Hey, people, thanks for the positive responses!
If I am reading this correctly so far, a major theme emerging is one that is not unknown, but not always articulated: Respect for railroad employees. I am not a railroader, but my father was a railroad man, so I am keenly aware of the hard work and sacrifices of working for the railroad. (I would not be where I am today had it not been for my dad's hard work, wisdom and guidance.)
My dad was always friendly to railfans and often bent the rules by allowing people like us on the caboose and engines, even taking them along for a ride once in a while, actions unheard of in this corporate, litigious environment.
So on behalf of my long retired dad, thanks!
...and keep 'em coming!
"But Dad. It's Smokey!"