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!
45 Years RailroadTM
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.