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Home > Archives > Locomotive engineer operating the eastbound Pennsylvanian, 2016.

Locomotive engineer operating the eastbound Pennsylvanian, 2016.

Color digital image showing a passenger locomotive engineer at the console of P-42 locomotive No. 145; image dates to May 2016.

Locomotive engineer operating the eastbound <i>Pennsylvanian</i>, 2016.

The daily Pennsylvanian (New York-Philadelphia-Pittsburgh) covers a 444-mile route that passes through the Appalachian Mountains and Pennsylvania Dutch Country and crosses over the famed Horseshoe Curve and Rockville Bridge, the oldest stone masonry arch railroad viaduct in the world. The train is financed primarily through funds made available by the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation.

The locomotive engineer, such as Jerry Meyer shown above, is responsible for operating the locomotive or cab control car safely and efficiently. The engineer must know intimately the physical characteristics of the territory over which he or she operates, including the track configuration, allowed speeds, signal systems and station locations.

Meyer began his railroad career with Conrail in 1978 in the Track department. Two years later he joined Amtrak, where he served as a tower operator and a conductor before qualifying as a locomotive engineer in 1997. "This is the best job on the railroad and God only knows I've done a lot of them," Meyer says.

Photographer: Chuck Gomez for Amtrak. From the Amtrak Corporate Collection.