The Hagestad Sandhouse Gang

The Hagestad Sandhouse Gang is a railroad-oriented discussion group run by the Northwestern University Transportation Center. The group meets monthly for 90 minutes to two hours with a speaker and then discussion of the presentation. The group aims to connect active and semi-active rail practioners with students and academics at Northwestern and other schools. The Sandhouse Gang currently has about 300 members and has been in existence since 2002.

  • Past Meetings - Please refer to our Calendar to see past Sandhouse Gang events.
  • Sandhouse Gang Bulletin Board (articles, photos, news items and other postings shared by Sandhouse Gang Members)

Upcoming Sandhouse Gang Events

Past Sandhouse Gang Events

Notes on Sandhouse Meetings

Normally the Sandhouse Gang meets at 3:00 p.m. on the Northwestern campus in Evanston. Specific meeting locations are often not determined until shortly before the sessions; for authoritative meeting details, call the Transportation Center (847-491-7287).

Hagestad Sandhouse Gang Steering Committee:

Norman Carlson
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Roy Gelder
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Dick Gill
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Peter Nicholson
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William Sippel
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Diana Marek
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Why "The Sandhouse Gang"?

Locomotives use sand to assist them for traction (steel wheels on steel rails will sometimes slip particularly if the rail is wet). Prior to modern servicing facilities, there was a separate area near the railroad roundhouse where locomotives were "sanded" between trips.  This location was often out of the way and found employees from several different unions in the area - hostlers, engineers, brakemen, oilers, maintenance people, carmen and so on.  But few management people were there.  As such the "Sandhouse" became a "gossip" area of sorts for the exchange of all kinds of facts, stories, and rumors. In fact, a common railroad expression was "give me the sandhouse" on this or that.  Translation: "Give me the low-down."

Doug Hagestad

Since its inception, the Sandhouse Gang had been animated by the efforts of our dear friend Doug Hagestad who passed away on July 26, 2007. The Gang's new name commemorates our debt to him.
About Doug Hagestad
About the Douglas Hagestad Education Fund (PDF)

Contribute to the Douglas Hagestad Education Fund:
Donor Response Form (PDF)