RailPictures.Net Photo: Southern Railway Conductor at Andover, Virginia by Ron Flanary
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Photo Location Map Locomotive Details Location/Date of Photo

Southern Railway (more..)
Conductor (more..)
Andover Scale House (more..)
Andover, Virginia, USA (more..)
July 08, 1969
Locomotive No./Train ID Photographer
Ron Flanary (more..)
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Remarks & Notes 
In the summer of 1969 I was in the second of two years as a janitor at the Southern-Interstate terminal at Andover, VA. I attended college by day, and worked in the afternoons and evenings on the railroad. The division superintendent used me frequently for little photographic or artistic assignments, including a series of slides depicting unsafe work practices. I shot most of the images in and around Andover, using yard crewmen, track workers, mechanical department personnel---you name it. I even used a tripod and self-timer to pose for some of the shots myself. This culminated in a slide show presented at an annual safety meeting. It was serious, of course, but it also got a lot of laughs. One of my favorite "models" was the first trick yard conductor, Merl Snodgrass. Despite the appearance, Merl was one of the best professional railroaders you could find anywhere. For a few days when the temperature through the day was near 100 degrees Fahrenheit, he came to work in this particular garb---until the terminal superintendent suggested he wear more conventional attire. There's no reason to explain why sitting on a coupler is a no-no. :) This was taken at the old Andover Scale House, and the car is an Interstate 50-ton friction bearing hopper. Notice it's sitting on the "dead rails," since the other pair is the track scales. It's funny to look back 46 years at a time before FRA-mandated safety vests, safety glasses, ear plugs and hard-toed shoes. You might wonder how these guys railroaded without all that safety stuff. Actually, they did a helluva job---and hustled all the time. No "three-steps," either: you were expected to safely mount and dismount moving equipment. They were all safety-consequence, too.
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