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International Railroad Discussion > Railroaders Are Railroaders

Date: 02/03/21 07:21
Railroaders Are Railroaders
Author: gbmott

I had occasion fifteen years ago to spend a couple weeks in Gazientop in far eastern Turkey on a railroad project.  I like this photo because of the people in it.  They knew I was from a railroad, but nothing more.  It captures what I found all over the world - railroaders are railroaders and that fact alone creates an instant bond.


Date: 02/03/21 15:41
Re: Railroaders Are Railroaders
Author: train1275

So true, I was talking to a railroader over 40 years ago who made that same connection, no matter where you go, railroaders are railroaders.

I have in my almost 40 year career and many travels to find that as true as your photo.

Date: 02/05/21 10:59
Re: Railroaders Are Railroaders
Author: Waybiller

I've been lucky enough to work with railroads and railroaders all over the world and can confirm they all share the characteristic of "being rails".

One of my favorite experiences was being in Abidjan, Ivory Coast trying to sell them a computerized car control system.  We were meeting in the yard office, which had no air conditioning, and thus no windows, and it must have been 100F with 99% humidity.  There was no doubt that we were in equatorial Africa, with all the unusual and exotic sensory experiences that go with it.

They were quizzing me about the capability of the software, when the terminal superintendent figured he'd found something to stump me with.  He explained that they had to keep VERY careful records of which wagons went to which customers and when, and then again when the customers released them back as loads or unloads.  They then charged for this time a rate per day.  I answered that, yes, in fact we had this same thing and used a french word 'demurrage' to describe it.  This provoked a lot of discussion, as they use the word 'surestarie' instead.  The superintendent was surprised we had this as well, and launched into a tirade about how painful it was to calculate, with free time for some days, etc, and how much time it took to create these ledgers.  He asked if we did the same, and I said yes.  He then asked if our system would make the customers pay as well.  I was confused, and unsure I understood his question, when he explained, "We go through all this work to come up with these calculations, and then this a$$hole (pointing at the sales and marketing guy) writes it all off!!"

Railroaders, and their relationship to other railroaders, are always the same.

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