Jun 21st 2021 | Molly Crager
John Belcher and Mike Necessary come from the coal country area of Virginia, where they were both faced with the choice of going underground or opting for something different when it came to getting a job. They both ended up in the railroad industry, and met when Mike helped to train John on running a locomotive.
Alongside their roles as engineers, the pair also host a successful podcast called “Moving America”, which aims to give listeners “a view of the railroad from inside the cab,” as well as educate them on how vital railroads are in the infrastructure of America. The podcast has a dedicated following and a weekly #MAPFANPHOTOFRIDAY contest, where fans of the show submit their best photography featuring America’s locomotives.
A vital element of America’s industry
Mike and John started the podcast as a bit of fun, in order to reflect on their experiences as railroad workers. They share humorous stories and recall seeing beautiful, hidden places that most people never will, and sometimes ending up in the middle of nowhere without access to the everyday essentials that most of us take for granted.
They also hope that their discussions will shed some light on exactly how important the railroad industry is to America, as it delivers the vital components that keep the country going. As they say, “We want people to know that we are one part in keeping America going. Farmers farm it, we move it. Miners mine it, we move it. Chevrolet builds it, we move it.”
Quality workwear for railroad workers
Even before Mike and John became KEY partners, they revealed that KEY was incredibly important to them, saying, “Quality workwear is a must for railroad workers; being cold or having clothing that tears easily is just not something you have time to deal with.” That’s why they always opted for KEY, and say, “We both wore their products and depended on them to keep us warm on cold, snowy railroad days.”
Both previously working in various areas of North America, Mike and John are no strangers to the cold, harsh weather, which is why they opt for the Polar King Insulated Bibs and jackets to keep them warm on the railroad.
Both featuring a classic duck fabric outer shell and a brushed hand, washed finish, the Duck Jacket and insulated bib overalls are a classic choice that can be worn for both work and leisure.
Adapting to an ever-changing environment
It’s not just the weather changes that Mike and John have had to adapt to over the years, they’ve also had to become accustomed to brand new technology and the introduction of Precision Scheduled Railroading, which aimed to increase asset velocity, achieve better fuel efficiency, and implement a point-to-point delivery method.
While the duo discuss the technical aspects of railroading on their podcast, they also enjoy having a laugh when sharing personal stories, and even welcome special guests for topical discussions.
When they’re not busy podcasting and working, the pair enjoy pursuing personal hobbies. Mike jumps at any opportunity to get away from the phone and into the great outdoors, while John can also be found enjoying adventures or watching his daughter play volleyball.