3rdrail wrote:Hi Tom and Noel -
Thanks for your recollections.
Now that I've given it more thought, I also recall that NH RDC's, the "Buddliners", were not quick to adopt the new scheme. I recall seeing them with their white ended, orange striped ends with white "NH" logos well into the 70's zipping through Forest Hills. I wonder how the NH crews fared with the changeover - if it was the same song, different title, or if some of them never made the transition. It would seem from what I've heard that PC did not have the level of standard that NH had, so for the NH employees who did make the jump, there must have been some difference. Being a teenager in 1969, in retrospect I wished that I had made the trip on long distance runs on NH & PC (as well as B&M) so as to compare, but alas at that time the Budds were all that I could afford !
The transition from the New Haven Railroad to Penn Central was not
particularly easy for me. We worked with a lot of sub-standard
conditions especially regarding the equipment. The diesel locomotives
were in terrible shape for the most part and the passenger cars were not
much better. The Penn Central did not want us in the first place and when
they took us over they had a terrible attitude toward former New Haven
Railroad people. I felt that I myself and the vast majority of NHRR
people contributed in a big way to keeping the NHRR running. We all went
above and beyond the call in keeping balky locomotives and steam
generators running and keeping any delays to an absolute minimum
whenever we could. Penn Central people for the most part treated us like
s--t and it was a difficult period at best.
Sometimes I and others would stand up to various PC bosses and often
when I did, I got more respect. I can cite a number of instances where
I had guts enough to stand my ground and eventually a good number of
them when they heard my name or encountered me in person would
just "leave me alone".
I did not enjoy delaying a train or tying up a job but I could only take
about so much of their crap before I started to "balk and bark back.
Eventually, things got better and I got along very well with most of the
supervision. A good number of officials were also my friends and have
remained so over more recent years.
We did get some benefits out of the Penn Central takeover too, for some
of us we expanded our work territory and over the years we could bid
and bump to a much larger variety of jobs. We also (to Penn Central's
credit) got system passes almost immediately after the take over.
Yes, on the former NHRR we lost a good amount of work but if you
wanted to work, there was a job somewhere for you and in at least some
cases the job might be on another division but often still not too far from
Like everything else, there were pros and cons to the Penn Central too.