Oct. 24, 1988 Enderlin Ransom County North Dakota, USA
1930 Census: Single, living with parents in Enderlin, Ransom Co., North Dakota. Occupation: Call Boy - Railway
A LOVE AFFAIR; 51 YEARS WITH THE SOO LINE RAILROAD A man who loved railroading so much he stayed with it for 51 years finally retired this week. Lloyd Carlson made his last run for the Soo Line last Monday. Despite leaving the job he so greatly enjoyed, he said after getting off the engine, " I feel great." Along with his wife, Soo Line officials who greeted him included Supt. Doug Kemmer, Wayne Wilson and Ken Bommersbach. Lloyd and Kemmer shook hands and he stated, "The Soo Line has been very good to me over the years." I was given permission to ride along with the veteran engineer who turned 70 on the day of his last run. To someone who has never been in an engine before, it was a very interesting and enjoyable experience. The only drawback was what probably seems common to many railroaders was getting rudely awakened at 5:00 in the morning. After the preliminary preparations we were on our way at about 7:00. The 88-car run was to Glenwood and I went as far as Hankinson. So with Carlson and brakeman, Butch Johnson, we headed south and got a chance to watch the sun come up. Carlson's career with the Soo Line began in 1928 as a call boy in the roundhouse. Both his father and grandfather were railroad men. His grandfather started in 1885, putting in 25 years. His father who was killed in a train accident in 1943 had 38 years in service so with the three generations, there is 114 years of railroading experience in one family. He started as an engineer in 1947, running the old steam engines that made their last run in 1956. In those models Carlson said, "There was something to do at all times." He helped move the engine, which now stands, in Baxter Park. In 1962 he saw the last of the passenger train service in Enderlin. I asked Carlson what made him stay on the job so long. His answer simply was "I'm fascinated by trains, I even have a model train at home." Making the same run every other day would seem rather dull to the average person but to someone like Carlson, "There's something new each day." Even with the modern methods of rail transportation, he said the romance is still there and to Lloyd Carlson, it is something very special. Enderlin Independent - Enderlin, North Dakota October 11, 1979
Lloyd Carlson's railroad collection reflects history The Enderlin Independent January 9, 1985 Lloyd Carlson had been "workin' on the railroad" over 51 years when he retired in 1979, after logging in 2,500,000 miles. Now he works on-and plays with-his miniature train collection, authentic small-scale replicas of actual locomotives and boxcars. As a boy, Carlson obtained his first O-gauge train set. His 21 other locomotives represent every type of engine ever used in the United States. The miniature railroad cars run around an HO-gauge track, encircling a small red depot displaying the sign "Enderlin". "I've had railroad in my blood since I was a little boy, when my father gave me a toy locomotive I could ride on," Carlson said. His father and grandfather made their living as engineers, as did Carlson. The three men's engine service along the Soo Line totaled 115 years between them. Carlson presided over the Enderlin Chapter of the Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers (BLE) for four years. The BLE, the oldest railroad union in the United States, fought for and won many improvements in the engineers' working conditions, such as a monthly mileage limit. "During World War II there was no mileage limit," Carlson said. "We'd put in about 10,000 miles each month. I made two runs to Harvey, ND and back in one day then. They were so short of manpower. Now the monthly mileage limits is 3800, I believe." Carlson was the engineer who switched No. 2425, the Old Enderlin yard engine, to its present location in Baxter Park. Ralph Myrhe fired the locomotive that day, July 21, 1955. The Soo Line donated the caboose two years later. While other railroads are folding, Carlson feels excellent management, combined with good public relations and reasonable rates enable the Soo Line to make a profit. He thinks many factors led to the discontinuation of passenger service, some of which were too many free passes being given out, and better roads and highways being built that once were only gravel and mud. People also began to have more money to afford their own vehicles and considered them a necessity. Today a roundhouse is no longer needed. Modern locomotives never turn around. The two back-to-back engines pulling the train merely change directions. As soon as track was laid in his grandfather's time, settlers and pioneers came to the Dakotas by railroad, "not oxcart or covered wagon. Carlson recalls that during his early years when extra gangs were brought in, many couldn't speak English. Carlson remembers George S. Baxter, one of Enderlin's best-known founders and first Soo Line superintendents had a Chinese cook in his private railroad car, No. 51. Carlson likes to attend railroad flea markets and auctions held for area buffs. Some people who gather at these events shoveled coal into the steam engines in their youth, as Carlson once did. He considers the steam locomotive period had more romance and nostalgia than the diesel engine era has now. Occasionally, Carlson finds an interesting item of railroad lore and brings it home. The 22 miniature locomotives and 75 boxcars are usually packed away, but Carlson always brings them out and displays them at Christmastime. Carlson is currently resurrecting a tiny, nearly forgotten two mast sailing ship he made in his boyhood. He and Mrs. Carlson enjoy traveling in their retirement, especially by Amtrak.
OBITUARY LLOYD E. CARLSON The funeral for Lloyd E. Carlson, 78, was held October 27, at the First United Methodist Church at Enderlin with the Reverend Elaine Foote officiating. Mr. Carlson died October 24, 1988 Mr. Carlson was born in Glenwood, Minn., October 8, 1910. He came to Enderlin with his parents in 1915 where he grew up and attended school. Mr. Carlson worked as a Soo Line Railway Locomotive Engineer and retired in 1979. Mr. Carlson was on the Board of Trustees of First United Methodist Church and was a member of the Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers. Mr. Carlson married Alberta (Betty) Mann of Sisseton, South Dakota, April 30, 1934. Surviving Mr. Carlson is his wife Betty. Two daughters; Mrs. Gayle DeFehr, Enderlin, ND and Mrs. Marilyn Miller, Fargo, ND. Two sisters; Mrs. Florence Rarick, Enderlin, ND and Mrs. Blaine (Marjorie) Jaeger, Merrifield, Minn. One brother; John Carlson, Glendora, California. Mr. Carlson had four grandchildren. Pallbearers were Marvin Fink, Allen Hanson, Robert Henderson, Norbert Laber, Ralph Myhre and Duane Steinhaus. Musical arrangements were provided by Mrs. Jack Armstrong and the Reverend A.R. Aleson. Funeral arrangements were provided by Peterson Funeral Home, Enderlin, North Dakota. Enderlin Independent - Enderlin, North Dakota October 31, 1988