Son of a 30+ year Frisco employee - 1949/1981 R.E.Metzger

Discussion in 'New Member Introductions' started by Highline Kid, Dec 29, 2015.

  1. Highline Kid

    Highline Kid Member

    Just checking in to see who is still around! Pop was Trainmaster on the Highline for a while and spent many years working out of the engineering department in Springfield. We lived in Springfield several times - but also St. Louis, Memphis, Amory, and Ft. Scott.

    My earliest railroad memory is riding one of the ex-Frisco steamers - on the "Mississipian" shortline at Amory, Miss. Dad was working as a Frisco surveyor at the time - and it was cheaper to live there than Tupelo!

    I still carry one of his black "Coonskin" business cards in my wallet.........
    Last edited: Dec 30, 2015
    Ozarktraveler and FriscoCharlie like this.
  2. FriscoCharlie

    FriscoCharlie Administrator Staff Member Administrator Supporter

    Welcome aboard! We are glad you found us.

  3. klrwhizkid

    klrwhizkid Administrator Staff Member Administrator Supporter

    Steve, Welcome Aboard. Get that business card scanned and post it!
  4. Highline Kid

    Highline Kid Member

    Hope I can get this stuff to load right - found a card and one of Dad's old leather notebooks (he was a civil engineer by schooling and started at Frisco as a surveyor in '49 or '50). This particular one shows every station, depot, siding and so-on from Springfield to St.Louis - he drew little route maps that showed the milepole locations, track layouts and car length capacity for every one of them. He would draw them freehand to start with, then more carefully with pen and ink on white paper - then use the copy machine at the office in Springfield to reduce them to the size he wanted for his notebook. There are several of them preserved in our family, he made the leather covers and wrote the little books for every line he was trainmaster for. This was a sort of 1960's "laptop" - it lists all of the agents, telegraphers, clerks and so on at each depot along the route. The notebooks were created over the evenings spent away from home - and he always carried his favorite "Rolleflex" camera along as well. I don't have the photo albums - maybe mom still does - but they showed a lot of ground details (he liked bridges) here and there. If he had a derailment to investigate - he would have a good idea of the exact location, lay of the land , etc. before he left the house! The notebooks had a bit of notoriety in that era as he considered the books to be his own personal property - they had no "official" railway status - and he wasn't too prone to allow others to see, use or copy them. Ornery rascal. Business Card REM.JPG Card with Route maps.JPG

    Later years he became the "Environmental Engineer" for the Frisco - right up until the B&N arrived - and the notebooks served him even then. Whenever some fueling location spill needed contained - or ditches dug for water control - or whatever - he would soon have an exact idea of what and where........
  5. Highline Kid

    Highline Kid Member

    This picture shows the notebook opened to ROLLA, Missouri - and all of the available siding spaces, team tracks and so-on. Since he was constantly fielding complaints about blocked streets and such, he was lucky the cell phone didn't exist!
    Rolla track plan.JPG

    Sorry about the photo quality - I don't have a better way to do this. The plan for Lebanon, Missouri would also make a great model railway layout - it has a wye for reversing locomotives, north / south mainlines and numerous industries etc.
  6. Oldguy

    Oldguy Member Supporter

    Wow! What a great resource.
    WindsorSpring likes this.
  7. tferk

    tferk Member Supporter

    Highline Kid, if you could take several close-up photos of the Rolla page, would be much appreciated. We had a discussion a while back in another thread about all the spurs that are no longer there.

    I probably would not kill for it, but would help you bury the body.!
  8. William Jackson

    William Jackson Bill Jackson

    I remember when they put out those duel jobs. Roadmaster-Trainmaster. I knew him, one of the good guy's.
  9. meteor910

    meteor910 2009 Engineer of the Year Staff Member Supporter

    I agree with tferk! I'll help him dig.

    William Jackson likes this.
  10. klrwhizkid

    klrwhizkid Administrator Staff Member Administrator Supporter

    Steve, take about eight overlapping close photos of that Rolla page, making sure your phone/camera is parallel with the counter-top. I can stitch all of them together into one high resolution image.
  11. Highline Kid

    Highline Kid Member

    Will try to get you guys something better to work with monday at my office. We have a better camera there and a scanning copier - but as it is set up, will only create a PDF. Camera is probably the best option. I'll ask my sister if she has the Clinton book.
    Ozarktraveler likes this.
  12. I'm very glad to hear that this information has surfaced, and that you and your family are willing to share it. Your father sounds like a very smart and conscientious railroad man.

    You should know that there are several of us in this group who would also cheerfully wield shovels for the chance to look through a similar book about the Highline! And I'm sure that your father's photographs would also find a very appreciative audience as well. But feel free to concentrate on one thing at a time.
  13. Highline Kid

    Highline Kid Member

    I made another stab at finding a good way to transfer the notebook info this AM. Made PDF files of three locations - ROLLA, NEWBURG, and LEBANON. then grabbed the images as a JPEG. We'll see how those come over - our office camera is actually away on a "real job" this morning (went to Cananea, Sonora with a salesman). When I asked my sister about the book with the Clinton Sub in it - I got a "DUH" - will have to work on that.
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  14. meteor910

    meteor910 2009 Engineer of the Year Staff Member Supporter

    Great, thanks! Is there a good diagram of Cuba?

  15. Highline Kid

    Highline Kid Member

    Here is the map of CUBA - I remember the intersection with Hwy 66 - just barely................. His maps show all of the "poles" - hadn't noticed that before. As a family we knew about every curve on the way from St.Louis to Springfield - but without "reinforcement" and the present day convenience of simply jumping on I-44 - its lost (and it was 50 years ago).
    rjthomas909 and FriscoCharlie like this.
  16. yardmaster

    yardmaster Administrator Staff Member Administrator Supporter

    Steve- welcome to the group - and thanks very much for sharing the drawings. These are great for either the research and/or the prototype modeler.

    Best Regards,
  17. Karl

    Karl 2008 Engineer of the Year Supporter

    My father had the same maps in his field book, and I have posted the KC Sub, the Ash Grove Sub, and the Clinton Sub.
  18. WindsorSpring

    WindsorSpring Member

    Candidates for the Frisco Archive, perhaps? Thank you very much for sharing these fine diagrams with us.
  19. tferk

    tferk Member Supporter

    Ah, Cuba before the yard expansion for Lead Line traffic. Many thanks for sharing all of these with the group!
  20. meteor910

    meteor910 2009 Engineer of the Year Staff Member Supporter

    Early Cuba - neat! Thanks!

    Any nice diagrams of Arlington/Jerome, Dixon? (Don't let me be a pest and ask for too much!)


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