The people who ran the steam engines on the Shenandoah Line were held in high esteem. Engine drivers, officially known as engineers, were also commonly referred to as "hog-heads," "hog-jockeys," "grunts," and "eagle eyes."   "Ashcats" were firemen. And "gandy dancers" were track workers, named after the Gandy company who made their tools.  

Being an engineer was a much sought after occupation.  Comparable to a modern day astronaut, during the era of steam engineers were highly respected citizens, responsible for the most sophisticated piece of technology at that time.  And, like astronauts, when an engineer was killed in a accident it made national news.  According to USA by Rail By John Pitt, engineers "made good money, saw new and glamorous places, and was admired by small boys and women everywhere."

My great grandfather, Wendell Miller, was an engineer on the Shenandoah Line and the inspiration for this website.  His fireman, Mr. Woods, regulated the water and fire box.  He worked along side Wendell his entire career.
Subpages (1): Wendell Miller