Early employment experience, men secretaries at the L&N. Industrial agents served under: Mr. Hatti, Mr. Chase. Agricultural colonization sponsored by L&N in southern states. L&N projects with governmental or military agencies: Naval Ordinance, Lexington-Avon Signal Depot, Higgins Ship Yard-Louisiana, Curtis Wright; and Space Center. Land acquisition, survey and development data, ownership, acquisition of needed land by government. L&N military export activities. Oak Ridge facility created without L&N knowledge of reason. Military experience. Post-war period: railroads used by private industry to negotiate and survey area prior to announcement of industry coming into region. Competition from trucking industry; dieselization as a competitive necessity. Industrial Development dept created 1959. Additional land acquired, converted to industrial use. Chicago & Eastern Illinois, Evansville acquisition; Western & Atlantic R.R. Bisha's role in Seaboard Coast Line. Purchase of the Monon. On Board of Chicago & Western Indiana & Belt RR of Chicago representing L&N. N.C.&St.L. merger and Ford plant in Nashville. Seaboard Coast Line consolidation. Changes in technology; computerization. Increased size of cars. Lines into eastern Kentucky Coal fields. Piggy back, circus loading, high capacity lifts, fork lift operations. Problems with existing structures built for smaller cars. Examples of recycling land owned by L&N. Changes for Bisha with consolidation of L&N with SCL. Acquisition - part of Tennessee Central, RFC involvement. Receivership under Battle Rhodes. Attempt to negotiate for RR line to become part of the L&N, prevented by brotherhoods, settled by federal judge. Property disposed of to settle government RFC loans. L&N creation of new revenue sources: tree farming, tung nut, government and L&N agricultural agents. L&N first RR to create land banks. L&N's role in Louisville-area development. Acquisition of Monon RR brought K&I tracks leading to development of Rubbertown area, current work in Riverport area, southern Jefferson County, importance of floodwall, development of Freeport area by US Commerce Dept. Possible changes in transportation regulations. Revitalization of L&N-owned facilities.
Main topics: Early life, University of Tennessee, banks closed 1933, hired as draftsman and instrument man; moved with L&N; career from division engineer to Assistant Vice President of Personnel and Labor Relations. Areas of experience: 1955 railroad strike, merger with N.C.&St.L., DeCoursey line up Straight Creek, Hurricane Betsy, involved in C.E.&I., and work as independent consultant. Descriptive sections on L&N: L&N in 1937, life out on the line, track and bridge repair and streamlining of curves, divisions of the L&N and their boundaries. Changes in division boundaries through merger, operation department and its chain of command, South Louisville shops, reasons for moving personnel throughout the divisions, description of camp car gangs, defense facilities and industrial development. Sections on routine maintenance and projected maintenance: types of crossties, explanation of rail conditions, suppliers of ties and rails, lining bars on tracks with caller versus more modern techniques, laying of rail and spikes, condition of track in relation to derailments, single track repair schedule. Repairing procedure for damage of Hurricanes Betsy and Camille. Additional information on work crews and union jobs. Modernization in many areas: scheduling of construction work, rapid loading facilities, critical path method (PERK). Discussion of labor and personnel: good explanation of the Brotherhood's responsibility to the provision the Railway Act. Descriptions on labor consideration: Lace Curtain money, reasons some agreements take so long to be resolved, hard feelings carried over from the 1955 railroad strike, Clark's past experience that enabled him to understand labor's viewpoint. Final comments: Differences in position when Clark held position of Vice President Operations in Jacksonville; was working in labor relations during three mergers: N.C.&St.L.; N&W & the Virginian; and recent experience with the New England railroads.
Experience prior to working at the L&N. 1940: to Mobile and experiences in WWII effort. 1941-1942: to Louisville, chief in Engineering Department. 1942: to Corbin. Wartime; new tracks into military facilities. 1943-1944: centralized billing for coal shipments from Eastern Kentucky, DeCoursey. Preliminary study of present Osborn Yard. Birmingham, 1946: description of wartime Birmingham. Use of diesel for freight and passenger, first switch engines. Different types of locomotives, problems in change over, diesel to eastern Kentucky to mainline the Clinchfield. Human qualities of steam engine. Hearing for manpower required by diesels - GP Loco - Eisenhower Rules Commission. Bud car feasibility not related to labor considerations. 1954: most of L&N dieselized; 1956: last steam engine locomotive for L&N. Merger of NC&StL: Mr. Small conducted preliminary study on the feasibility of merger without consulting NC&StL. After merger consideration had to be made about cutbacks of duplicate lines. Small's public relation assignment to work with those opposing the cutbacks to the line. Feelings on the part of Nashville interest. Comparison of the NC&StL merger with that of L&N consolidation with Seaboard Coast Line Industries. 1950s-1960s: climate for work relationships at the L&N. Changes in technology in 1957 on-assignment to work on computerization. Increase in number and types of rolling stock. Hurricane damage and precautions: 40-42 days maximum time lost due to damage. L&N's role in communities in various states. Passenger service and Amtrak. Studies on cutting back or dropping service. Small's role in explaining these adjustments. Process of cutbacks. Early 1970s: birth of Amtrak, last L&N run renamed the Floridian. Cutback in service was for economic reasons. Future predictions. Passenger types most often using the L&N for transportation. Changes from 1971 and Mr. Kendall's retirement as president till Mr Small's retirement in 1977.
Mr. Womack worked for many years for the Nashville, Chattanooga, and St. Louis Railway before it was merged with the L&N Railroad. This interview covers his return to full-time work after college on G.I. Bill. From 1949-1953, he was an operator in various locations in Alabama and Tennessee and an official in 1953. Discusses the 1955 strike and the merger with L&N in 1957.