Louisville and Nashville Railroad Company--Employees

= Audio Available Online
Ray Abner is a retired general chairman of the International Brotherhood of Firemen and Oilers (IBF&O). His experience with the L&N Railroad began during his childhood in Eastern Kentucky. Main Topics: Childhood and early years in railroad boarding camp. Experience as a telegrapher; transfer to position at the South Louisville Shops after being furloughed in 1936-37; early union organizing at the South Louisville Shops; definition of the terms "fireman" and "oilers" and the relation of semiskilled and unskilled workers to the IBF&O; work responsibilities of the laborers; role of the IBF&O during the 1955 strike against the L&N Railroad; responsibilities of the general chairman of the IBF&O; changes brought about by equal opportunity employment legislation; reflections on union activities including accomplishments, labor and management relations, and cooperation from the national office for local problems; historical importance of the railroads to Eastern Kentucky.
Main Topics: Education and early life, experience in the road master's office, general baggage and general passenger department around 1922; description of Union Station in the 1920s, description of passengers and troop trains 1920 through World War II; comments on the military bureau, food supplies and army cooks; offices of the L&N and other railroad passenger agents in the Marion E. Taylor and Starks Building on Fourth Street in Louisville; special tours included trips to: Mammoth Cave, Natural Bridge, to ball games in Cincinnati, Ohio, and St. Louis, Missouri; types of accommodations available on the passenger trains; more comments on experience as chief clerk in the Starks Building Arcade office until move toward consolidation about 1959; changes in Union Station over the years; Louisville, Henderson, and St. Louis Railway merger in 1929; experiences that meant a great deal to Birchler and some of the personalities that he remembers. Included in these were an excursion trip to Niagara Falls, New York; tours for school children; special trains for Franklin D. Roosevelt, Harry Truman, and Thomas E. Dewey. Private cars-comments and descriptions; local lines and local transportation; comments on the land grant railroads. Special aspects of the L&N Railroads. Local feeling of loyalty to the L&N. Development of the local community because of the L&N Interurban lines. Traveling passenger agents.
A 1917 graduate of the College of Arts & Sciences of the University of Louisville, Bowman discusses his academic and athletic career at U of L from 1914 until graduation. Prominently mentioned are faculty and curriculum; social life at the University; and Bowman's career as a college football player, manager of the basketball team, and member of the track team. He also discusses his participation in Boyd Martin's University Players and his career with the Louisville and Nashville Railroad from 1921 until 1961.
Mildred Bradley is a retired worker at the South Louisville Shops. She was among a large group of women hired by the L&N Railroad during World War II. Main topics: Early life and jobs before employment with L&N; early working years at the L&N (good description of cleaning diesels and working with brick masons); postwar years; unionization and the importance for women; 1955 strike observations and experiences; limitations on women workers who continued to work at the South Louisville shops; background on International Brotherhood of Firemen and Oilers; special tools and aspects of Mildred Bradley's work; work experiences of father, Jess Davis; reflections on race relations in Kentucky and on the L&N Railroad. Wrap-up: comments on work including examples of how she dug the pits under the diesels and other heavy machines, and more explanation concerning union activities and records; reflections on what might have been if times had been different and compliments paid to Ms. Bradley.
Mr. Burkhart is a retired L&N employee and past General Chairman of the Railroad Yardmasters of America. Main topics: father's railroad background and L&N ties with the Shelby Park community near the Oak Street Yard; military railroad experience during World War II; postwar changes in railroading at the L&N; military railroad experience during the Korean conflict; union activities and reflections on Burkhart's years as General Chairman; physical differences in the three Louisville L&N Railroad yards: east Louisville, Water Street, and the South Louisville yard. Additional comments on union activities, the L&N Railroad battalion and its training activities.
This interview focuses upon Mr. Carey's experiences while working as an L&N engine carpenter. Topics include: union activities, political activities and company policy, and the coming of the diesel engine to the Louisville shops.
Main topics: Early life, Nashville, school and marriage. Started in Transportation in 1963 in Louisville at $19.20 per day. Job severed with 282 award and became a switchman. Gained seniority and had more educational background. Influence of wife when racial barriers made position unpleasant. Became brakeman when switchman job was cut. Move to Glasgow where racial situation was bad. Gained experience as locomotive engineer on General Motors, General Electric and Alco locomotives. Around 1968 began to see other opportunities that could be open to him. 1971 became assistant train master, a position that proved to be valuable experience. 1977 became traveling engineer or road foreman. Then made immediate supervisor over locomotive engineers. Presently training of locomotive engineers is part of his responsibility. Utilization of the locomotives, new computerization for centralized train control. F7 Series, EMD, General Electric most sophisticated, centralized traffic control (CTC), service areas, modernization of equipment, unit train, road bed and increase in speed limits. Tracks and roadway the same location as in steam days. Necessary for rebuilding daily and the improvements on the locomotives themselves. Cotton outlines the boundaries of the Louisville Division. Terminals of the Louisville Division including the Monon Facilities. Discussion of the hump yard at Osborn Yard in Louisville. Cotton's responsibilities include thed following: training of personnel (apprentice engineers and supervisors), terminal breakdown and derailment procedure. This section also explains the regionalization of various areas of responsibility. Continuation of derailment sight procedure and notification if hazardous materials is being leaked and other general responsibilities. Strikes and the reason for training supervisors to operate the locomotives. Family Lines team approach, coming of women to the locomotive positions; some policy approach of the Family Lines that are important: Incentive program, scholarship awards for supervisors' children, scholarship opportunities for employees, higher level of education of training for new employees. Unionization and its effect on the company and present employee problems.
A Male High School graduate, Daulton's father was with the carman's union. Coleman Daulton started working for the L&N in the passenger department. He worked in the City Passenger Agent's office in the Starks Building. Stayed until cutback and worked for a while at the Andrews-Collins Company. Returned to the L&N in the personnel department where he remained for several years. Moved to the vice president's office as accident report clerk. Became secretary for assistant vice president R.C. Parsons. With this position Daulton traveled extensively throughout the entire L&N system, attended yearly stockholders' and director's meetings. Career experience with the L&N as assistant and then superintendent of safety began about 1950. This position began with three safety inspectors (maintenance of way, mechanical, and transportation) but gradually lost all three. Daulton was then given duties of head of freight loss and damage prevention when the department head retired. Changes came about when C.H. Sanderson joined the L&N. From 1972-1975 additional backing was given the Safety Department to accomplish its work. Accomplishments and programs of the department over the years (safety shoes, head protection, earmuffs, comprehensive rulebook replaced numerous sections put out by various departments). Emphasis on the importance of the red book on chemicals to the railroad in time of danger. L&N company policy of promoting men through the ranks and the effect this had. Thought on effects of reversing this policy. Family background of many people deeply involved in the L&N Railroad and how this relates to settlement of different areas in Louisville. Newsletter of national safety organization and Daulton's relation to it. Sections on early days in the L&N when traveling with Parsons and later experiences under C.S. Sanderson. Relationship between the Safety Department and the Claims Department (Law). Procedure when an injury took place. Important safety improvements for railroad.
William Dudley served as the last station master for the L&N Railroad at the Union Station in Louisville, Kentucky. Main topics: Railroad background of various members of the Dudley family. Usual cargo loads carried by the L&N such as baby chicks and a dead whale. World War II freight and passenger traffic, including the atomic bomb cars. Famous passengers known by Mr. Dudley. Experience as a mailhandler. Comparison of the train master and a station master. Interesting Kentucky Derby stories. Segregation policies and procedures of the L&N Railroad. L&N political activities.
Mr. Eye is a retired locomotive carpenter with a broad knowledge of the working of the South Louisville shops. Main topics: Early life and employment. South Louisville shops during World War II. Background on labor relations including comments on the 1922 and 1955 strikes on the L&N Railroad. Reflections on the steam locomotive and the change to diesel power. Physical considerations of work life at the South Louisville facilities. Modernization of the South Louisville shops. Various topics such as tours of the shops for main office personnel; positive feelings about work at the Louisville & Nashville Railroad. Phased out jobs, and cooperative efforts between the shops and other departments of the L&N.