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
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
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.