Hardcover, 132 pages, 8.5 x 11 in., B&W photographs.B.M. Naylor, a track maintenance and construction supervisor for the Santa Fe Railway in New Mexico from 1921 to 1961, upon his death left a fascinating story of his time with the railway. He was an on-the-ground eyewitness to many of the changes on the Santa Fe, making this book a time capsule for both early railroading and life in New Mexico. His narrative provides rare glimpses into the hard life of a railroad track gang working as well as his difficulties as a supervisor and married man with family responsibilities.
Naylor is humorous, fair, helpful to others, and always candid, revealing both his greatest fears (snakes) and personal pleasures, which ranged from fishing to gardening. Naylor's book adds descriptions of places that are now railroad ghost towns as well as the effort involved in getting to and from such locations prior to convenient, more modern transport. Forty Years on the Santa Fe Railroad will transport the reader to a refreshing different time and place. The book concludes with an afterword by Bob Walz on modeling maintenance of way operations.