Clipped From The Daily Mail

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 - People Mondoy. Ocfoby 27. 1975 THE '"'·'...
People Mondoy. Ocfoby 27. 1975 THE '"'·' ·"-·'*·"*.' · · V**. ?-,,-- *?!/. · .'...-.: .'...-.: :.-".... B/W Brewbafcer's takin' core of bus/ness on the railroad By MAURV MACHT William M. Brewbaker Jr. is one railroad man who says he's glad the diesels replaced steam locomotives. As a man who has spent Us life around railroad yards and his adult life working as a locomotive mechanic and supervisor, he should know. "I'm one person who never missed the steam locomotive," he gays "It was dirty work, hard work. You'd wear new overalls to work and by dinnertime it looked like you had 'em on for six months." For the pas! 10 years, Brewbaker has been general foreman of the locomotive shops and car foreman for the Chessie system in Hagerstown. Chessie absorbed the W e s t e r n Maryland line several years ago. It's Brewbaker's job to see that all the engines and railroad cars in Hagerstown are in good working order. It's a big job, with many responsibilities, responsibilities, stemming from the large surroundings surroundings of the round house located between Burhans Boulevard and W. Washington Street In the city's west end, Brewbaker, 54, Is a tall, husky man, not afraid to voice opinions and full of railroad yarns and codes to live by. What he's learned in 35 years working working for the railroad, he says, in great part had been passed to him by his father, William M. Brewbaker Sr., whom he says is "Uie best railroad man I ever saw," The senior Brewbaker worked locally for the railroads for 42 years before retiring In 1865. He since has been a Judge of the Orphans Court. For years be held the general foreman's job the son now holds. The round bouse was built to contain contain the gigantic 150,000 pound diesel engines which the mechanics repair. The men, in work boots, hard-hats and engineer coveralls, are dwarfed by the elephantine machines. Brewbaker says the work is hazardous hazardous and highly specialized. The men .have to be constantly tlert for moving locomotives. They have to be aware of the massive electric voltage In the diesel engines. A good railroad mechanic, Brewbaker Brewbaker says, takes years to. develop. At least four years of apprenticeship and then four years for a man to be "on his own" are required before he becomes master at his craft. Mechanics live by the thought, "That it just takes a little longer to do the impossible," be says. Most of the mechanics have worked worked at the yards for many years. They seem to bear out his adage that "When you get a drink of Western Maryland water, you're destined to die there." Nevertheless, over the years Brewbaker Brewbaker has seen the work force at Western Maryland drop from 800 employes in the locomotive and car shops to 200 employes. The loss has had some effect on employe morale, he says. "When I first came, everybody worked like a family. We all felt no railroad could do anything as well as the Western Maryland." The decline of the railroad's influence influence has been felt in Brewbaker's family. His son won't continue the tradition of working in the yards. And his three daughters from 25 years of marriage to Anna Margaret Stoner Brewbaker aren't likely to follow their father. When he steps down from the railroads, Brewbaker says he'll be leaving more than a job. "1 grew up on railroad men's laps. 1 brought my father his lunch to the yard when I was 12. Everything revolved revolved around (he railroad. I didn't even know there were other industries. "I come from a railroad family. My wife's people are railroad people. My father-in-law worked here for 42 years. Her grandfather worked here 40 years. My father worked here 42 years and I've worked 35 years. That's 159 years of railroad service in the family." Bill BrtwlMktr,, .on Iht railroad tor 35

Clipped from
  1. The Daily Mail,
  2. 27 Oct 1975, Mon,
  3. Page 3

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