So you want to be an Engineer?
September 9, 2008 5:42 AM   Subscribe

For 150 years or more, the locomotive engineer has held a special place in American history.

Books have been written about it. There is a timeless quality about the job that still manifests itself today, even though railroading is more industrial and less romantic than it used to be.

So, would you like to know what it feels and sounds like to start 15000 tons on an uphill grade? Or be the first train through after a heavy snowfall? Maybe you'd like to get a feel for the hazards of the job? Maybe you'd like to get out and commune with nature.

You might be the kind of person who doesn't mind waking up every living soul within 20 square miles. Or perhaps mainline Amtrak is more your style. No? there's always another option. Something bucolic, maybe?

Do you like to work holidays? Or maybe you'd like to drive the brass around.

Ok, so maybe it doesn't look like as much fun as it sounded when you were a kid. You can still try it for an hour just to get the itch out of your system. And no one will laugh at you if you show up dressed for the part.
posted by pjern (5 comments total) 7 users marked this as a favorite
If it were closer to where I live, I'd totally be an Engineer For An Hour.
posted by tommasz at 5:54 AM on September 9, 2008

A lot of railroad museums do it- find one close to you and ask.
posted by pjern at 5:57 AM on September 9, 2008

Or try Microsoft Train Simulator wherein you can discover how boring driving a train really is - right up until you realize that you should have started slowing for this downhill section about a mile ago . . . wheeee!
posted by Standeck at 7:58 AM on September 9, 2008

Oh, the roads back east are mighty swell
The Chesapeake, Ohio, and the ASL
But I make my run and I make my pay
On the Atchison, Topeka, and the Santa Fe

posted by Rhaomi at 8:14 AM on September 9, 2008

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