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Railroaders' Nostalgia > Rosters...Anniversaries...And Father Time

Date: 01/10/24 08:05
Rosters...Anniversaries...And Father Time
Author: RetiredHogger

How many seniority rosters are you (or did you end up) on?

As the years go by, do you mentally make note of it when the calendar hits your seniority dates?

I ask this as I mark another anniversary of my promotion to locomotive engineer. I have to admit that when I calculated the years this morning...I was a little shocked.

Time waits for none of us. Here's hoping we all age well.

Date: 01/10/24 11:45
Re: Rosters...Anniversaries...And Father Time
Author: SanJoaquinEngr

Started as a trainman.. 2 years as a brakeman, promoted to conductor in 2 years. Switched over to a fireman. 1 year later to the engineer s roster number 298. Years later the SP gave engineers a conductors seniority date. The UP can along and redrew the districts, i.e. hubs and dove tailed the engineer s. Later merged from the San Joaquin Division into the Los Angeles engineers roster. Lost 88 numbers.. Ended up being number 1 for 5 years. Total of 7 rosters. I remember firing for the number 1 engineer on Coast passenger and never thought i would be number one someday.

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Edited 2 time(s). Last edit at 01/11/24 23:41 by SanJoaquinEngr.

Date: 01/10/24 17:53
Re: Rosters...Anniversaries...And Father Time
Author: SCKP187

When my Dad hired out on the UP in Salina KS, John Kenefick was Trainmaster there at that time and hired 7 men that day, he was #6 with 5 ahead of him.  He was a brakeman for the required 7 years (think that is correct) and promoted to Conductor in 1954.  Many years he worked as the rear brakeman and also caught a lot of jobs off the Conductor's extra board and several lower seniority Conductor bids.

He loved to plan switching solutions out on the locals and was pretty sharp at it and taught a lot of his younger brakemen how to railroad.

By the time he was 45 he could hold about any turn he wanted without getting bumped--retired on his 60th birthday--departed Oakley KS with 122 cars and arrived Salina with 5 engines and the caboose,  setting out all cars along the way account Salina Yard didn't have room for his train.

He never was #1 on the seniority list but I think he was #3 if I remember correctly.
Good subject to post
Brian Stevens

Date: 01/10/24 22:06
Re: Rosters...Anniversaries...And Father Time
Author: roustabout

My engineeer seniority date is easy to remember, Chrismas Eve, 1997.  I even had The Reverend himself giving me a check ride. 

Date: 01/11/24 18:19
Re: Rosters...Anniversaries...And Father Time
Author: ApproachCircuit

You gained seniorty in unsual ways. In later  years, in the very late sixties and onward, especially in a large terminal (SP Taylor Yard for example) you could gain a number or two just by going to bed and waking up!!
health problems, tragic car accidents, some guys just quit for greener pastures and of course you reached to age of pulling the pin!
Some guys jumped ship into Amtrak and never came back.
I heard of guys carrying a seniority roster and a ruler in their grip for the sole purpose of lining you out!!
We had two senior hoggers decide to go fishing in Mexico one weekend and that was the last we ever heard of them except for a vague reference to an accident.
Anybody able to fill in some info on that one?
Then there was the cornfield meets but that never happened on our division that I know of.
Oh yeah, the crossing accidents all the time. Especially in the "Old Days."
All that talk about 10 years on the extra board never happened in Sunny Californisa.
And then after that 5 years on a Goat??

Date: 01/11/24 20:01
Re: Rosters...Anniversaries...And Father Time
Author: Trainhand

Approach circuit good description. The first senority roster I saw I was #485 as a fireman in Savannah,GA and Florence,SC. By the timee I retired I was about #10 or so on that roster. There was a consolidatied roster that had everyone on the former SCL on it. You had prior rights on your original district. I have no idea where I was on that one. The roster moved during the 70's  The pre WWII men were getting yo retirement age. Then came the 80's I stayed in and out of being an engineer from 1980 to about 1988. A midnight sitchengine off Tuesday and Wednesday looked good if it was in Savannah.  In this time frame  it seemed like every engineer that retired took his job with him. We lost an industry to a private outfit, lost Amtrack,  Savannah Yard closed with the loss of about 10 yard jobs and their relief jobs,then lost it altogether to a short line. Interdivisional runs appeared which cut and screwed up the south pool to Jax and Waycross. In about 88 I started standing for a turn on the extra board but, now it was a guarantee board not a mileage board. Finally after almost 20 years I could work a regular road pool job. So the last 20 or so years I was one that the younger guys wanted to pencil out. 


Date: 01/11/24 23:00
Re: Rosters...Anniversaries...And Father Time
Author: Notch7

On the first seniority roster printed after I went firing on Seaboard Coast Line in 1971,  I stood 550 times from the top of the combined fireman-engineer roster and I had about 11 guys under me.   SCL had big seniority districts.  My Virginia District  was just above Trainhand's district and extended to Portsmouth and Richmond VA.  I'm told that if I had stayed with SCL, it would have taken me 50 years to become #1 on that roster.  I understand  that a couple of the Hamlet NC men ahead of me stayed a long time.  Instead, I left for a small seniority district on Southern Railway with less than 200 miles of mainline and branchline combined.  Seniorty standing wise, it was a good move.   I didn't fire that much before I became a full time engineer.  When I hit mandatory retirement in the summer of 2022,  I had been #1 on the roster for maybe 11 years.

Date: 01/11/24 23:28
Re: Rosters...Anniversaries...And Father Time
Author: SanJoaquinEngr

One engineer DQ Custer with the nickname of Dairy Queen always had a red ink pen and a ruler on hand to keep the roster up to date on a daily basis.

Two engineers Lloyd Wright and Charlie Leach set up yearly fishing trips to San Felipe, Mexico. The money had been collected to pay for the trip from the participants plus their fishing gear. Lloyd and Charlie were notorious boozers. They had stopped in Tijauna to have a few drinks. On the road to San Felipe the two were robbed and everything was stolen. Their vehicle was pushed off the road into a ravine and they were found deceased.

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Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 01/11/24 23:36 by SanJoaquinEngr.

Date: 01/12/24 05:55
Re: Rosters...Anniversaries...And Father Time
Author: Drknow

I figure if I stay until I’m about 67-70 years old I can be #1 on the roster. A bunch of kids hired on about a year or so before me, I was 27.

I being about 20 on the roster is fine with me.


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