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Railroaders' Nostalgia > Old School


Date: 10/25/22 13:36
Old School
Author: TAW

Weather posted a series of pictures https://www.trainorders.com/discussion/read.php?1,5563384,5563384#5563384 that included a BNSF fire train. It has been interesting to watch the fire train action in the past couple of years. What was old is new.
 
In the 80s, fire cars were old. Everything old had to go. The term “old school” was uttered with reckless abandon. It didn’t make any difference if the stuff we were doing or using worked, or even worked better than what they substituted for it, if it was “old school,” it had to be wrong.
 
One night, working BN Pacific Division chief, one of the long timber trestles between Lowell and Snohomish Jct. caught fire. It was in a place I knew was inaccessible to road vehicles (such as fire apparatus), so I called the Everett car foreman and told him to get the fire car ready.
We can’t do that. The car is here, but they had us take the pumps, piping, and nozzles off. It’s old school stuff we don’t need any more. Fortunately, the section foreman lived nearby. The officer on the fire rig told him that with permission and help, he could get to it driving on the track. That’s how we handled it.
 
Some time later, I was Portland Division chief. A west man called from Lockit. They made it some distance west of Lockit and found the canyon a wall of fire. They backed to Lockit and the conductor wanted something to get to Wishram on so they could continue to back away from the fire. The trick man fixed him up and I called the chief clerk at Wishram. I told him that I would use that crew on the fire car and just pay the claims. The trainmaster called. He told me they weren’t going to do that. The fire car was “old school” and wasn’t needed. He had a weed spray hyrail truck. He would use that to put out the fire.
 
Know how on The Addams Family, Lurch would utter a low groan and slowly shake his head in response to something stupid? Yeah, that was me. OK fine. He jumped in his ride, got on, and took off to be a superhero.
 
A little while later, the chief clerk called, a predictable conversation. The trainmaster was back in town with the weed spray truck, backing faster than he had ever seen anyone back a hyrail. The trainmaster was pale and shaking. He got in his car and went home.
 
Meanwhile, of course, I had long before called Oregon Department of Natural Resources. “old school” would probably have saved some poles, signals, and ties, but that subject never came up. Nevertheless, the Wishram fire car was taken away as an “old school” relic.
 
TAW
 



Date: 10/26/22 07:39
Re: Old School
Author: Drknow

Tom:

Believe me, “old skool” is still looked upon with derision and contempt at the glass palace level; and of course the true believer Kool Aid brigade parrots whatever is handed down from above.

I never understood why something that works, and works well, would be discarded. That is until I got a little time on the property.

Usually old school , or something that works well, takes some labor to go along with it: Of course labor is a Taboo at Modern North American Railway INC. Strike one.

Old school also was thought up in “aulden tymes” like you say and Modern North American Railways don’t like to look like a mature industry; mature industries aren’t big stock movers and shakers like “Synadym compusystems strategies solutions”
Strike two.

Old school also takes away the chance to reinvent the wheel and be a idea man(PC idea person).
Idea men get noticed; idea men get promoted; idea men get their names on employee timetables ad nausea… Can’t take the wheel reinvention away.
Strike three.

Regards

Posted from iPhone



Date: 10/26/22 21:42
Re: Old School
Author: trainjunkie

This is the result of chasing away all that rich institutional knowledge from those seasoned, but expensive employees. Most RR managers today are clueless morons who have no idea about the history of how things worked, and why. You reap what you sow.



Date: 10/26/22 22:02
Re: Old School
Author: PHall

trainjunkie Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> This is the result of chasing away all that rich
> institutional knowledge from those seasoned, but
> expensive employees. Most RR managers today are
> clueless morons who have no idea about the history
> of how things worked, and why. You reap what you
> sow.

Not just the railroad industry either.



Date: 10/26/22 23:21
Re: Old School
Author: TAW

trainjunkie Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> This is the result of chasing away all that rich
> institutional knowledge from those seasoned, but
> expensive employees.

The hilarious part is that when management was telling me I was too "old school," I was in my mid-30s.

TAW



Date: 10/27/22 02:54
Re: Old School
Author: Drknow

TAW Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> trainjunkie Wrote:
> --------------------------------------------------
> -----
> > This is the result of chasing away all that
> rich
> > institutional knowledge from those seasoned,
> but
> > expensive employees.
>
> The hilarious part is that when management was
> telling me I was too "old school," I was in my
> mid-30s.
>
> TAW

Hey! I resemble that remark!

Regards

Posted from iPhone



Date: 10/27/22 17:36
Re: Old School
Author: 567Chant

Regarding 'Old Junk' -
I believe in the Rancher's Maxim:
Never spend any money, and never throw anything away.
...Lorenzo



Date: 10/27/22 19:50
Re: Old School
Author: PHall

567Chant Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> Regarding 'Old Junk' -
> I believe in the Rancher's Maxim:
> Never spend any money, and never throw anything
> away.
> ...Lorenzo

I can think of many railroads that followed that advice.



Date: 10/31/22 14:43
Re: Old School
Author: Corpach

TAW Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> Weather posted a series of pictures
> https://www.trainorders.com/discussion/read.php?1,
> 5563384,5563384#5563384 that included a BNSF fire
> train. It has been interesting to watch the fire
> train action in the past couple of years. What was
> old is new.
>  
> In the 80s, fire cars were old. Everything old had
> to go. The term “old school” was uttered with
> reckless abandon. It didn’t make any difference
> if the stuff we were doing or using worked, or
> even worked better than what they substituted for
> it, if it was “old school,” it had to be
> wrong.
>  
> One night, working BN Pacific Division chief, one
> of the long timber trestles between Lowell and
> Snohomish Jct. caught fire. It was in a place I
> knew was inaccessible to road vehicles (such as
> fire apparatus), so I called the Everett car
> foreman and told him to get the fire car ready.
> We can’t do that. The car is here, but they had
> us take the pumps, piping, and nozzles off. It’s
> old school stuff we don’t need any more.
> Fortunately, the section foreman lived nearby. The
> officer on the fire rig told him that with
> permission and help, he could get to it driving on
> the track. That’s how we handled it.
>  
> Some time later, I was Portland Division chief. A
> west man called from Lockit. They made it some
> distance west of Lockit and found the canyon a
> wall of fire. They backed to Lockit and the
> conductor wanted something to get to Wishram on so
> they could continue to back away from the fire.
> The trick man fixed him up and I called the chief
> clerk at Wishram. I told him that I would use that
> crew on the fire car and just pay the claims. The
> trainmaster called. He told me they weren’t
> going to do that. The fire car was “old
> school” and wasn’t needed. He had a weed spray
> hyrail truck. He would use that to put out the
> fire.
>  
> Know how on The Addams Family, Lurch would utter a
> low groan and slowly shake his head in response to
> something stupid? Yeah, that was me. OK fine. He
> jumped in his ride, got on, and took off to be a
> superhero.
>  
> A little while later, the chief clerk called, a
> predictable conversation. The trainmaster was back
> in town with the weed spray truck, backing faster
> than he had ever seen anyone back a hyrail. The
> trainmaster was pale and shaking. He got in his
> car and went home.
>  
> Meanwhile, of course, I had long before called
> Oregon Department of Natural Resources. “old
> school” would probably have saved some poles,
> signals, and ties, but that subject never came up.
> Nevertheless, the Wishram fire car was taken away
> as an “old school” relic.
>  
> TAW
>
I much preferred to be "Old School" well I did learn from the best including my Dad and a number of other excellent operational railwaymen on all regions of the UK rail network. My final post before retiring was the equivilant of the Trick Chief Dispatcher and it was quite gratifying to hear from a number of the Executive team that if they saw my initials on the bottom of a message regarding an incident they knew it was in good (occassionally profane !) hands & left me to run the show. The "fun" we had :-)



Date: 10/31/22 15:08
Re: Old School
Author: train1275

I got so sick of hearing that "old school bullsh*t". Now there is every excuse under the sun why something can't be done and why that is a good thing and actually fits into the plan and budget now that we are part of the kinder gentler genius generation. I am so happy to be retired. Take something that worked, and worked well, and sh*t can it so you can spend more money mitigating it, but at least your submitted operating budget was less, and never mind common sense. They would rather spend more to do something wrong, than do it the right way cheaper. And when in doubt just rename something or devise a new program (based on some ivory tower fantasyworld). Sorry, guess that got me going. It is hard to know what to do and how to do it and have your hands tied by those who have no clue and make decisions based on some hallucinogenic reality. 
 



Date: 10/31/22 18:58
Re: Old School
Author: ironmtn

PHall Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> trainjunkie Wrote:
> --------------------------------------------------
> > This is the result of chasing away all that rich
> > institutional knowledge from those seasoned, but
> > expensive employees. Most RR managers today are
> > clueless morons who have no idea about the history
> > of how things worked, and why. You reap what you
> > sow.
>
> Not just the railroad industry either

Ding - ding - ding -- we have a winner!  Oh, so very true in so many industries and ogranizations.

MC



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 10/31/22 18:59 by ironmtn.



Date: 11/03/22 05:29
Re: Old School
Author: WM1977

I'll jump in, a railroad in my territory had a facility that was used for years to load and unload bi and tri level car carriers. Simple, pull the cars over a hump throw a switch and shove to spot one track at a time. The new railroad management had a better idea, handle the whole train over the hump and and start spotting the rear of the train first. Why you ask? Clear the main. Forgot to mention that at the bottom of the hump was an S curve. You can figure what happens when you shove a train through all of this. After the second derailment that fouled a main track that was used by commuter trains I "suggested" to them that they needed to make changes before they killed someone. They got rid of the S curve and had no more of these type of derailments.
CR
 



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