40 Years of Change

by LaVern Lyon

  • 40 Years of Change

    Natoma, Ks. Depot, painting by LaVern Lyon

  • 40 Years of Change

    Passenger Train, painting by LaVern Lyon

  • 40 Years of Change

    800 Class on Pony Express, painting by LaVern Lyon

I went to work for the Union Pacific in 1951. John Kenefick, was our trainmaster at Salina, Ks., and he gave me my first rules exam. He later became president of the UP. One of the requirements of the job was to be able to telegraph 25 words per minute. About all of the freight trains were still using steam engines. The only passenger train through this area that used diesel power was the City of St. Louis. Eight passenger trains ran through Salina. In 1956 I was assigned the agent’s job at Natoma, Ks. Jerry Davis, who later became president of UP, was a student telegrapher at Natoma for a short time. The method of doing business changed rapidly over the next 40 years. Computers replaced the telegraph and instead of a man at every station, business was consolidated in Omaha and St. Louis. I worked for 40 years in central and eastern Kansas and spent the last two years in the Harriman Dispatching Center in Omaha. I truly enjoyed my time on the UP and looked forward to each day on the job and the fellowship with fellow workers.

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Working at UP
Salina, KS
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