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Hutchinson News Newspaper Archives Mar 4 1990, Page 5

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Hutchinson News (Newspaper) - March 4, 1990, Hutchinson, Kansas Hutchinson news March 1990 Page 5 Engineer Bill Richardson mans the controls of a Santa be engine while switching cars in the rail Yard Friday who started his career with the Railroad in said he advised none of his children to enter the Field because of a Lack of employment tracks continued from Page 1 the tight Job situation int limited to the Newton rail throughout its Santa be has reduced its work Force by 26 percent in the past six according to Kathy a Public relations spokesman at the railroads Chicago in we had pm Westphal by that had decreased to the 26 percent reduction is similar to the entire rail she people get the idea that there Are no Job opportunities in the Railroad she if you want to be a computer computer analyst or transportation yes there Are she but Engi Brake automation and modernization Are the factors most responsible for the cutback in train service according to Merv assistant superintendent of the Santa be Kansas the transition from steam engines to diesel locomotives was the first innovation that eliminated Many in recent the Railroad has eliminated of its trains i boosts and conductors who Rode in them and replaced them with electronic end boxes an acronym for end of train each Box is mounted on the rear of the last car in the Lyne the Batter powered end Box has a warning Flasher so that trains approaching from the rear can see it also contains a device that monitors the air pressure in the Brake system at the end of the and it automatically sends that by radio trans to a receiver in the engine that the Engineer can Monitor that function for decades was accomplished by a conductor with a Lyne cabooses and conductors Are still used on Many of the Santa be trains that serve elevators and Industrial customers on Short runs to and from cities in the having personnel in a caboose allows for quicker switch ing operations As the train leaves cars or picks them up at Points along the he then there Are the once essential to the operation of Coa fired As Well As the Oil burning the role of the fireman on a diesel Loco motive was relegated to that of co Pilot and As an extra set of eyes for the most firemen jobs have been Al though it took decades of phasing them out through agreements Railroad Union represent major employer Santa be now employs about 500 people in the Newton with an annual local payroll of about that employment figure is from a 1988 level of about 345 employees As a result of a consolidation of divisions in the Santa be system that extended the scope of the Kansas the Newton Headquarters is now the command Center for a network of Santa be operations in Colorado and Northern dispatchers and clerical personnel Are still being Don and Richard Dider repair a boxcars suspension in the rail Yard Friday transferred to Newton from other parts of the division As the Transi Tion in the Newton Headquarters building is the division operations Center a Mission control style room packed with Banks of glowing computer screens with color readouts that Tell the locations of trains in the Kansas Divi Sion and the status of track switches throughout the controlling the consoles Are All wearing who Are in constant voice Contact with the engineers of trains mov ing in the like air traffic the dispatchers guide the trains through the thousands of Miles of seeing that they Are safely parked on sidings whenever Nec Essary to allow oncoming trains to pass on the main also unique to Newton is the rail where rails Are reconditioned and Frog rail joints Are produced for the entire Santa be the Santa be Yard there also has the Only rail car washing building in the the massive with overhead dispatcher Jack Aai Cham monitors rail traffic while maintaining voice Contact with engineers of trains moving in the system in the division operations washing allows rail cars to be washed clean of debris so that they can haul Grain and other Veteran conductor in the sprawling rail Yards at trains come and Leav ing rail cars on sidings so that they can be hooked to other trains heading for Points across the sys but for All the activity it s nothing like it was in the old according to Mike a retired Santa be conductor who lives in Hurley Railroad roots go Granddad Hurley was a fire Man for the Railroad for a starting in he my mothers father was a fire Man and Engineer for Santa Feas Early As 1879 and up until about a couple of my uncles and a couple cousins worked in the Roundhouse at Dodge he had a Charles who was on the work gangs that first built the Santa be tracks into Newton in he they got to Newton in july of then he worked building Hurley he Rode the first train went West out of Dodge Hurley started his own career with Santa be in la working As a baggage and mail handler on the depot platform in 1942 As a High school after returning from army air corps service in he got a Job As a in he was promoted to his dream Job id always thought the tallest right a retired Santa be Mike Hurley discusses All the changes that have taken place in the Railroad above among Hurley Memorabilia Are his a ticket his travel and an old Man on the train was the one in the Blue he referring to the dark Blue suit and Cap worn by Santa be in its just prior to the 1929 Stock Market there were Santa be Railroad employees in he Hurley int quoting figures from he has spent years researching Railroad records for information about his relatives rail As Well As general history of the Santa be in Hurley put up of his own Money to publish 1 Santa be rail an i depth history of the Railroad at the 185page Complete with was published in hardback by mennonite press of North new the cautious press run of 500 copies sold out in five months at a Sale Price of per with requests coming he had another 150 copies within a they were another 150 were that Supply ran out last he i now have 12 More he i told people if it Ever got hot in the i might do i might go Back to to produce the Hurley started with his own knowledge of the Railroad and used All the rec newspaper old photos and railroaders he could find to verify and expand his in formation it was a five year among historic subjects addressed by the Book Are the har vey which were Combina Tion restaurant Rooming houses that could be found throughout the Santa be owned by Fred they were based in new where Harvey had a restau rant and a laundry service to Wash uniforms and linens from his Chain of there Are photos and information in the Book about the Santa be locomotive Roundhouse at Newton at the turn of the had 41 stalls to accommodate locomotives for serv the arched building was served by a fan pattern of tracks emanating from a revolving turn table could switch a locomotive to any of the Only the turntable re it still is used to Swap the direction of travel of locomotives and rail the Stone round House was razed in the Sheds that once sheltered train passengers on the platform at Newton were town when they Tore the Sheds they Tore my right Arm right he for a Fella like i still think in in a it was the disappearing architecture that spurred him to pub Lish the history of the Santa feat he despite a career in a business that had no predictable hours and that kept him away from Home More than his family he still derived great satisfaction from his work As a he he i had itchy like my that Why i loved my train i didst like to sit i wanted to be on the photos by Monty Davis

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