• Al Perlman and management training programs

  • General discussion about railroad operations, related facilities, maps, and other resources.
General discussion about railroad operations, related facilities, maps, and other resources.

Moderator: Robert Paniagua

  by runnerup
I've seen various sources mention the management training program Al Perlman ran at the New York Central / Penn Central, but they have been short on details. Does anyone know if and how this program lives on, or where I could find specific information about what made this training program so legendary?

Alternatively, can anyone compare and contrast existing management training programs?

(I apologize if this is the wrong forum to post this in. It seems like an operations question to me.)

  by UPRR engineer
This is the right place there dude.

Theres not really much to it. Putting college kids in as trainmasters. Are you wanting to know why the railroads think its a good idea?

  by Noel Weaver
This was a good program and it produced a lot of very good operating
officials over the years. I worked with a number of them who came
through this and they were, without exception, good people who knew
what they were doing.
Noel Weaver

  by shlustig
The Perlman era NYC operations management training program was of 18-months duration. Time was divided about equally between the transportation, M//W, and M/E departments There was some variation in departmental time and scheduling based on the experience of the individual trainee and the time of year.

For M/E, time was spent at the two heavy repair shops at Collinwood and Beech Grove as well as at one of the major engine terminals, including being assigned to accompany one of the traveling "diesel weasels" (inspectors) as they rode both freight and passenger trains.

For M/W, time was spent with mechanized track gangs, welding gangs, C&S people, B&B people, and with a Track Spvr in the assigned territory.

For Transportation / Operations, assignment was to the Terminal Supt. of a major hump yard, Trainmaster at a flat-switching facility, and Road Trainmaster of the assigned division. Short familiarizations stints to the system offices for power assignments and car utilization were included, and the initial safety training was given at Detroit under the tutlegae of a super fellow named (IIRC) Jimmy Harrison. Operational rules instruction was given by the district to which the trainee was assigned.

An additional benefit of the program was that as the trainee progressed, he might be assigned to a system or district project dealing with locomotive or car utilization, scheduling, or other operational problems.

Upon completion of the assigned program, the trainee would be offered a position in one of the departments. for Transportation / Operations, this was as an Asst. TM or Transportation Inspector.

  by runnerup
Thanks, shlustig
  by ChiefTroll
I was in it, and I would not have missed the opportunity. NYC was good to me, and let me work in the program at Selkirk for one month in 1963 between my Civil Engineering degree from RPI and my two years in the Army Corps of Engineers (another good experience). That one month made my Army time good for Railroad Retirement.

In 1963, there were separate Operating Department programs for Engineering, Transportation and Mechanical. When I returned in 1965, the program was common for all three Operating Department functions, with six months in each of the three areas. There were other programs for legal, accounting, marketing and the other administrative functions.

After I returned, I spent four months on the Eastern District working with track gangs and track supervisors, and a few weeks drawing signal circuits for CP 22 at Framingham. All of that was very instructive and useful.

Then it was strongly hinted that I was ready to go to work as an Assistant Track Supervisor, so off I went to Kenton, Ohio to begin earning my keep. That was a cram course, as anyone who knew the Track Supervisor at Kenton in the 1960's can tell you.

In summary, the program was good. I know and still correspond with several alumni who have done well in the railroad industry. I think I have, too. I always wonder if I should have stuck with the training program a while longer, but it all worked out well in the long run. I'm still railroading, although not for a railroad, just because I want to.

Gordon Davids