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Edition #190 January 15, 2013
The Sullen Look
Photographer: Robert Bullock
Photo by Robert Bullock
The Sullen Look
It is a feeling that comes
over a person at the most inopportune moments, usually late at night, when one
is involved in a back breaking project, or job.
It is that feeling of unavoidable loneliness and a sense of disconnect from the loved ones who are living far away, perhaps many states away and that feeling one experiences in spite of the fact that you are out on a job site with twenty of your co-workers and friends and still. . .
You are not at home with your wife and children.
You are not sitting in the evening, crowed around a warm fire eating dinner, doing homework and talking about the day with those who are most important in your life.
Such is the life of the traveling itinerant maintenance of way (MOW) worker.
The money is good, in fact, it can be very good and that is what keeps you out here, slogging every night in the cold and damp, working to keep the choo choos running on time.
You have been out here for years, so many in fact that at times you forget how long it has been since you were able to live a full month in your house -- sleeping in your bed every night.
At this moment you are glad that you are out here with your crew, doing the work that keeps the railroad running, but still, the longing for home is unbearable, almost stifling.
In the few minutes of downtime in between tasks, you think about when the project will be done and the crew will return to it's home terminal and you can finally head home for some quality R&R.
But at the moment, the cold, the noise and reality rears it's ugly head and you are back, sitting on a wall at the station in Fullerton California on a cold December night laying replacement track on one of the most important routes in the company's inventory and then it hits you, this is what I joined the company to do, to keep the freight running 24/7, day and night.
This is what I love, and this is why I am out here.
My family understands why I am here, and everything will be ok when I return home on the next break.
I would like to thank the crew who were gracious enough to allow me to photograph their activities that night.
BNSF San Bernardino Subdivision at the Fullerton Train Station Main #1 - M.P. 165.2. Fullerton , California.
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