Railway Passes

During my undergraduate years at Southern Methodist University I majored in civil engineering and worked as a co-op student for the Missouri-Kansas-Texas Railroad Company surveying and drafting. Below are the passes that everyone on a surveying crew had - the exception being the Pullman Pass. That pass was provided only if you had to spend a night on the train. You had to sign out for it and turn it back in after the job was over. I am not sure how I was able to save the one shown. The surveying jobs were usually 1-3 days long and consisted of laying out the track line and specifying the cuts and fills for a siding to a new plant, grain elevator, warehouse etc. on the MKT. We would get to the location using whatever railroad got us there the fastest; hence, we had passes on all the railroads that served the same locals in Texas as the MKT. The MKT pass was valid for the entire MKT line.

Note that sometime between 1953-1954 and 1955-1956, I was promoted from Chainman to Rodman. Thus, in theory, I was relieved from the chore of holding the end of a surveyor's chain and given the responsibility of holding a surveying rod. In reality, however, it made little difference; a surveying crew consisted of three men - a transitman and two others - didn't matter if they were chainmen, rodmen, or one of each. Because it took two people to chain, there was no opportunity to pull rank even if you had it. Besides, you did what the transitman told you to do - he was the boss. Also note on the back of the MKT pass that I was allowed to ride on freight trains! Never did, but now I wish I had. That would have made a good story to tell my grandchildren.

Click on figure, and then click again to zoom in.