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 Post subject: In the sprit of W. Graham Claytor
PostPosted: Thu Feb 27, 2014 4:32 pm 

Joined: Tue Apr 20, 2010 10:49 am
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Location: Cambridgeshire UK
Just wondering, how many Railroad executives today are qualified as or had been locomotive engineers?

http://www.nydailynews.com/new-york/new ... -1.1703197


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 Post subject: Re: In the sprit of W. Graham Claytor
PostPosted: Thu Feb 27, 2014 4:56 pm 

Joined: Sat Sep 04, 2004 10:54 am
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Better yet, how many railroad executives have any experience in any of the crafts? One thing that you will find in common amongst many successful business leaders is that they learned their industry by rising from within the industry, whether it be fast food, railroading or aviation.

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 Post subject: Re: In the sprit of W. Graham Claytor
PostPosted: Thu Feb 27, 2014 5:10 pm 

Joined: Tue Jun 04, 2013 4:28 pm
Posts: 53
For information, Graham's brother Robert Claytor was also an engineer, running N&W 611 and 1218 as well as Southern 4501, T&P 610 and other engines. He ran trains during the 1978 NW strike, using red-painted SD40-2 6175 that earned him the nickname "the Red Baron."
lois


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 Post subject: Re: In the sprit of W. Graham Claytor
PostPosted: Thu Feb 27, 2014 6:55 pm 
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Joined: Fri Oct 01, 2004 2:46 pm
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Location: Pac NW, via North Florida
Alan Walker wrote:
Better yet, how many railroad executives have any experience in any of the crafts? One thing that you will find in common amongst many successful business leaders is that they learned their industry by rising from within the industry, whether it be fast food, railroading or aviation.
And yet, most executives I've run into in various (non-RR-related) industries have zero experience in the field they run. One only has to watch that show, "Undercover boss" to see that in action. I'm not a big fan of reality shows but I've seen a few of those, and each time the executive is totally clueless how the job works.
In the Army, I was an officer but I had to know basic soldiering skills and be able to defend myself. I didn't have the knowledge base of the soliders I commanded, but I had to be able to cope on my own if need be. It was a real culture shock once I left the military and had to deal with bosses who had no idea how their people's job worked at all...

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 Post subject: Re: In the sprit of W. Graham Claytor
PostPosted: Thu Feb 27, 2014 8:56 pm 

Joined: Fri Feb 25, 2011 11:13 pm
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The Business schools today teach that its not about your knowledge of the operation but rather its all about Managing the people and the process. Successful managers do not remain in any one position long enough to actually gather anything that would pass for experience.


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 Post subject: Re: In the sprit of W. Graham Claytor
PostPosted: Thu Feb 27, 2014 9:09 pm 

Joined: Mon Aug 23, 2004 5:10 pm
Posts: 950
No knock on the Claytor brothers, but as far as I know, they were both lawyers for the railroad. I don't know that either one had actual operations experience. When they ascended to the presidency and/or chairmanship, do you think some lowly road foreman was going to tell them they couldn't run the engine? Remember, this was in the days before engineer licensing.

As for operating trains during labor troubles, my father-in-law, who was a machinist and gang foreman before he became shop manager, was expected to run trains during strikes, and that concerned him because he was not familiar with train operations and did not know the territory over which he was supposed to operate. Fortunately, he never had to do anything more than move some light engines a few miles between terminals. Some other official working in the CTC room set up all the switches so he had a straight shot between locations, but even that was nerve-wracking to him.


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 Post subject: Re: In the sprit of W. Graham Claytor
PostPosted: Fri Feb 28, 2014 12:16 am 

Joined: Thu Jan 31, 2013 11:41 am
Posts: 9
While it might not be true "operations" the fellow standing in the middle of the observation deck on Lookout Mountain certainly rose to the top from the bottom... I would like to think this shot from the great Ron Flanary was the start of what we have today ;-)

http://www.railpictures.net/photo/418971/

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 Post subject: Re: In the sprit of W. Graham Claytor
PostPosted: Fri Feb 28, 2014 10:13 am 

Joined: Mon Oct 25, 2004 3:11 pm
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NS CEO Wick Moreman started as a summer college hire and spent a number of years working as a civil engineer. My understanding is he still know track and can ask very pointed questions about track and structures when out on inspection trips.

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 Post subject: Re: In the sprit of W. Graham Claytor
PostPosted: Fri Feb 28, 2014 5:07 pm 

Joined: Sat Sep 04, 2004 10:54 am
Posts: 726
Location: Tucson, Arizona
p51 wrote:
And yet, most executives I've run into in various (non-RR-related) industries have zero experience in the field they run.


I recall some of the old hands telling me about the management style on the Southern. College summer hires were required to work during the summer break learning the various crafts. They placed a high value on their managers learning the core basics of the business so that they as managers would be able to make the necessary decisions to carry the company forward.

Two executives who really stand out to me are Herb Kelleher of Southwest Airlines and Dave Thomas of Wendy's. Both men knew the basics of the business that they were in. Herb was an attorney, but he had good management style and knew how to build a team that knew how to run an airline. Dave Thomas learned the restaurant business from the ground up. Both led companies that really started from nothing and built them into what we know them as today.

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 Post subject: Re: In the sprit of W. Graham Claytor
PostPosted: Fri Feb 28, 2014 5:21 pm 

Joined: Sun Aug 22, 2004 9:54 am
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Location: NJ
Its been awhile since I read the story and may be fuzzy on the details, but W. Graham Claytor was the skipper on a destroyer during WWII. He went to rescue survivors of the torpedoed cruiser Indianapolis, violating a standing fleet order to not use his searchlights. Because of his actions, however, many more survivors were rescued than would have been otherwise.

This put the Navy in the awkward position of either giving Claytor a commendation or a court martial. Fortunately they chose the former, and he went on to run the Southern and later Amtrak. Being skipper on a tin can, I'm sure, provided some good experience toward running a railroad, as a well-run railroad is in all practicality a military organization. As others have pointed out, though, the Southern had a very well thought out training program, and I'm sure the Claytor brothers participated in it.


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 Post subject: Re: In the sprit of W. Graham Claytor
PostPosted: Fri Feb 28, 2014 5:31 pm 
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No clue about that WW2 story, but it couldn't possibly have been the Indy. The Indianapolis was alone when it was torpedoed. That's why the survivors were in the water so long, nobody had a clue the ship had sank and nobody thought to start looking for them.

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 Post subject: Re: In the sprit of W. Graham Claytor
PostPosted: Fri Feb 28, 2014 5:56 pm 

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Apparently the WW2 story is true. Here is an excerpt from the Wikipedia entry in the Indanapolis.

"After major repairs and an overhaul, Indianapolis received orders to proceed to Tinian island, carrying parts and the enriched uranium (about half of the world's supply of Uranium-235 at the time) for the atomic bomb Little Boy, which would later be dropped on Hiroshima.[10] Indianapolis departed San Francisco on 16 July 1945. Arriving at Pearl Harbor on 19 July, she raced on unaccompanied, reaching Tinian on 26 July. Indianapolis was then sent to Guam where a number of the crew who had completed their tours of duty were replaced by other sailors. Leaving Guam on 28 July, she began sailing toward Leyte where her crew was to receive training before continuing on to Okinawa to join Vice Admiral Jesse B. Oldendorf's Task Force 95. At 00:14 on 30 July, she was struck by two Type 95 torpedoes on her starboard bow, from the Japanese submarine I-58 under the command of Mochitsura Hashimoto. The explosions caused massive damage. The Indianapolis took on a heavy list, and settled by the head. Twelve minutes later, she rolled completely over, then her stern rose into the air, and she plunged down. Some 300 of the 1,196 crewmen went down with the ship. With few lifeboats and many without lifejackets, the remainder of the crew were set adrift awaiting rescue.[11]


Indianapolis's intended route from Guam to the Philippines Navy command had no knowledge of the ship's sinking until survivors were spotted three and a half days later. At 10:25 on 2 August a PV-1 Ventura flown by Lieutenant Wilbur "Chuck" Gwinn and copilot Lieutenant Warren Colwell spotted the men adrift while on a routine patrol flight.[12] Of the 880 that survived the sinking, only 321 men came out of the water alive; 317 ultimately survived. They suffered from lack of food and water (some found rations such as Spam and crackers amongst the debris), exposure to the elements (hypothermia, dehydration, hypernatremia, photophobia, starvation and dementia), severe desquamation, and shark attacks, while some killed themselves and/or one another in various states of delirium and hallucinations.[13] The Discovery Channel stated in Shark Week episodes "Ocean of Fear" that the Indianapolis sinking resulted in the most shark attacks on humans in history, and attributes the attacks to the oceanic whitetip shark species. Tiger sharks might have also killed some of the survivors. The same show attributed most of the deaths on Indianapolis to exposure, salt poisoning and thirst, with the dead being dragged off by sharks.[14]

Gwinn immediately dropped a life raft and a radio transmitter. All air and surface units capable of rescue operations were dispatched to the scene at once. A PBY Catalina seaplane under the command of Lieutenant R. Adrian Marks was dispatched to lend assistance and report.[12] En route to the scene, Marks overflew Cecil J. Doyle and alerted her captain, future U.S. Secretary of the Navy W. Graham Claytor, Jr., of the emergency. On his own authority, Claytor decided to divert to the scene.

Arriving hours ahead of Doyle, Marks' crew began dropping rubber rafts and supplies. Having seen men being attacked by sharks, Marks disobeyed standing orders and landed on the open sea. He began taxiing to pick up the stragglers and lone swimmers who were at the greatest risk of shark attack.[12] Learning the men were the crew of Indianapolis, he radioed the news, requesting immediate assistance. Doyle responded while en route. When Marks' plane was full, survivors were tied to the wings with parachute cord, damaging the wings so that the plane would never fly again and had to be sunk.[12] Marks and his crew rescued 56 men that day.[12]

The Doyle was the first vessel on the scene.[12] Homing on Marks's Catalina in total darkness, Doyle halted to avoid killing or further injuring survivors, and began taking Marks' survivors aboard. Disregarding the safety of his own vessel, Captain Claytor pointed his largest searchlight into the night sky to serve as a beacon for other rescue vessels.[12] This beacon was the first indication to most survivors that rescuers had arrived.[12]

The destroyers Helm, Madison, and Ralph Talbot were ordered to the rescue scene from Ulithi, along with destroyer escorts Dufilho, Bassett, and Ringness of the Philippine Sea Frontier. They continued their search for survivors until 8 August.

Two of the rescued survivors Robert Lee Shipman and Frederick Harrison passed away August 1945."

"

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 Post subject: Re: In the sprit of W. Graham Claytor
PostPosted: Fri Feb 28, 2014 7:42 pm 

Joined: Tue Jun 04, 2013 4:28 pm
Posts: 53
Robert Claytor learned his craft while working in the Law Department of the N&W. He would go to visit his parents near Claytor Lake, and often rode in the engine cab on the Southern trains that ran on the N&W between Monroe, VA and Bristol. The details of how he learned to be an engineer I don't know, though I suspect he may have received some training at some point; there's only so much you can learn by observation. Bob Claytor also had military service in World War II, though I suspect only for a year or do as he was attending Princeton University at the time. He was in the Army Air Force, one source says as observation pilot and instructor. He however was a pilot, as he was called upon at least once to fly the N&W's aircraft. Apart from running N&W 611 and 1218 on occasion, he participated in running the Southern steam excursions as his work allowed. His last run of note was running 1218 during the 1987 NRHS convention, notably the side-by-side run with 611. This was a last hurrah for Frank Collins, who ran 611 on that day, as he retired shortly afterward.
lois


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