If you’re not interested in expanding your general railroad history/
operations(non Q) knowledge read no further.
As many of you know I am a steady consumer of books. I rarely recommend any but
a couple from this holiday absolutely stand out.
“Railroad Man,Fifty Years of Memories” by Richard Paseman. I’ve read 135 of 410
pages in just a handful of hours. I’m hooked and can’t put it down. That is
except when I’m laughing so hard I have to close the book ! It’s set on the
Santa Fe from 1966-2016 in Los Angeles/So. Calif. If you want to read about
real on the ground day to day railroading; learn about hand signs beyond stop
and high ball, listen to the unique language of railroading, understand the
host of characters that filled railroad ranks. I highly recommend this book. My
only wish is that the author would have included a few maps to help me
understand the lay of the land.
This line alone should give a good indication of why I recommend the book. The
author is bumped off a day industry switch job and in turn bumps onto the
midnight version of the same job. He shows up at the yard office to find he is
the senior(oldest) helper on the job. “Which started a little bell ringing in
the back of my head. Good jobs don’t usually go to low seniority;”.
“Ghosts of Gold Mountain” by Gordon H Chang. It’s a fast paced read with real
insight into where the Chinese immigrants came from who built the Central
Pacific, their day to jobs and life on the line,etc,etc. These men became not
only highly skilled and respected railroad builders but were sought after by
other companies once the CP was completed. This book now rests up against my
copy of Ambroses’ “Nothing Like it in the World”.
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