Rodney Samuelson, Manager of Track Maintenance, Sidney, Nebraska
My husband Rodney Samuelson began working for the Union Pacific in March of 1973. Hiring practices were much different then. His father, L.O. Samuelson, was a conductor on a work train on the Plainville Branch. The Road Master asked him if he had any boys that needed a job. So, Rodney and his younger brother Dale, went to talk to the Road Master, Hayes Thacker. Mr. Thacker told them he needed workers immediately, but he only wanted Rodney's brother because he was big and strong. Since school wasn't out yet Dale wasn't available. Rodney convinced Mr. Thacker to hire him even though he was small and puny.
Rodney has held a multitude of positions: extra gang laborer, gang foreman, section man, section foreman, tie and rail inspector, assistant road master and road master ( which is now Manager of Track Maintenance). He has worked in Kansas, Wyoming and Nebraska in the 39 years he has worked for the Union Pacific.
As a side note, his father retired after 42 years as a conductor and his "big brother" Dale Samueslon is still working as a section foreman. Rodney's other brother, Curtis Samuelson, also worked on the railroad for one summer during a flood in Colby, Kan.