Fond Memories Of Days Gone By

by Jim Fickel

Having just been hired to work as a switchman in the Omaha yards, I worked the midnight shift, extra board. I remember how cold the winter nights were after a deep snow hit -- walking down the tracks, knee deep in snow, writing down the boxcar numbers so the clerk could tell us which track to switch them into. My, how things have changed!

My father was an engineer in the yards at that time, and my two brothers also were switchmen for a short time in the same yard. I remember one night shift, my father, my two brothers and I were on the same crew. Believe me when I say that we got the job done and kept the cars on the rail!

One last thing. In the years that I worked at Union Pacific, all the fellow co-workers I knew, we were a UP family. I always got along with the crew, we knew we had a job to do, and I knew in those days that we did our job well.

Fond memories? Yes!!

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Working at UP
Omaha, NE
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  • Unlike today where you were promptly on time for work, worked hard in the cold and heat, did your job and loved it. There's nothing better for me then taking my electric wheelchair out on the bike path that runs along the UP line and sit and watch a coal train, or any type of cars go past with the USA Flag on the engines. Thank you sharing your story. Thank you UP for keeping America running.

    - Tom Stewart a few years ago