Around World War II, seven workers used to man freight trains. As recently as the 1970s, five member crews were common. Now, it's down to just two, an engineer and a conductor. Today railroads are even pushing for single-member crews.
"The old guys, they used to talk about how much things had changed," recalls J.P. Wright, 45, a Louisville-based locomotive engineer who started in 2001. "And that's where I'm at now."