Discussion relating to the PRR, up to 1968. Visit the PRR Technical & Historical Society for more information.
  by Bigt
I hope I am not using the wrong forum, but, my question pertains to engineers on the
PRR. Am reading the book "Set Up Running, the Life of a Pennsylvania Railroad Engineer",
by John W. Orr. His father, Oscar, is the focus of the book. During the course of his career, Oscar
becomes disqualified from working as an engineer because of a medical issue. He is referred
to as an "8A-1 man". My question is this: was this an actual railroad term / classification used
for employees - engineers or train crew specifically - or, was it a derogatory term used by fellow
employees? If official, can anyone shed some light on it's meaning? Something like the old military
fitness classification, ie, 1-A, 4-F, etc.? Thanks in advance.
  by urrengr2003
8A-1 was a medical restriction on a Qualified Engineman restricting specific, and in some cases all, qualifications. Examples: restricted from psgr service, yard service only, fireman only. The designation 8A-1 was placed to the right of a mans name on the seniority roster in the qualifications column. This being used by enginehouse clerks and crew callers to fill assignments. Once designated 8A-1 an Engineman although qualified for better paying assignments could not thru the grievance process claim he was being denied this work. Accordingly this status was review annually by Management & The Organization at the very least and more often when medical conditions were thought to be improved.
  by Bigt
urrenger2003 -

Thank you for the information. Do you know if this was a designation used by
the PRR only, or, did all railroads use it? I assume that everyone would have some
type of medical designation, or, just if they had a problem? When I was a kid, we
had an older neighbor who was an engineer for the NYC / PC. He wore glasses some
of the time, but, he was always worried about passing the eye exam! Thanks again....