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 horse power 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 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!

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.