My railroad career began when I was hired on in engine service for the Southern Pacific Railroad on my 18th birthday. 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 railroad career was important to me, but so was serving my country. While employed, and a Naval Reservist, I also served two years of active duty in the U.S. Navy, Seabee, MCB11.

  Over the years I've enjoyed many things, including the creation and patent of Pocket-Lok® pickup truck stake-pocket anchoring system that became our first business venture, and co-owner of TruckStuff, a pickup truck accessory retail store.        Co-authoring 45 Years of True Railroad StoriesTM, my career memoir, with my wife is my most recent accomplishment. Even though I had many more stories to add to our book, it contains the ones that I most vividly remember.

  My philosophies on life and the secret to surviving retirement? God first. Love. Family. Friends. Never stop rolling along!

Enjoy the journey!

By Co-Authors: John and Sheri Cockrell


45 Years of True Railroad StoriesTM

places you in veteran Engineer John Cockrell's seat to experience exactly what he did during his 45-year career as a fireman, switchman, and engineer working for one of the largest railroads in the country - SP/UP.

His hits, misses and everything in between. You don't just read about railroading - YOU LIVE IT!

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...




Printed, Black and White copy: $24.00

And on KINDLE: $9.99 

Click on colored words to PURCHASE and see REVIEWS.

"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

                                              Roseville, CA

© 2019, 45 Years RailroadTM

All Rights Reserved.