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Railroaders' Nostalgia > Two OW-ees* at Garrison

Date: 11/22/23 09:48
Two OW-ees* at Garrison
Author: santafe199

Just your standard ¾ wedgie train shot, right? Nahhh... there’s a lot more story behind this one! This is a 196 train. Part of BN’s routine ‘bridge’ traffic over my employer, MRL. I was on the first of the 2 main line qualification trips I had to make prior to taking full promotion to locomotive engineer. I was with Engineer Mike Ihde & RFE Mark Van Orman. Both of whom had made the jump (escape?) from the DM&E in 1987, just like I did.

Mark had taken promotion to ‘Road Foreman of Engines’ and was giving me the check-ride. My engineer also happened to be an ex-Middle Division Santa Fe seniority #2 man, whose brother and father I shared switchman/brakeman class with back in May of ’78 in Newton, KS. I ended up marking up in seniority district #1, instead. Mike’s father was career Rock Island. But he saw the Mighty Fine Line’s bankruptcy handwriting on the wall and made an early jump to more steady employment with the Santa Fe. He took most of the class, but they let him mark up early because of his decades of prior experience. Small RR world, indeed!

My check-ride with RFE Mark lasted up & over the Continental Divide. It was part of Marks’ job to see how I handled the tonnage coming down the 2.2% grade down into Helena. As I recall he also had to check ride a man in the Helena – Laurel crew district. So he had Mike & I drive a company jeep over to pick him up at Townsend on the far side of the 1% grade down Winston Hill. I seem to recall the 3 of us went out for a late lunch in which we had a great conversation laced with many DM&E memories...

1. OWY 9047 points BN train 01-196-04 stopped on the main at east Garrison, MT on May 5, 1990. I don’t remember why we were stopped. Probably track & time up ahead. The old BN, nee NP depot is still standing way back there on the left.

Thanks for looking back!
Lance Garrels

*Take the exclamations OUCH & OOH-WEE, cut ‘em in half and glue them together to get a popular nickname for those EMD “OWY” (Oakway) units leased to the BN at the time.

Edited 4 time(s). Last edit at 11/24/23 04:44 by santafe199.

Date: 11/22/23 22:49
Re: Two OW-ees* at Garrison
Author: ATSFSuperChief

Nice background and foreground story Lance. Glad everything went well and you guys had a nice lunch.

SuperChiefDon, snow coming down here again.

Date: 11/23/23 21:04
Re: Two OW-ees* at Garrison
Author: jgilmore

santafe199 Wrote:
 those EMD “OWY” (Oakway) units
> leased to the BN at the time.

Nice shot and backstory, I remember well when these first came out and spending countless hours with my railfan buddy listening to the trains nearby his place on BN's ex-Frisco line into Dallas get their track warrants (TWC line) and waiting to give chase if the power was worth it, like the new "OWYs" (as they were called like you mentioned), "LMXs" (yer favorite ride) and anything else that came along out of the regular parade of normal power. The Oakways were my favorite though because of the type and color scheme...


Date: 11/24/23 04:52
Re: Two OW-ees* at Garrison
Author: santafe199

jgilmore Wrote: > ... The Oakways were my favorite though because of the type and color scheme...

Indeed, 6 axles to ride on vs the gut-jarring, cement-wagon 4 axles of those LMX junkers. I also thought the OW-ees had a kind of subdued, laid back sound at idle. Granted, EMD's low idle feature had been in place for quite a while by then. But these just sounded different. Probably some sort of psychological effect from the cool blue & white color scheme... :^)


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