My railroad career began when I was hired 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!
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
© 2019, 45 Years RailroadTM
All Rights Reserved.
45 Years RailroadTM
LET'S TALK TRAINS!
"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."
SP/UP Engineer, 45 Years - Retired
Veteran Small Business Owner
Co-Founder 45 Years RailroadTM
Co-Author: 45 Years of True Railroad StoriesTM
US Navy Veteran Seabees MCB11
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