Railroad repair shops
= Audio Available Online
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.
Annie Ruth Laird is retired from the South Louisville Shops and is one of hundreds of women hired by the L&N to work during World War II. Main topics: introduction to Laird's work years at the South Louisville Shops; description of the atmosphere and work activities at the shops; important years of change for minority employees: 1950-1960; daily living conditions such as clothing requirements and lunch facilities; comments on the changes during the 1970s; wrap-up thoughts on working for the L&N Railroad.
Father with L&N as master mechanic. Early experience as roadman, then as special apprentice in the South Louisville shops. Description of the South Louisville shops, JW Adams and the Roundhouse. Areas of interest included the dynamonica car and car equipment. Differences in the division terrain and the movement of engineers to divisions. Description of different round houses. Involvement in shipping material for war. Return to Louisville in 1948 as assistant master mechanic and promotion to general master mechanic. Building period in 1948 to make changes from war years. Changes to be made in car shop facilities and diesel repair. Boilermakers disappeared and electricians increased. Thoughts on the railroad fraternity, the sharing of knowledge and the competition among manufacturers of diesel locomotives. This tape deals with various innovations and types of cars needed for the more modern railroad, derailment considerations, test track, suppliers and the AAR (American Association of Railroads).
Early life and college years; employment with the Nashville, Chattanooga and St. Louis Railway. Depression and his apprenticeship program. Maintenance of the steam locomotives, wartime measures, description of the NC&StL shops during the steam locomotive days, terrain of the NC&StL. Responsibility in Nashville shops: to develop new sources of steam for the shop boilers (burning oil), types of locomotives, instructions for car diesels and the teaching responsibility for apprentices and locomotive firemen to engineers. Merger of the NC&StL and the L&N in 1957. Mr. Sapp was assistant manager of planning and production. Comparison of the NC&StL equipment and that of the L&N. Train crews continued to operate on the same lines as before. There was a learning period for Sapp with WI Johnson in charge. This was the beginning of his experience with freight cars. Moved to the L&N on Jan 1, 1953, and appointed mechanical engineer. He describes the mechanical engineer's office and staff at that time. Large amount of travel involved. Areas of technical development that Sapp was directly involved in until his retirement: design of freight cars; split sill car underframe patented; door mechanism also patented; needed special operation (air pressure used) in Louisville South shops. Good description of the pits and conveyor belts used at the TVA plant at Bull Run; working out of the audio radio system with supplier field testing for freight cars and the American Association of Railroads called in to help. Test track set up near Frankfort that became the specification track for the AAR. Information on the Car Construction Committee of the AAR. Information on other professional organizations that Sapp felt useful during his career.
Rebecca Smith is a retired South Louisville shops employee. 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 the L&N; work experiences in Shop 13; work experiences in Shop 14; importance of the union (International Brotherhood of Firemen and Oilers) for women workers; reflections on race relations at the South Louisville shops; condition of the rail cars cleaned by Smith; limitation of facilities for women employees; limitation experienced by women employees that made transition to the skilled crafts difficult; work experiences at Strawberry Yard (good description of all phases of work done by women); additional work experiences after returning to the South Louisville shops; wrap up and personal items about Ms. Smith's life.