After my two years of active duty in the U. S. Transportation Corps, in 1968 I joined the Santa Fe Mechanical Department and was based in Topeka, Kansas. My Santa Fe career extended for about 14 years with stops in Kansas City (twice), Fort Madison, Iowa and Topeka (twice). I began my Santa Fe career as the first ever management trainee in the Mechanical Department. From that point I spent time in Industrial Engineering at the Car Shops In Topeka, Kansas. My next assignment was as an ASDE (Assistant Supervisor Diesel Engines) in Kansas City (Argentine Locomotive Shops) and then in Fort Madison. After 15 months of riding riding trains/locomotives as a troubleshooter, I returned to Argentine Locomotive Shops as a 2nd shift ramp foreman.
Santa Fe made the decision to try one more time to make a go of the refrigerated traffic business. At that time I was assigned to the General Car Inspectors office in Topeka with my main responsibilities to design, implement and manage a data system to monitor the performance of Santa Fe's refrigerated fleet - both cars (MTCs) and vans. The system as designed was one of the first "total" data bases in the mechanical side of the railroad industry. In addition to the mechanical records for each piece of equipment we brought in movement history, waybills, Refrigeration Department line-of-road inspections, traffic data and claims. A complete picture was painted so that management could evaluate and make more informed decisions going forward.
Remaining in Topeka at the Motive Power Building, home of the Mechanical Department staff, I was made a Department Head with the goal of designing a total Mechanical Department information system.
I left the Santa Fe in 1981 to pursue a change in my railroading career from the Class Is to Short Line - as Chief Mechanical Officer of the Ann Arbor Railroad.
The images in this Gallery reflect Santa Fe operations, equipment and my work experiences while I was there.
What a tornado can do to a train. Derailment of a Santa Fe freight just west of Marcelene, MO. The accident was caused by a tornado hitting the moving, eastbound, train. Wreckage was over a quarter of a mile away from the track. One of Hulcher's support trucks. I was riding in the cab of a very late Amtrak Southwest Limited when I took the picture. 5/1971.