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Railroaders' Nostalgia > Mad Dog Chronical #325 (MDC # 1.1)


Date: 12/03/21 09:54
Mad Dog Chronical #325 (MDC # 1.1)
Author: mdo

MDC #1.1 A Railroad career 

At the time in 1959 that I had my first ride in a business car, I was sixteen years old. with a very uncertain future. I had been admitted to UC Berkeley, planning to major in chemical engineering. Berkeley turned out to not be the right place for me. I dropped out after a year, so at nineteen I started at the Nestle Co. as a clerk. Next I worked as a draftsman for Caltrans, then for PG&E as a surveyor

. In the fall of 1962, I decided to give college another try, graduating-from San Francisco State with a degree in Political Science in 1966.  1966 was also the last summer that I worked for the PG&E Land Department.  I then decided to try to get a MBA and started back at UC Berkeley. To help finance this I went to work for the Southern Pacific as a switchman in San Francisco. 

In 1968 I graduated from Berkeley with a MBA in Transportation. Most of my classmates were headed for a career in the airline industry.  So was I at first.   I had interviewed with Southern Pacific for a spot in their management training program. SP wanted me and matched my best offer from TWA. 

On April first I started in Management as an analyst in The Bureau of Transportation Research, waiting for the start of the 1968 training program class in June. In that same class were  Mike Mohan, Bob Melbo and Bill Farrens and eight others. The four of us went in to operations supervision.

In the next ten years I had assignments on six of the ten SP Divisions some times twice or more, sometimes moving every six or seven months. By the time that I was assigned to headquarters in San Francisco in 1984 and became a general officer with system responsibilities, I had lived in seventeen places…. Eugene and Coos Bay, Oregon, Colton, Ca, twice, Houston, Ennis and Dallas, Texas, Oakland, CA. and Pine Bluff, Arkansas.

My last Position at Southern Pacific was as Vice President of Strategic Development.  When I decided to join SP’s management team I had set two career goals; to become a Division Superintendent by age 50 and to retire as a General Manager.

.I actually became the Superintendent of the Western Division at age 37, in 1980. Four years later I was General Manager of Passenger Operations; Then Assistant Vice President Intermodal Operations from 1984 - 1988; and AVP Operations from fall of 88 until I was promoted to Vice President Strategic Development in February 1992. 

The Union Pacific acquired the SP on September 12, 1996. By that December I was headquartered in Omaha, NE. I retired as General Manager of Joint Facilities and Passenger Operations at age 60 in 2001.

 Since that time I have worked in the transportation industry as a consultant.   Ask me about the Global supply chain. The US railroad industry is a major part of the supply chain.

 (note:  Mad Dog Chronicle number 1 first appeared in April, 2004. there are now more than 324 issues of the Mad Dog Chronicles, some with multiple parts, posted on the Railroad Nostalgia discussions. I believe that I have been posting on Trainorders since 1997.)
 



Edited 4 time(s). Last edit at 12/03/21 11:02 by mdo.



Date: 12/03/21 10:10
Re: Mad Dog Chronical #325 (MDC # 1.1)
Author: Bob3985

Yours is a great story of making your way through the railroad hierarchy.
I stayed in the operating department yet being asked a time or two to go management.
By staying where I did I eventually was selected to be a part of the UP's Heritage steam crew.

Bob Krieger
Cheyenne, WY



Date: 12/03/21 10:27
Re: Mad Dog Chronical #325 (MDC # 1.1)
Author: TCnR

MDO's series of stories has been a huge contribution to the reading material on TrainOrders, tremendous nitty-gritty info for the SP hobbyist and the SP professionals as well. There's been some comments about how to access the MDC's from many people, there's seems to have been some storage problems through the years but I just did a search and happily found 17 pages of MDC's, note that the spelling changed a few times so I removed a few letters but the idea is consistent.

The search function is sometimes challenging, here's what the search window looks like:

 




Date: 12/03/21 12:49
Re: Mad Dog Chronical #325 (MDC # 1.1)
Author: spider1319

Thanks for the post,.railfans and railroaders alike enjoy your insights.The vast majority of my career was the operating department.running trains. My youngest son and oldest son followed me into the industry.Many  of my relatives also were railroaders but in the mechanical department of the  industry.Bill Webb



Date: 12/08/21 16:02
Re: Mad Dog Chronical #325 (MDC # 1.1)
Author: goldcoast

MDO, would SPRHC be interested in your chronicles??  You may wish to contact them. You have a wealth of  SP operations spanning your career!



Date: 12/14/21 11:36
Re: Mad Dog Chronical #325 (MDC # 1.1)
Author: mococomike

Love your stories, Keep them coming. They also make a great book.



Date: 12/29/21 07:59
Re: Mad Dog Chronical #325 (MDC # 1.1)
Author: BN6430

Thank you for posting your career experience.

Do you recall the name of the General Manager of the Western Division in the early 1980's?

I believe it was in 1983 as a business school student at SFSU, I arranged for my management class to interview him for a group project. His office at the GOB I recall was across from the Ferry building. During the session which was video taped the Ferry building clock chimed which was a surprise.

Posted from Android



Date: 12/30/21 08:00
Re: Mad Dog Chronical #325 (MDC # 1.1)
Author: WAF

Charlie Babers



Date: 01/06/22 17:58
Re: Mad Dog Chronicle #325 (MDC # 1.1)
Author: wabash2800

Get someone to publish a book, add plenty of photos (yours and others that follow the text). Without photos many folks won't read it. But if the photos go along with the text, it will make interesting reading. A university press might do it.

Victor



Edited 2 time(s). Last edit at 01/06/22 18:04 by wabash2800.



Date: 01/06/22 18:02
Re: Mad Dog Chronical #325 (MDC # 1.1)
Author: wabash2800

I think if you put quotes around "mad dog chroncile" (or correct spelling) you will get more direct hits.

Victor

TCnR Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> MDO's series of stories has been a huge
> contribution to the reading material on
> TrainOrders, tremendous nitty-gritty info for the
> SP hobbyist and the SP professionals as well.
> There's been some comments about how to access the
> MDC's from many people, there's seems to have been
> some storage problems through the years but I just
> did a search and happily found 17 pages of MDC's,
> note that the spelling changed a few times so I
> removed a few letters but the idea is consistent.
>
> The search function is sometimes challenging,
> here's what the search window looks like:
>
>  



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 01/06/22 18:04 by wabash2800.



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