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HUGE Change Ahead?


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#1 laming

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Posted 19 June 2007 - 12:04 PM

Hi Fella's:

Some big doin's is likely in the works. The story goes like this...

Having experienced some unsettling feelings over the past couple months about the current railroad/subdivision I work for, last Friday I stopped by a different railroad with the intention of merely leaving a resume' for any future openings with a "wait and see" type attitude.

During the brief conversation with the receptionist, I introduced myself, and explained that I'd like to leave a resume' with them, and possibly introduce myself to any Human Resource representitive they employed. I mentioned that I was currently railroading, conversant with GCOR, had an Engineer Certification, yada, yada.

With a "hold that thought" gesture, she disappeared. Soon she returned and said "would you please follow me?"

Doing so, we left the "public" building and went over to the operations building. I was introduced to the General Manager. Soon the President of the company joined us.

As we talked, I shared a gist of my experiences. During the conversation, he also asked, "have you ever hauled passengers?". To that I could answer yes as well, but with the disclaimer that only with steam engines. biggrin.gif

Chuckling that they didn't own any steam engines YET... he indicated that, given my experience, I would be able to fit in very well with their entire operation with a minimum of familiarization time. (3-4 weeks.)

When we talked about wages, they asked what I thought would be fair... I told them a figure. He looked pleasantly surprised and responded that I would better that figure by a considerable margin my first year.... and by the second year I should be doubling my current income. At that point, I was offered a job.

Well... I told them I was very interested, but wanted to touch base with Mrs. Coonskin to see what she thought about all of this. For you see, this will ultimately involve a move.

After weighing the pros and cons over the weekend, I called the GM yesterday and accepted the offer. The paperwork has begun, and it looks like I'll be pulling a throttle for a different railroad in a month or so.

What railroad, you ask?

Well, in a huge twist of irony, it is the very set of rails on which I first learned my trade, albeit under a different ownership. It is the same set of rails that holds some of my most poignant railroading memories of times past. A place where many friends were met, some of which remain to this day.

However, this time around, instead of EMD's, I'll have to be satisfied running Alco's.

Looks like I'm to become an engineer for the Arkansas & Missouri Railroad.

Andre

#2 shawnbecher

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Posted 19 June 2007 - 12:30 PM

Congratulations Andre! How huge is that? And to be running in familiar territory too! Absolutely awesome! Way to go!

#3 jbt1024

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Posted 19 June 2007 - 03:11 PM

Very nice, we can sure have some realistic activies now tongue.gif But congrats man biggrin.gif

Jonathan

#4 ckawahara

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Posted 19 June 2007 - 03:33 PM

Like a dream come true ( or something like that...+ you get paid!)

Congrats!

When do they plan to buy you a steamer?


Craig

#5 Hawk

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Posted 19 June 2007 - 03:44 PM

Congratulations Andre. Especially on the pay raise. biggrin.gif

#6 laming

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Posted 19 June 2007 - 04:41 PM

Thanks all.

Bear in mind that I still intend to be involved with VSC as well as MSTS.

In fact, if it plays out like I suspect it might over the next 6 months to a year... we could be living in temporary housing while all the sales/etc take place, possibly me there and Sharon here. That so, all I'll need to entertain myself is my camera (for textures), my computer, and my books. biggrin.gif I would expect to find myself passing much of my time away from Sharon working on MSTS projects.

At this point, we're thinking about eventually locating near Winslow, Arkansas... the highest rail pass between the Mississippi and the Rockies. Below you'll see a pic of an A&M train cresting the grade at Winslow, headed south toward the tunnel. I snapped this one back in the mid-late 80s.

Andre

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#7 laming

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Posted 19 June 2007 - 04:44 PM

And here is another train, another day, this time me on board and doing a bit of railroading. We had just finished switching at Winslow and ready to head south to Ft. Smith. This too, from the mid-late 80s.

My roots run deep with this line.

Andre

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#8 ckawahara

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Posted 19 June 2007 - 06:14 PM

Some day, exchange the camera for a tape recorder (only temporarily cuz' I love your real life camera stuff)...I would like to hear the engine sounds without any editing to make them work with MSTS.

You've peeked my interest...

http://www.arkansasmissouri-rr.com/

Thanks for keeping MSTS several levels above a 'game' (I know, it's called a sim...)


Craig


#9 wmghobbs

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Posted 19 June 2007 - 07:17 PM

Hey Andre,
Didn't the Judge and I hike a portion of the line with you once?.....
Bill Hobbs

#10 laming

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Posted 19 June 2007 - 07:35 PM

Bill "Smart Aleck" Hobbs said:

"Didn't the Judge and I hike a portion of the line with you once?....."

Yes, and I still have the scar to prove it. laugh.gif

Andre

#11 SeanK97

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Posted 19 June 2007 - 07:44 PM

NO PICTURES!!!!!!! tongue.gif

Hope Zollner doesn't see this post, he'll be wanting a few trips down the rails for sound samples soon enuf. laugh.gif

#12 rgarber

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Posted 19 June 2007 - 07:59 PM

Well a mighty congrats are in order ye ole Kooner! We're all jealous! - Rich G

#13 BLW_1946

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Posted 19 June 2007 - 09:00 PM

One door closes; another opens...

Congratulations, Andre!

#14 darkflyer

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Posted 19 June 2007 - 09:53 PM

Many congrats Andre. Some guys are lucky, but you hit the jackpot it looks like. foof.gif

#15 laming

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Posted 19 June 2007 - 10:09 PM

All: Thanks again for the continued well wishes.

Rich: I think I'm heading to Nashville, AR tomorrow (for my current railroad) to work that Sub for a day or two. I'll try to hook up with you soon for one our famous phone marathon chats. tongue.gif

Tim B: Which of the former D&H Alco's going to the A&M have you seen/photographed while they were still on the D&H? Assuming they are still in service on the A&M, I'll soon be running them!

Craig: Forsooth, I have no way of recording sound.

SeanK: I pay for this space here, I can post pics.

All:

I'm excited, but the monumental effort concerning relocating, along with all of the "unknown" factors thereof, tempers the excitement. It's a shame their operational headquarters aren't at Ft. Smith. (Simple commute of 30 minutes and I'm there.) There are three A&M switch/transfer jobs based at Ft. Smith, but no engineer slot is available at that location.

In further talk with the GM, we discussed my job assigment, he asked where I wanted to be placed. I told him I like working a variety of jobs, and I also like some variety in working hours (including some nights). Most A&M jobs are daylight hours, except the Ft. Smith Turn. I could have chosen the Ft. Smith Turn (the only "assigned job" on the A&M... runs from Springdale to Ft. Smith & return each night), but instead I chose the rotation board, thus I will be working different jobs over the length of the railroad, including ocassional relief for the assigned job of the FS Turn. I don't know how they work the excursion service yet, but seeing as I have experience with hauling passengers, I hope the familiarization runs include that rotation as well.

Only supposition on my part here, but I THINK the jobs are: Springdale Switcher, Fayetteville Switcher, Rogers Switcher, the Monett Turn, several Grain Trains, Ft. Smith Turn, several excursion trains, and the 3 Ft. Smith switch jobs? Main line track speed will be 49 MPH on the north end. There is some 49 MPH on the south end, but mostly 35 MPH there.

In all, the A&M is a busy and profitable railroad for a "shortline". They seem to take pride in their physical plant as well as maintain their equipment to a high state of repair and appearance. They also have an agressive marketing department and go after business. Their growth since my acquaintance with them has been impressive. While in the region with the wife over the weekend, I stopped near a crossing and told her to look at the track... even she could see the heavy welded rail that was straight as a string, and manicured ballast. Top notch.

From what I hear from a friend of mine that is associated with the A&M, there is oncoming/same direction traffic to deal with. Though such railroading requires the head to be cut-in at all times, that type of railroading also makes for much more interesting railroading. TWC for that type of traffic is also much more interesting than simple "Work Between" and "Proceed To" track warrants.

Really, it hasn't fully sunk in yet, for the process has just begun and is only in the "phone/paperwork" stage. However, when I really stop to think about it, I'm very much looking forward to it.

Below you'll find a parting shot. Know what you're looking at? You're looking at the A&M before it was the A&M! Yup... that's the engine shops being built while it is still under BN operation. Like I said... my roots run deep with this line.

Andre

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#16 pnrailway

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Posted 20 June 2007 - 03:08 AM

Andre,

I honestly hope all goes well and you fully enjoy playing with the A&M in 1:1 scale.

Paul

#17 Eaglefan9727

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Posted 20 June 2007 - 05:15 AM

Congratulations Andre on the new job.

#18 charliechan

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Posted 20 June 2007 - 07:10 AM

Good Morning:

Congratulations on the dream come true, have a great and happy life.

Chandler


#19 nbeveridge

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Posted 20 June 2007 - 07:15 AM

QUOTE(laming @ Jun 19 2007, 1:45 PM) View Post



However, this time around, instead of EMD's, I'll have to be satisfied running Alco's.

Looks like I'm to become an engineer for the Arkansas & Missouri Railroad.

Andre


Andre,

I am so jealous. I turned down a chance to become a loco engineer with SP many years ago, and have wondered about the lost opportunity ever since. Now, you not only get to do the job, but you will get to do it on your dream line!

Steve Davis and I chased trains on the A&M a few months ago. Maybe we can get over there again in the near future and chase you!

#20 august1929

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Posted 20 June 2007 - 07:15 AM

Andre - what a fantastic change. Really glad you have an "up" after recent events. I am sure you and Sharon will be very happy.

Rodster