The Night Yardmaster

How True is the Legend?

By Thornton Waite

Many of the legends and tales I’ve gathered over the years about the rich heritage of the railroad, many were told by workers, and some made their way into railroad fiction.

I’ve long enjoyed reading this type of railroad story, even though it has predictable plot lines and stereotyped characters. In these stories, I always look for ties to my special interest, the railroads of Idaho. One such legend, which I think must have some truth in it, is about the night yardmaster at Pocatello, a busy railroad town just fifty miles from my home in Idaho Falls.

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Thornton Waite

About Thornton Waite

Thornton Waite lives in Idaho Falls with his wife Susan and has two married daughters. He recently retired from the Idaho National Laboratory, where he was a project manager. His interest in trains has led him to write several books and numerous articles on the growth and development of railroads.

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