Saturday, May 12, 2007

The Extra Board

The Extra Board is a regular feature in The Dispatcher. We featured retired machinist and volunteer Sam Thompson in the winter 2007 issue ...

One would suppose that a logging railroad doesn’t need a rocket scientist. After all, rolling logs to the mill takes men with brawn, not guys who wear lab coats.

But I know one retired “senior engineering associate” who’s been rebuilding Shay engines for years. Sam Thompson might correct you if you call him a rocket scientist. But any guy who machined parts for his aerospace industry has the brainpower to turn a 75-pound cast-iron billet into the middle eccentric on the Shay’s drive shaft.

A logging railroad may not need a rocket scientist. But machining precision parts makes you one in my book. And for the record, Sam wears a blue denim apron in the shop.

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