RRHX - Michigan Railroad History
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Re: GTW at New Haven, MI in the 1960's
Yes, 1970 was definitely different than today! That was before Human Resource departments and railroad department heads could do their own hiring. After I sent the letter, I waited a week or so and then gave him a call. He said, "Yes, we'll hire you. Head over to Plymouth to fill out some paperwork!" There was a 30-day break-in period back then to qualify as an operator. I was first sent to Kearsley Tower for a couple weeks, then to Gera and Vassar to learn agency work, and then to P.Huron to learn teletype. Once qualified, I would then train at other places long enough to be able to work the job -- like Carleton, Wayne, Wixom, Mershon, Wash Ave, etc. As far as riding in the GTW locomotive back in the 60's -- if you wrote to the main office in Detroit, they sent a release form. My parents had to sign because I was a minor. Once they got that back, they sent you a letter to give to the conductor who then took you up to the engine. Sometimes you had to stand up the whole trip, but I didn't mind!! Made a couple trips Pontiac to Detroit and back and a couple Pontiac to Durand and return. Always visited the dispatchers in Durand while there as well. Everyone was cordial! Definitely a different era! Imagine anything like that today!