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Railroaders' Nostalgia > Work train ties up at Burdick

Date: 11/24/21 10:39
Work train ties up at Burdick
Author: santafe199

When a crew runs out of legal time to work on an “outside” job, such as this scrap metal pick-up work train it’s good to have a ride waiting. Squeaking into the clear on your 12 hours is one thing. But having to wait even just 10-15 minutes for a ride can seemingly take “hours”. Even though you’re on overtime until you get to your lodging, that interim time can be a real drag. But on this occasion a van was waiting on my crew, which was nice.

After 40 years I don’t remember exactly who picked us up. But it appears to be some sort of M.O.W. van. Maybe from the signal department? At any rate we were transported to our place of lodging in Abilene, KS. I was looking forward to a nice hot supper, and maybe a cold one or two. But the crew office had other plans for me. Already waiting for me at the motel was another ride, this one bound for Emporia. Now my so-called hot supper depended on how gracefully I could snarf down a couple of Taco Grande burritos while en route.

It turned out my standing bid sheet had successfully placed me on chain gang turn #121 as one of the regular brakemen. In other words, I had attained enough whiskers to hold my first regular main line bid job! I had made it to the big time. And I would hold that big time for two whole weeks! My new regular conductor would be B. H. “Benny” Cuadra (pronounced QUAD-ruh). Lo & behold my new braking partner was the inimitable, undeniable & irreplaceable Walter M. Brandt III. Walter was one of those guys you would never notice were it not for the reputation that preceded him. I don’t know that he was ever married but supposedly he was quite the ladies’ man. With a few dozen conquests adorning his trophy case, if ya know what I mean. And he was a pretty quiet guy for being such a character. He was so quiet I never really got to know him. A big reason was because of the fact that by tradition we traded off head end & read end brakeman duties. Also, we never had any station work to share between Emporia and our 3 away-from-home terminals. My big time ended on April 20 when I was bumped back down to reality on the brakeman’s extra board.

Later in ‘81 I would make it back to the big time for a couple of round trips with conductor Gary Luginbill, who you might remember from this story: ( [b]a nasty waycar OW-WEE & a loud groan (trainorders.com[/b]) ). But that would be the last I would ever see of such a lofty main line position while employed with my beloved Santa Fe. By January of ’82 you-know-who’s recession was in full stride. I was furloughed with 65 more brakemen ahead of me also furloughed. Hard times were dead ahead...

1. AT&SF 3010, power for SFe train “WORK G-1” which is just tying up at Burdick, KS on April 7, 1981. In that fancy drugstore cowboy hat is engineer H. V. “Reverend Harold” Gillen and Tim Utech was my conductor. Unfortunately I wasn’t keeping track of my fellow brakemen/switchmen in those days.

Thanks for the ride(s)!
Lance Garrels

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 11/24/21 10:39 by santafe199.

Date: 11/24/21 11:07
Re: Work train ties up at Burdick
Author: AndyBrown

Good story and nice GP20 there!


Date: 11/24/21 13:10
Re: Work train ties up at Burdick
Author: 3rdswitch

Work trains could be great, or not. Worked many a fun one. Santa Fe normally used their own vans until a bit later when they started contracting with van companies a few years later.

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 11/24/21 13:11 by 3rdswitch.

Date: 11/24/21 13:19
Re: Work train ties up at Burdick
Author: texchief1

Thanks for the nice shot and interesting story!

RC Lundgren

Date: 11/25/21 17:37
Re: Work train ties up at Burdick
Author: LocoPilot750

Digging up some good old memories Lance, I always enjoyed a 4 day work train up the branch. HV gillen was found dead in his jail cell last year in Emporia, but Walter Brandt "the Turd" is alive and well in west Lawrence.

Posted from Android

Date: 05/09/22 09:02
Re: Work train ties up at Burdick
Author: ouchuck68

doesnt even come close to " you know who's " disaster w have today

Date: 05/09/22 19:10
Re: Work train ties up at Burdick
Author: alongthejointline

Unmistakably Kansas. All the vegetation is leaning . . . permanently.

Date: 05/24/22 09:36
Re: Work train ties up at Burdick
Author: santafe199

ouchuck68 Wrote: > ....... to " you know who's " disaster w have today ...

I agree. It's astounding how massive the devisive disaster was, implemented in only 4 years...

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