Real railroad workers & model railroading?

Discussion in 'Getting Started' started by RobertInOntario, Jun 22, 2007.

  1. RobertInOntario

    RobertInOntario Active Member

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    Just curious if you know of any people who were/are railroad staff in "real life" who also happened to get into model trains ... or are such folk so tired of railroads that model RR-ing is the last thing they'd want to get into!

    Just curious, as I have read about a few people (at least) who were engineers, etc., who also got into this hobby.

    Rob
  2. Nomad

    Nomad Active Member

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    I knew a person who was a telegrapher and even ran his own ho scale railroad hobby shop part time.

    Loren
  3. spankybird

    spankybird OTTS Founder

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    We have one member of our club that works for CSX. He is quite active on the CTT forum. Look for John, CSXT30.

    We also have a member at the museum that is an engineer for NS.
  4. railohio

    railohio Active Member

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    The number of railroaders that are railfans or modelers would probably amaze you. Most don't publicize it, however, because they don't want to be bothered by people looking for a handout. I can think of four Gaugers off the top of my head who are railroaders and modelers but do not make it known on the forums.
  5. Smoke

    Smoke SOU is for you!!

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    Doos riding in the cab count as a handout?sign1 I've always wanted to do that, but haven't had the chance yet. Maybe someday *sigh*

    -Smoke
  6. b28_82

    b28_82 Member

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    My dad works for the Indiana Harbor Belt Railroad as a Tower Operator. Before the IHB he was working for the CB&Q then of course the BN but they closed the tower he was working at so someone offered him a job at the IHB and hes been there since. I believe hes been working for the railroad for 43 years. Most of his pictures came from while he was at work. He's an avid railfan/model railroader.
  7. RobertInOntario

    RobertInOntario Active Member

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    Thanks -- all of this is interesting and it's neat that there is a strong connection between the hobby and work on real railways. Rob
  8. doctorwayne

    doctorwayne Active Member

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    Rob, I have a friend whose late father was a Conductor for the TH&B. He was building a live steamer at the time of his death, so I would say that that made him a model railroader. However, his passion was railroad photography, and a former TH&B employee that I talked to at the TH&B station open house remembered him and that he almost always had a camera with him on the job. He also made movies, both of raifanning exploits and on-the-job everyday occurrences. These were very professionally done, in colour and with sound (we're talking steam-era here, so this is not video, and certainly not "home movies"). I recently spoke with the son, and it's his intention to edit the material onto disc, for resale, when he retires in a couple of years. I have seen some of the films and I'm really looking forward to getting my copy.

    Wayne
  9. slekjr

    slekjr Member

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    I work for a short line railroad and also model in ho. I was a modeler before I was a railroader. A lot of railroaders also model, but some of their fellow railroaders would look down on them if it were known.
    It even "greatly reduces" your chance of being hired by most of the class 1s if they know you are a modeler or a railfan.
    Charlie
  10. Glen Haasdyk

    Glen Haasdyk Active Member

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    I can understand that. The Companies might be concerned that you are more intrested in watching trains than working on them.
    My Wife's grandfather was a sectionman on the CNR. Unfortunetly he had a stroke a couple weeks after she and I first met and I never really got to know him. He must have liked the work though, stayed with it for 35+ years.
  11. RobertInOntario

    RobertInOntario Active Member

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    Thanks, Wayne. That's interesting ... it would be great to see them when they became availalbe on DVD. Rob
  12. TrainNut

    TrainNut Ditat Deus

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  13. fsm1000

    fsm1000 Member

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    My dad was a brakeman when they still had steam engines :D
    Also my uncle was an engineer for CN till he died a few years ago.

    I worked once giving out food to rail gangs off of the side of a boxcar.

    But technically I know very little about real ones. I do model RRing and that's all I do and like. I could not tell the difference between one real engine or another. But I know how to hand lay track on my layout and that's good enough for me. :)
  14. brakie

    brakie Active Member

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    When I worked on the C&O rails I also modeled..I assembled many Athearn car kits while at my away terminal especially when I was more then 10 out.:(
  15. cajon

    cajon Member

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    Back when I was in BNSF conductor school practically first words out of the instructor's mouth was to bad mouth foamers. A few weeks later saw him get a whole stack of MR mags from another employee. He dropped them & the one on top was "101 Track Plans" by Linn Westcott! Later on met more RRers who were RR photogs, modelers, RR game players, and just plain railfans. Even met a UP conductor who is a modeler & a SANTA FE fan.