Apr 7, 2005
[ April 07, 2005, 02:20 PM: Message edited by: Don Rickle ]
I hope your "friend" can turn that situation around.
yeah, him too!
He thought he'd feel differently about such a harsh post "in the morning" so he had me delete it...and I did!
[ April 07, 2005, 04:31 AM: Message edited by: Don Rickle ]
I wondered why I couldn't read it.
I have read some posts at other forums, where the members there are employees, maybe railfans, but not usually modelers. It gives the modeler (such as myself) a completely different viewpoint of the company we are modeling. Apparently they aren't angels and the best places to work (at least if you have anything to do with running the trains in the cab). So I have had to ask myself why I like a particular railroad, the answer usually boils down to, I like the paint scheme and maybe their timely schedule. Santa Fe always seems to be held up on a pedestal for its fantastic paint scheme in the Warbonnet, and for its exemplary service. But I'd bet if you talked to a few of the freight engineers at the time, Santa Fe had its own hidden ugly warts.
Sometimes it does feel better to write a "nastygram" but not to send it / post it so you both likely did the right thing. I didn't see what was posted but I hope too that things get turned around for the better as life is hard enough without having nasty issues at work to deal with also. I know I have changed jobs a few times to get away from things I was no longer comfortable about and in my youth burned some bridges doing so. In the end it didn't make a difference and only likely closed some doos on future work someplace else that that person might have contacts with.
I didn't see the message either, but as a retired railroader, the best advice I can offer is
"Don't get a job with ANY railroad!"
Railroads will ruin your life and devour your soul. The pay and benefits can be really attractive, but that is how the carriers prostitute themselves to the unwary. When you wake up in the cold,harsh light of morning you really see who you bedded yourself with.
I am happy to have the pension I do, but in
hindsight, I am not so sure it was worth the
As a career railroader you can plan on at least
one divorce and related costs(ie child support).
You can expect serious work related health
risks(ie diesel exhaust induced athsma, poisoning from rr used chemicals, [I can attest
to that one] etc) You can expect serious mental and physical stress from lack of sleep,
trespasser suicides, derailments and accidents.
If you yearn for the "romance of the rails", enjoy it through the lens of your camera, cuz I
guarantee you that there is no love or romance
in the reality of railroading.
Are we talking just operations or dispatching as well? All companies have their downfalls.
I grew up in a family with many railroaders. And have known many, many more. Seems as though it was hard work years ago.
But from listening to those family and friends, who worked from post-WWII, into the present day mega-merger era, the stress level is way up (sky high) as well. In part, I'd say, since the switch from being a business (making money from old fashioned hard work), to a "managed asset" (milking the cow to death.)
Not about railroading but I have learned before that it is not really a great idea to get a job in a field that has to do with your hobby. 9 out of 10 times, it will ruin both for you.
Dispatching is Operating Department and that is an even bigger "pressure cooker" than running the daggone trains. One of the training tapes/films that they ran/showed us during my training is what happens when both a dispatcher and a crew make a mistake in writing/reading/copying/repeating track warrants. It resulted in a fatal head on collision at a closing speed of greater than 35mph, killed all crew of both trains. There was one survivor,a hobo riding one of the cars.
Sure there are some territories that are real
"candy" jobs, but as a new guy you aint gonna see anything like that for a LOOOONG time.
Railroading is one job where there is much to
be desired between the promise and the fulfillment! The most romantic thing about it
is the language used by railroaders denoting
sexual activity.if you get my drift!
Mm thanks Charlie... I have always wanted to work for the railroad, I know it won't be easy, but I can't climb on trains easily due to disability so dispatching is something I could do...with a Computer.
I couldn't model NSW (Australian) operations for that very reason, too close to the job, that's how I got into US rr's. but even for you guys, if you work for BNSF, then model a road on the eastern side, then when you look at your models you won't think of the politics behind the paint scheme.
Thanks, I model GN NP and CBQ all predicessors so I hope not to have any worries
Sounds like to me that the BNSF is going down hill very quickly. Allan.
Many of my friends and family have often said, "you like trains so much, why don't you work for the railroad?" They don't seem to understand my response, "I don't work for the railroad because I like trains!!"
People ask me the same thing, "so when your done with Testor are you going to join the railroad?" Heck no I respond, I know of two guys that worked for BNSF, one engineer the other a dispatcher from Galesburg. Nope not for me. Maybe on a shortline. People see the "romance" of the setting sun in Montana as the engineer sits in his cab. They don't see the fireman out there clearing the switch points in Chicago when its -15 with a north wind blowing 20 knotts! It takes a certain type of person, I'm not one of them.
Actually, the setting sun here is often spectacular.
Yeah, somehow, they forget those scenes in the recruitment videos....
Don't forget the sweating in a non-AC-equipped unit pulling a coal train thru Eastern Wyoming in 100-defree temps.. Or, the lugging of a knuckle dozens of carlengths to replace a failed knuckle--in knee-deep snow....
Been there and done that more times than I care to think of, and use fusees to thaw out the derail/switch point/switch locks. BTW its the conductor/brakeman/switchman who does
the work. Aint many firemen around these days.