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45 Years RailroadTM

Edited Image 2016-01-21 07-44-33

John Cockrell 

Mr. RailroadTM

SP/UP Engineer, 45 Years - Retired 

US Navy Veteran Seabees MCB11

Veteran Small Business Owner

Co-Founder 45 Years RailroadTM


45 Years of True Railroad StoriesTM



"Sharing my railroad experiences is my PASSION!

I want people to know what it was like to work for the railroad - how the railroad operates, what the crews go through, how the railroad changed from when I hired on - until I retired.

Most people see a train as a cool thing, but they don't have a clue as to what goes on behind the scenes."  

  My railroad career began when I was hired in engine service for the Southern Pacific Railroad on my 18th birthday, 1955. I started as a Fireman, and promoted to Engineer in 1971. I was one of the few employees hired in engine service that started by firing steam engines and retired as an employee operating up to 6,000 horsepower computer-controlled General Electric diesel locomotives, with just under 2,000,000 compensated miles. 

  My philosophies on life and the secret to surviving retirement?

God first. Love. Family. Friends. Never stop rolling along!

Enjoy the journey!


45 Years of True Railroad StoriesTM

300 Pages

Original, Never-Before-Seen Pictures

and Over 60 Stories, such as:

The Rat Hole * My First Hobo

The Three Nurses

New Year's Eve Torpedos    

Refer at Redding 

Cattle on the Bridge

Chemical Spill, Cantera Loop and many more...


"Anyone who wants to learn about what an engineer's experiences and life are like will want to get this book. I found it most enjoyable to read." Bob Church, SP steam locomotive historian-author    


45 Years of True Railroad StoriesTM




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Roseville, CA

© 2019, 45 Years RailroadTM

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45 Years - BIG BOY and UP 8444 May 2019.
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