Prior to MN being created, I was in charge of the manpower assignments for the Hudson. Harlem, and GCT/ Manhattan East Consolidated Terminal under PC and Conrail.
The commuter territory was organized as the Metropolitan Region, but our office also covered PC/Conrail and Amtrak jobs. While the freight assignments were separate,
many Amtrak assignments were intermingled with the commuter jobs on the Hudson side.
At any rate, my point is that with each new General Manager and General Superintendent, I invariably had to provide an explanation as to why they were usually between
the 5th and 10th highest paid on the Region. Top earners were always signal maintainers and extra-board engineers and trainmen. The key factor was that it was less
expensive to the carrier to let people work "excessively" rather than hire additional employees, especially since the cost of the fringes rose from about 30% to about 65%
in the time I was there.
So, we had scheduled engineer jobs on the Hudson side that were rated at $80,000 +, and that was back in the 1970's and early 1980's.
Trainmen also benefited from the Luna/Saunders Agreement and the Merger Protective Agreement which combined to give a very generous guaranteed earnings.