Sunday, November 12, 2006

Trackmen & Maintenance of Way Workers

The B & O Railroad was a major employer in Orlando in the first part of the 20th century.

David Parmer shares the following information about working for the B & O.
There were at least two divisions of maintenance workers. Railroad trackmen worked along sections of railroad tracks and those sections were not very long, maybe only a few miles long. A section worker would be required to walk the entire section daily, noting any problems with the track, as well as with any overhanging cliffs which may fall on the tracks. Usually there were about 8 men in a section and the routine upkeep of their section of track was their responsibility. The crew of trackmen who worked the tracks along Oil Creek was Section 24, Elk Line of Charleston Divison. They are pictured in the photo to the right: front row Heater Henline, Ernie Fox, back row Joe Skinner, Red Beckner, Pete Blake, Newt Blake and Newt Henline . Joe Skinner was the section leader.

Maintenance Of Way crews were much larger in size than a section of trackmen. They took care of larger problems than the routine maintenance of the track. This might include clearing wrecks, removing overhanging cliffs, or major renovation of tracks. A maintenance of way crew was a floating crew which covered a much larger area that a mere section of track. The photo above is of Maintenance of Way workers in the 1920s or 30s was taken in front of the Orlando warehouse. We can't identify anyone in this photo. (See the small photo to the right of the warehouse in the 1960s.) Perhaps this is a Maintenance of Way crew that came in to clean up a train accident like the one in the entry for
October 6, '06, Orlando Train Wreck in the 1920s

See also the entry for July 07, '06, Coal Trains

David Parmer, off the top of his head, has begun a list of the Orlando men who worked for the railroad:
Bill Alkire, Charlie Alkire
Everett Allman, Forrest Allman, Gave Allman
Newt Blake, Pete (Peter Newton) Blake
Red (William Earl) Beckner
Ernie Fox, Ray Fox
John Gay
John Gibson
Andrew J. Heater, E. R. Henline, Newt Henline
Worthington Hurst
Coleman Jeffries
Warren McCauley
Buford Mick, Lonnie Mick
Nathan P. Parmer
Dee Posey, Lloyd Posey
Boss Riffle, George Riffle, Layton Riffle, Short Riffle, Tom Riffle, Tut Riffle
O. L. Scott
Bert Skinner, B. W. Skinner, Cecil Skinner, Suey (Hayward) Skinner, Joe Skinner
Arden Thomas, Owen Thomas, Tom Thomas

Let me know of missing names.

Thanks to David Parmer for the two vintage photos. Apologies that I can't clean them up any better.

1 comment:

  1. Newton Skinner (married to Mabel Posey Skinner) worked on the railroad.
    They lived between Pete Bennett and Jim Henline.