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Re: PC: "You can't mix the Red and the Green"

Regarding the NYC, PRR employees that became PC employees, there are many
stories that I've heard from former NYC passengers (primarily those that used
to NYC commuter lines for the their daily commute), about how, after the
merger, the "friendly" NYC conductors got mixed with the "rough" and "roudy"
PRR conductors and how things changed.  

On a trip that I made in February on a Metro-North RR train from White Plains,
NY, to the end of the ex-NYC Harlem Line at Dover Plains, I ran into a
conductor who came from a NYC family.  When I boarded the MU commuter train, I
went to the rear of the last car when I noticed the first two cars were
locked, so I was able to get photos from the last car.  Anyway, when the
conductor came to collect my ticket, I noticed he had a tie clip that was a
blue NYC oval, with "NEW YORK CENTRAL SYSTEM" on it the proper way.  Since I
noticed he was going to be making the announcements from the speaker in the
cab that was right next to me, I asked him if he had worked for the New York
Central.  He told me that he had grown up riding NY Central trains in the
1950s, and that almost all of his uncles and many other relatives had worked
for the NYC.  He said that by the time he was able to get a job for the RR,
that his father advised him not to get a job for the RR, since things were so
bad then that there was a chance he'd be laid off soon, being at the bottom of
seniority.  He said he only became a conductor in 1985, after he knew things
had gotten  better on the NYC's commuter lines.  The conversation lasted 31
miles and 53 minutes when I had to change to the diesel powered shuttle at
Brewster North to head to Dover Plains. 

We ended up getting into a huge converstation about the employees of the NYC,
and how things changed with PC.  He explained how the horrible attitude of
many PRR employees was the main reason for the clash of employees.  Many NYC
employees were apparently much more friendly, and didn't like that PRR way.
It seems as though this is completely true what he said.  I've run into a
number of engineers, and conductors on the Metro-North RR commuter trains that
had family members who were NYC employees, or were NYC employees themselves,
and have just stayed on the RR through the years.  All have been friendly and
knowledgable.  They know I'm a railfan, and most seem as though they don't
mind.  Never have I had a bad encounter with an MNR employee that is an old
NYC employee, or one with family members who were NYC employees.  I've also
seen them in action.  They know their stuff, and have the same pride in their
RR as their fathers, grandfathers, and uncles did.  The only reason the old
NYC commuter lines aren't the way they were 40 years ago is, that these guys
(I've also met a female MNR engineer who has former NYC relatives) only make
up a small percentage of employees with this pride.  Almost all the others are
there just to make money, are first generation employees, and care just as
much about the lines they run on, as the ignorant commuters that ride the
trains do themselves. 

Then whenever I go over to the Long Island RR, and run into an old time LIRR
engineer or conductor, they're always unfriendly, and pissed off that I'm
there.  I have a feeling that this describes the old PRR employees, since LIRR
was a subsidary of the PRR, and had pretty much everything the same as PRR
did, all the way down to the Keystone emblem (Keystones in NY State!).  This
is also the way the old "green team" employees describe "red team" employees.
As one former NYC conductor reminded me, "You can't mix the red and the green,
and come up with one attractive color."  BTW, if any NYC fans on this list
would like to write to me discussing NYC topics, please do!  The New York
Central is my favorite topic!  If there are enough of us out there, maybe we
can get together a NYC mailing list! 

John Weyhausen

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