five waiters and three cooks for the twin-unit 64 seat dining car.  I did not mind working Chirstmas Day, as I had spent Christmas Eve in church with my family and Christmas morning with the kids.  I was remembering the days when major trains did not even operate on holidays, but that cultural norm had disappeared.

We left Chicago that day with six coaches, two slumbercoaches, lounge car, dining cars, sleeper-lounge, 8-6 (ex RI) sleeper, 11 DB car and 10-6 sleeper.  Conductor Harold Paar (PRR) came into the dining car before Gary, IN and said:  we have an ass in every seat.  465 people.  All the waiters moaned loudly.  And then the pantry waiter said:  What is wrong with these people?  Don't they know it is Christmas.  They should be at home with their families.  

Leaving Chicago at 4 p.m., we began dinner at 5 p.m. and the response was heavy.  People liked our Christmas dinner special (turkey, dressing, gravy, mashed potatoes, vegetable, side dish with olives, etc. AND dessert) all for $4.75.   Over 200 ate dinner that evening and were pleasantly full as they drifted off to sleep.  

Date: 01/02/21 07:11
Re: Working Christmas Day
Author: eljay

What a nice story! Thanks for sharing.

Date: 01/02/21 11:06
Re: Working Christmas Day
Author: engineerinvirginia

If only they could summon such a sumpuous meal today!

Date: 01/03/21 08:44
Re: Working Christmas Day
Author: kyrasmus

Thanks for the story. Kind of shows a lack of ownership on the part of the waiters. If my employer was having a banner day and running and full capacity I would be excited and be ready to bring my A game. 

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