Riding the Rails
Recently, four gentlemen from Silverado Valley Ranch had the opportunity to ride the Trinity Railway Express, a commuter train between Dallas and Fort Worth. This trip was especially meaningful for Mr. Harold K Vollrath.
Silverado Valley Ranch resident Harold K, or as his loved ones call him K, worked for the Kansas City Southern Railway for 40 years. He began as a dispatcher, and then spent 25 years as a Labor Relations Negotiator, negotiating on behalf of Kansas City Southern with the labor force. Mr. Vollrath often traveled to Washington DC as a part of these important negotiations. According to his daughter, Ginger Hertenstein, “Railway labor negotiations set the standard for labor relations throughout the United States.”
Mr. Vollrath's fascination with trains did not end with his career. Ginger said, “K has one of the world’s largest photography collections of steam locomotives and engines.” He owns over 50,000 negatives, over 50% of which he took himself. His work appears in many books. An internet search of Harold K Volltath Photography produces multiple articles and images of his work.
When K retired, he became an engineer, a live steam engineer that is. Live steam engines are small scale models of full size trains which are large enough for people to ride on, including an engineer. These trains are actually steam powered. Groups and individuals own the trains and tracks. Tracks are set up with scale model features such as towns and bridges. When asked what his favorite part of live steam engineering is, K remarked, “Pulling the throttle, because that’s where all the action is!”