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Railroaders' Nostalgia > Railroad Seniority Rosters


Date: 04/04/23 16:28
Railroad Seniority Rosters
Author: ApproachCircuit

Although I heard this more than once, I never met anyone that admitted to it. The Guys with a seniority roster and a ruler! The very second someone passed on,
got disabled due to an unfortunate injury, just plain disappeared or just pulled the pin for retirement etc, etc, etc; out came the ruler and there would be a line crossing out your name!
Presto! Not a moments delay. Now these people carried that roster with them in their grip too. Even before Beans they had your name gone and gone!
Now on a more sobering note, The first page of the seniority roster, especially on a large division, was called Death Row! You worked for years and years to make that first page and  the
wonderful daylight jobs that were awaiting for
 you but to get there put you on Death Row. No getting out of that. Rest assured!

Happy Easter.


 



Date: 04/04/23 17:46
Re: Railroad Seniority Rosters
Author: RetiredHogger

It was kind of a joke where I worked. And I know at least one guy that would admit to it.

 



Date: 04/04/23 19:06
Re: Railroad Seniority Rosters
Author: ExSPCondr

The pool between SP Sparks Nv, and Elko Nv, 313 miles, and all of it fairly straight and flat was known as the "Geritol Pool," because of all the old guys that were on it.

By the time I got enough seniority to hold it, the name had changd to the "Viagra Pool."

Then the UP really made it pay by sending the first out crew at Elko on a train back to the other home terminal to save held away.  It is 348 miles, Elko to Portola, and then a 60 mile deadhead back home to Sparks, which paid 408 miles.  The Portola crews sent to Sparks didn't do quite so well, only making 373 miles instead of 348.
G



Date: 04/05/23 11:36
Re: Railroad Seniority Rosters
Author: Notch7

ApproachCircuit Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
 out came the ruler and
> there would be a line crossing out your name!
Yep, it happened. I hired out firing in 1971 on the SCL at Hamlet NC, and it was happening then - done mostly by the younger men.  I thought it was cheap and disrespectful then.  I feel the same way now. Back then I decided it wouldn't happen to me if I could help it.  When I left SCL to work on the Southern, I lined through my own name on all the posted paper seniority rosters at both of my home terminals.  At the Southern, it was a little different.  The older prior right road and yard engineers didn't rush to line out a man's name on the paper rosters, but the new dual service guys would.  Later in NS days, the Southern BLE traded away the twice yearly posted paper seniority rosters in part to get personal leave days.  That solved that old problem.  The eager butts couldn't line through a man's name on a computer screen seniority roster, but they still kept asking old heads when they were gonna leave.  For my last ten years I was No. 1 on the seniority roster.  With mandatory retirement looming, on one foggy night in 2022 I walked out of the roundhouse forever, and it took a while before anyone realized I was gone.



Date: 04/05/23 11:56
Re: Railroad Seniority Rosters
Author: sfbrkmn

All this, of course, now is posted electronically on the company emulator log on in either the entire roster groups themselves or individual working boards, such as a pool turn board or xtra bd.

Posted from iPhone



Date: 04/05/23 11:58
Re: Railroad Seniority Rosters
Author: a737flyer

Someone always printed out out names and seniority numbers of the crew if there was an accident on the airline and taped them to the operations desk where crews picked up their paperwork.  morbid...



Date: 04/05/23 17:10
Re: Railroad Seniority Rosters
Author: wpdude

It's real, just more electronic these days, as previously noted....



Date: 04/06/23 06:58
Re: Railroad Seniority Rosters
Author: RetiredHogger

wpdude Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> It's real, just more electronic these days, as
> previously noted....

I'll almost promise that there are people out there printing the pages out, and scratching the names off. And probably some places posting them on the bulletin boards.



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 04/06/23 10:15 by RetiredHogger.



Date: 04/06/23 08:21
Re: Railroad Seniority Rosters
Author: ironmtn

It happened when I drove for Greyhound, too. I was a young guy, but as Notch7 said, I felt it was cheap and disrespectful. As was the practice of some younger guys regularly badgering the senior men about when they were going to hang it up.

Because we had scheduled daylight express runs that enabled you to make a roundtrip and be back home by dinner, and at just about the maximum mileage possible within legal hours of service, some of the most senior men in the region bid into our terminal and held those runs. To say that they were envied is an understatement. Catching those same schedules off the extra board as the second or third section, normal operations when Greyhound would routinely dispatch additional buses as traffic required, meant a very good day's pay. But to badger a very senior regular driver about his seniority was just really low. 

MC



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 04/06/23 08:22 by ironmtn.



Date: 04/06/23 08:26
Re: Railroad Seniority Rosters
Author: OliveHeights

I worked at Redondo Jct tower in the 70's and there was an old seniority roster from the '30's in the tower. Some of the oldest men had dates in the 1890's. Even though that roster was over 40 years old at the time it had quite a few lines drawn through peoples names. When they still listed the train dispatcher's names in the timetable we always referred to the first row of names as death row.

I worked with an old head asst chief dispatcher that had a '42 seniority date in San Bernardino. He had hired out in 1926 in Arizona and became a dispatcher in Winslow in the 30's. When WWII started he transferred to San Bernardino. Around 1984 when we got our first computer terminals he called me to his desk. He had pulled up the Albuquerque division clerical seniority roster. He was No 1 with his 1926 date. No 2 had a mid 1940's date. He was laughing because he said he had left the division before anyone now working had hired out and they were all wondering who is this guy with the No 1 spot? Wasn't too long after that he retired.



Date: 04/06/23 21:06
Re: Railroad Seniority Rosters
Author: Drknow

My maternal grandfather worked RPO for a few years(1937-1941) and he said there were trainmen with 1880’s dates that he remembered talking to. He said some of them had to be in their late 70’s at the time, and some had looked like they’d been at “the Golden spike driving…” then grandpa chuckled.

Miss you, grandpa.

Regards

Posted from iPhone



Date: 04/07/23 16:20
Re: Railroad Seniority Rosters
Author: BigSkyBlue

I was furloughed in 1981 from my original district, and I had hired on another district and was working there, but in 1986 I was furloughed there for a few months, and I was recalled to the original location, so I went back there and worked there for a short time.
In the yard office I discovered "the ruler" had been applied to my name.  Not so fast, brothers!  I'm back.  BSB



Date: 04/07/23 20:32
Re: Railroad Seniority Rosters
Author: wabash2800

In doing historical research for my Wabash book, old-timers told me that in the late steam era there were a number of station agents like that who had been at a particular station forever, being at the top of the seniority list. It was their life, they didn't know anything else. They finally had to force them to quit or they had to retire when the station closed. This was particularly true with remote, small-town stations that no longer had passenger service and physical labor.

See attached:
Jennie Wiley was born in Donaldson, Indiana in 1870 but had family in the Bryan, Ohio area. It appears that one of her first stations was with the Wabash at Cone, Michigan before working several remote Santa Fe stations in New Mexico and then returning to work on the Wabash again. She never married, and was a pious woman, but reportedly because of her work in the wilds of New Mexico, knew how to use a gun! It appears her final station was Foraker, Indiana (pronounced "Four Acre"). Her senority date is listed as in 1918, but that was pobably when she startred to work for the Wabash the second time.

Victor Baird

Drknow Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> My maternal grandfather worked RPO for a few
> years(1937-1941) and he said there were trainmen
> with 1880’s dates that he remembered talking to.
> He said some of them had to be in their late
> 70’s at the time, and some had looked like
> they’d been at “the Golden spike driving…”
> then grandpa chuckled.
>
> Miss you, grandpa.
>
> Regards
>
> Posted from iPhone



Edited 4 time(s). Last edit at 04/07/23 20:54 by wabash2800.




Date: 04/08/23 22:06
Re: Railroad Seniority Rosters
Author: Notch7

Wabash2800, it was nice to see the pic and story of Jennie Wiley.  In earlier days, I knew or knew of a few people like her.  Centralization and PSR killed a lot of that off, but railroading can become a big part of your life.  Certainly it was that way for me.  Some of my retired rail Brothers told me they wished they had or could have stayed longer.  In my final years, the other crews heard me say : "I just go out on my night run to relax."  Most understood the thruth in that.



Date: 04/09/23 04:58
Re: Railroad Seniority Rosters
Author: junctiontower

I am the unofficial keeper of the all time employment roster at our company. About 25 years ago a current list of employees in order of employee number was printed out for some clerical reason and I obtained a copy. Interested in it, I inquired if there was an all time list and found out there wasn't, so I began to piece one together. Since then I have kept a spread sheet that shows employee number, name, date of quitting, firing, retirement or death and a rank of the top ten in seniority. Seniority has very little actual meaning at our company, so it's just sort of a badge of honor thing. I don't post it publicly, but if someone inquires about it, I share the information. After a slew of retirements in the last five years of employees with 1976-1983 hire dates, I moved up to #2. I am 55 with 37 years service. #1 is a lady in the office who is three weeks older than me, but has almost a year more service. I have 15 years on the longest tenured family member currently in company management and this year we will hire our 500th all time employee. I'm #34. # 1 is # 28. Nobody has made 50 years yet, but if Kristi and I make the full run, we'll get closer than anybody.

Posted from iPhone



Date: 04/09/23 08:53
Re: Railroad Seniority Rosters
Author: BN4364

There's a crew in my home terminal of Everett, Wa that is nicknamed Tenessee since they are VOLUNTEERng to continue working instead of retiring.



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