Before you overreact to this shot, it’s important to note it was taken in July 1969, not recently. This fellow is Merl Snodgrass, and at the time of this image (an Ektachrome slide) he was working the first trick conductor’s job at Southern’s Andover, VA yard. Merl was a real jokester, and when that summer got especially hot, he showed up to work a few times in this garb. I was doing a paid photo shoot for the division safety committee. My task was to complete a slide show illustrating various safety violations. In this case, Merl is obviously standing on a drawhead (coupler) to reach the handbrake on an Interstate hopper (the car is standing on the scale track at Andover), and that’s a serious “no-no.” I remember the terminal superintendent wasn’t particularly thrilled with Merl’s work uniform, so this didn’t last long. But—he was not committing any grievous offense at that time. There were no FRA requirements then for a safety vest, hearing protection, head gear, safety glasses---not even foot wear. As the years went by, the railroad industry tightened up safety regs considerably. This shot ran in an article of mine about 14 years ago in Classic Trains magazine.