Thomas Bartkovsky 1964 - 2012 the privilege to work with him – and the fortunate ones, myself included, that had the opportunity to learn the craft from a master. By 1988 Tommy was the senior Freight Conductor at Black River when he took advantage of a Conrail hiring session. Tommy went to work for Conrail, but he never left Black River… For many years after my grandfather retired, Tommy continued to do the Freight Agent work for us. His accuracy with car numbers was uncanny – probably instilled in him by those LVRR Yardmasters. Tommy and I shared an unspoken understanding that the Railroad runs on paperwork, not on tracks. We shared a love for the past and understanding that change is inevitable. Tommy hated remote control locomotives, GE toasters, GP-15s, and the loss of craft distinction with Conductors forced to run trains. But he loved being a part of the grand resurgence of the railroad industry. With 24 years of seniority Tommy was able to hold just about any job he wanted out of Oak Island. Often he picked jobs that would allow him to take care of his mother, suffering from Alzheimer’s. Most recently he was holding a local job which worked 12 hours every day. If you knew The Who, you know he worked this job not for the money, but because he loved what he did, even if he had to *run* the locomotive. (Let us not forget that Conductor Bartkovsky was also an accomplished Steam and Diesel Engineer.) For Tommy, the end of the line seems too soon. But I doubt he had any regrets and he was able to railroad to the end. We should all be so lucky. Tommy Who was a good friend and a Legendary Railroader. Thomas Bartkovsky AKA Tommy Who, was not only a NYSWTHS member and Bel-Del DSLE but a long time member of the Black River and Western Family. Tommy was always very helpful and kind and for that we will never forget him. What follows is the obituary written by our friend and partner in the Delaware River Railroad Excursions, Kean Burenga. Tommy Who died Saturday night (Oct 20th) in his home in Alpha. He was 48. Black River has never known a kinder or more beloved railroader. We share our loss with Tommy’s colleagues at Conrail. Tommy’s railroad “career” started in the Manville yard office typing up waybills for the Yardmaster on an old manual typewriter. The local Lehigh Valley crews would compensate him with cab rides in his favorite “pups” and when Conrail disposed of their caboose fleet, Tommy sought out a car he rode in his youth which is the Who Hack at Ringoes. Tommy came to Black River in 1978 or 1979. With a somewhat difficult to pronounce last name, my grandmother dubbed him TomSki. But it was Bill Manes that gave him the railroad moniker that stuck. Tommy had a habit of banging his hand against anything that rattled, whether in the cab of a locomotive or sitting in the engine house office. This drumming earned him the nickname “Who” from the legendary rock bank, with the rock opera Pinball Wizard and its main character Tommy. The Who painted every piece of MW equipment on the property in the early 1980s before being promoted to train service. It is his skills as a Brakeman and a Conductor that will be remembered by all the crews that had 11 Tom Bartkovsky- LVRR 2nd trick Manville Yard Clerk Trainee

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