The Arlein men held many positions on the railroad, from engineer, to conductor, dispatcher, machinist, boiler maker, clerk, and blacksmith.
It all started with Charles Arlein who emigrated from Belgium in 1855. He started on the railroad when he was 24 as a boilermaker. He spent the next 41 years serving the company.
There were 13 children in his family – ten boys and three girls. Of the ten boys, six went on to become railway men themselves. Three of the four local workers where bachelors – Alfonsis, Felix and Frank. Frank was a boilermaker and was killed at the age of 37 in the tunnel-yards at Sarnia having been struck by a Grand Trunk engine. He had served only 10 years on the job.
Felix went on to become an Engineer and served a total of 45 years on the road. Alfonsis became a boilermaker and served 40 years. The fourth local worker was Leonard. He started with the railroad on July 1st, 1881 as a boilermaker’s helper, later becoming a fireman and finally an engineer. For 25 years he was in charge of fast passenger trains on the local division. He spent a total of 51 years as an employee of the railroad.
Leonard had five male children of which four became railroad men themselves. The oldest was Charles who started as a clerk and eventually became a dispatcher. He spent 45 years on the railroad.
The second oldest was Leon, with 50 years of service. He started as an apprentice machinist in 1913 and eventually became a journeyman machinist in 1919.
The third oldest was Norbert who spent 50 years on the railroad as a machinist. Most of his career was spent working out of the Windsor yards.
And finally there was Jack, who worked 45 years. He was a conductor and worked the lines between Detroit and Buffalo.
In total there were 12 men who worked a total of 478 years.