Dieter wrote:Ah, yes. The CROTCHETY Penn Central Conductor! Yes, THEY WERE LIVING PROOF that the NAZIs HAD CLONING TECHNOLOGY FIRST.
I wondered what happened to them when Amtrak took over. I saw some rekindled "Central Pride" in some of them, especially on the ROHR Turboliner in Empire Corridor Service.
You know, you have to ask yourself something about that; Was the PC Conductor Crotchety because;
1) He REALLY DID HATE All Of US for some warped reason?
2) He REALLY HATED Penn Central Management for what they had done to "HIS TRAIN" and "HIS RAILROAD", and we were the nearest thing he could take it out on?
3) If he could single-handedly drive passenger rail service into the ground, he would get a BIG BONUS from the Chumps in Suits in Philadelphia?
I remember seeing them be nasty to Senior Citizens, or bite their cheek until it bled to be civil to them under the most atrocious of circumstances. They would rudely BARK answers to students who were on the train for the first time (likely their last trip on rails, too!), and I even saw some of these Ba$tards INTENTIONALLY lock the toilets to make people suffer. Anybody remember that regular practice? A perfectly good toilet would be locked up.
Indeed, it was a sleazy game, and they played it well. I vaguely recall a story of two college guys smacking one of these pathetic Conductors around before they detrained somewhere, and according to the circumstances, the Conductor had provoked the confrontation.
No doubt there were some who were just plain crabby but I think the
worst of them were in the west where they witnessed busy main lines go
from several decent passenger trains to one junk train with dirty cars,
AC not work, cold car(s) in the winter and a host of other unpleasant
conditions and problems. I always though on the Penn Central that the
worst people on the trains were the ones in the west and on the Central
things got much better at Buffalo and on the PRR, things got somewhat
better at Harrisburg.
In the Penn Central days, there were numerous locations where timetable
special instructions required that toilet doors be locked as the train would
be in a watershed area. These instructions were not to be taken lightly
and it was required that they be carried out. Occasionally, the crew would
make an announcement to that effect but they were not required to do so.
I was both a fireman at times and an engineer at times and believe me,
we did our very best to get the people to their destination as safely and
close to on time as we possibly could. My theory was that the railroad did
enough to make their trip unpleasant, I was not going to add to that.