SOOT IN THE FLUES


| January/February 1979



Soot in the flues

Walt Thayer

Hi out there in Engine Land! Another year gone by and we'll soon be well into the new 1979 Hope this year lets you catch up with some of those things you didn't quite accomplish in 1978. Right now you have a few months to get busy on those jobs you want finished by show time and also to send us some more stories and pictures and bits of interest for the Iron-Men Family.

The following picture and story was sent to us by WALT THAYER, Wenatchee, Washington 98801 as he sent us a copy of (The Railroad Evangelist Paper). This story was in this paper and was from John D. Livingston, Sec. Trea., Columbia River Chapter R.E.A., 8502 N.E. Kogan Road, Vancouver, Washington 08665 as he wrote to Brother Herman Rose, Editor of above mentioned paper. His address is Route 4, Box 36 D, Spencer, Indiana 47460:

Dear Brother Rose:

The picture is of the B.N. Passenger Station in Vancouver, Washington, painted by a brakeman on the S.P. RR. As you can see on the picture, the station is located near the Columbia River. The building was erected in 1912 and is now considered for restoring as a landmark by the city of Vancouver, with the help of a Federal grant. The lower level housed the B.N. Ry. communication center and the ticket office, foyer and baggage room which is leased to AMTRAK. The upper level is occupied by the mechanical department offices, the road foreman's office and the office of the car clerk.

I began working as night ticket agent in Vancouver in 1965 for S.P.&S. and got the day ticket agent's position about 1969. This position I held at the time of the merger. When AMTRAK leased the station in 1973, I was appointed Lead Ticket Agent. This is the position that I am still holding. My railroad life started in 1955, three years after I arrived in America with my wife, Marjorie and our two children, Roger, 5 and Eva, 3 years old. Needless to say, the first years in this U.S. America were tough in more ways than one. Not knowing the language, it was hard to get any work. But with the help of Cod and helpful friends I was able to get a job with a road construction company later as a baker at Nabisco.

As my interest was to get an interesting rewarding position on the Railroad, I studied telegraphy and at the same time tried to learn the American language.