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Railroaders' Nostalgia > The most toys w/ Fast Freddie

Date: 03/18/23 11:14
The most toys w/ Fast Freddie
Author: santafe199

I once read a rather strange quote which went something like: “He who dies with the most toys, wins!” When I found image #2 below while looking for something else I decided I could paraphrase that quote and make it fit. The train on my left certainly has a whole gaggle of blue & yellow engines! Ten, if I counted the fuel tanks correctly. But it’s most likely a 563-symbol. And as I recall that train didn’t necessarily “win” anything. Looking at the preceding slide -image #1- there had been a Red Rock coal empty on the main line that departed first out of our little trio of Emporia-bound trains. I was on a 583 train, which is (was) a higher priority train over a lowly 563. The eastbound 563 and its westbound counterpart 365 were like “mangy mutts” in Santa Fe’s kennel of train symbols running between Argentine & Oklahoma/Texas. Quite often they were both treated like main-line locals. And as we can see, they were sometimes used to ferry power to & from Argentine.

1. We’re looking out of the cab of AT&SF 8070 on train 583 I-1 at the north (TT east) end of the yard in Ark City. A returning Red Rock coal empty on the main line has just gotten permission to depart. Meanwhile a dog of a train, probably a 563 is creeping up to a stop just short of the switch that will let us out when it’s our turn to depart. I don’t recall how it came to be that I shot this slide from the engineer’s vantage point...
(I believe this image has been previously posted)

2. BTW: the 3510 at the rear end of the consist on the left is the “star of the show” in two of my past threads: ( Toto Tuesday: Flagging the UP (trainorders.com) ) & ( two thousand horses side by side (trainorders.com) ). Small world indeed...

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 03/18/23 11:17 by santafe199.

Date: 03/18/23 11:16
Re: The most toys w/ Fast Freddie
Author: santafe199

Let’s meet our hogger, the one & only “Fast” Freddie Reber. Who, by the way uttered one of my all-time favorite RR quotes! Freddie was very fond of claiming: “By God, NONE of my brakemen ever go to sleep on me! I always beat ‘em to it.” And he would, too! He would get some brand-new, hapless brakie on a hotshot in the wee hours. Freddie would get the train out & running at track speed and start nodding his head, drooping lower & lower. But he would miraculously “wake up” and set the air as some speed restriction was looming just ahead. And none of us ever truly knew if he really did take catnaps, or if it was just an act. If it was an act, he certainly pulled it off flawlessly...

Freddie Reber was always a jovial man, with a quick sense of humor. I never once heard him say a bad word about anything or anybody. Needless to say, Fast Freddie was always one of my favorite engineers to work with...

3. And here’s our hero now: This is F. P. ‘Freddie’ Reber, who always had the classic, indelible look of the little boy caught with his hand in the cookie jar. The fastest I ever rode in a Santa Fe waycar was an estimated, that is milepost-timed 81 MPH on an 881 train. We were racing up the 4th District through Bazaar, Gladstone & Ellinor on the way to a 50 MPH crossover at Merrick, which facilitated an EB Main Line, depot crew-change at Emporia. And Fast Freddie was indeed at the 881’s throttle! Fun times *with pay* never-to-be-repeated, never-to-be-forgotten... :^)
Three photos taken June 10, 1980 in Arkansas City, KS.

Thanks for the rides, Freddie!
Lance Garrels

Date: 03/18/23 13:08
Re: The most toys w/ Fast Freddie
Author: RetiredHogger

It looks like you had some iron to bend there.
Here's hoping "Fast Freddie" got deep into the retirement fund's pocket.

Date: 03/18/23 14:04
Re: The most toys w/ Fast Freddie
Author: santafe199

RetiredHogger Wrote: > ...  It looks like you had some iron to bend there ...

Yup. A regular thing back in those days. Ark City was an overgrown steam era yard. It could get convoluted pretty easy. Or become a complete cluster ****. Then it could, and often did turn into a real mess...


Date: 03/19/23 09:34
Re: The most toys w/ Fast Freddie
Author: Ritzville

Very enjoyable narrative with Fast Freddie at the helm!


Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 03/22/23 08:36 by Ritzville.

Date: 03/19/23 19:13
Re: The most toys w/ Fast Freddie
Author: Orient

First image, I see the old lead which is now a road which led up to the oil racks? Or is that what they were? Barely visible in the dirt.

Date: 03/21/23 20:28
Re: The most toys w/ Fast Freddie
Author: 90mac

Great stories.
Thank you.

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