Friday, December 24, 2010

Hogger on the Placerville rail line

Hogger is the traditional term for a locomotive engineer. According to one story, engineers were the best paid on the train crew. It's said they ate better (and more!) than the conductors and trainmen. It sorta goes hand-in-hand with being a chef, doesn't it?

Today I have my first chance to operate the El Dorado Western Railway No. 1 locomotive on the historic Placerville Branch rail line in the town of El Dorado, California. While the 15-minute run doesn't make me a card-carrying hogger, it was the first step toward certification as a locomotive engineer.
The 18-ton switcher and I share a birth year! Constructed by Plymouth Locomotive Works of Plymouth, Ohio, in 1952, the El Dorado Western Railway received it from the CertainTeed Corporation in Chowchilla, California last Friday.

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