Tinplate Art: When I returned to my native Dallas Texas after a three year hitch with the US Army Transporation Corps (1964-67) I hired out on The Katy as a mudhop (yard clerk). When I had a chance to fullfill my dream and switch boxcars instead, the SP hired me placing me on the Cotton Belt employee list. By 67 the SSW had been moved to the SP Miller Yard in Dallas with the SSW downtown yard downgraded to car storage for local industry switching.
With not enough senority to hold any regular job and with too many men holding down the extra board as well, I was cut off. I quit and went to work for the US Army Air Force Exchange Service which had relocated from New York to Dallas. I received a telephone call from Kenneth E. Dafft, the SSW station agent in Carrollton (N. of Dallas) informing me the SSW wanted me to come back to work as a switchman albeit in Ft. Worth. This was in 1968.
So I started working on the Cotton Belt again. This was great until I was cut off again after three months. I was told by a couple of SSW men that the Ft. Worth & Denver as well as the Santa Fe were hiring switchmen. I talked with the ATSF Ft. Worth division personnel chief and he hired me, telling me to report to the E. Dallas General Yardmaster Dale Reynolds, who told me to mark up on the extra board which I did. I remained with ATSF from 1968 until my move to Germany in 1976.
Having been employed with the M-K-T, SSW, and ATSF, Katy machinest Avery F. Von Blon Jr., who ran a book store on the side in Waco gave me the moniker Trinity River Bottoms Boomer since I hailed from Dallas where the Trinity River runs through. The name stuck and has til this day.
I made good on the name, hiring out on the Deutsche Bundesbahn in 1979 until retirement in 2010 off Deutsche Bahn. I worked as a switchman/brakeman, moving to service rep at the Nuremberg main passenger station until I retired. Visit the Railroad Evangelist Assn. website and go to links where you can read the Summer 2015 issue of All Aboard magazine (the official REA publication) where editor Joe Spooner ran an artical about me on page eight and nine.
The rest is history! Hope this helps?
Joseph Toth Jr.