The hard work and determination of railroaders and their families have helped build America for generations. One railroading family, the Fluitts, planted their roots in Texas and have since flourished, blossoming successful railroading careers across both the Missouri Pacific and Union Pacific.
Their latest branch? New Braunfels Locomotive Engineer Martin Fluitt, a 33-year employee and multigenerational railroader with a story to tell.
Fluitt reflects fondly on the days of his youth, growing up in San Antonio, Texas, where he describes the local railroaders as “one big family,” many with whom he later served.
Railroaders abound in Fluitt’s Texas hometown: several of his immediate and extended family members worked on the railroad, as well as often-seen family friends. But the Fluitt family’s railroad story got its start further back with a relation by the name of Roger.
Stokes Railroading Family Timeline
- In the early 1900s, Fluitt’s great-uncle Roger Tapely Stokes served as a Missouri Pacific conductor. Roger was born in 1897, before the turn of the century.
- Starting in the 1940s, Fred Irwin, Martin’s grandfather, worked on the Missouri Pacific as a brakeman/switchman. He retired in 1973.
- Next in line, Robert Fluitt, Fluitt’s father, was another proud Missouri Pacific and later Union Pacific trainman.
- Not far behind, Locomotive Engineer Lawrence Fluitt, Martin’s second cousin, represents another member of his industrial lineage.
- In 1982, the Interstate Commerce Commission (ICC) approved the Union Pacific-Missouri Pacific-Western Pacific merger.
- Last but not least, Martin hired on with Union Pacific in 1989. Because of his family history, his colleagues dubbed him an honorary MoP head – a friendly, respectable reference to the Missouri Pacific’s legacy.
- In 1997, Missouri Pacific legally merged with Union Pacific.
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“I feel greatly honored to be part of several generations of Fluitts that dedicated themselves to the railroad,” Fluitt said. “Each generation of my family has worked to make the railroad the best it can be.”
Fluitt carries a deep respect for his family’s legacy, a respect that drives his attitude.
“I’ve always had the mentality that if you take pride in your work, you’ll do a good job,” Fluitt said.
Fluitt values the railroading community that shaped him into who he is today.
“I’ve got to say that some of the best people I’ve worked with are my current co-workers in New Braunfels,” Fluitt said. “But I also admire the people who came before and dedicated time to teaching me.
“I take a lot of pride in being a railroader, especially an engineer.”
The ties between generations of family and friends, like those of Fluitts, reveal the long line of proud railroaders building America, day by day.
Union Pacific is currently hiring train crew in several locations. Please visit UP.jobs to see the jobs available in your area.