Funny Railroad Stories- By railroaders

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Funny Railroad Stories- By railroaders

Postby DrawbarFlats » Wed Jan 24, 2007 10:59 am

I'm not even sure if this is where to put the following but here it goes-

As my fellow railroaders can attest, we love our stories and yarns!

The following is a story that has been handed down and told with many different variations. This story happened back in the early 90's. I'll tell it as it was told to me. (I have changed the names of course)

Tippy and George (both retired now) were ''old head'' Santa Fe out of San Bernardino. While working a eastbound manifest train to Barstow all was fine until-

Just past Verdemont they got a bell ringer. Un phased, ol' Tippy just continued on with his daily crossword puzzle from the local paper, while George let out a few choice words.
''Tippy, I'm gonna go back and check out the problem so keep an eye on the alerter, need to use the head anyway''. Tippy just grunted his response and without even looking up picked up his coffee and crossword puzzle and moved it over to the hoggers seat while George opened the back door and dissapeared into the darkness as the train continued on its climb up the steep mountain pass.
After what seemed like an eternity the irritating alarm stopped and Tippy casually glanced up as if to say, ''finally!''
After about 10 minutes the train slowly passed Devore, a small town with a general store next to the tracks. Tippy got up and looked back as the train rounded the curve. Just as Tippy was wondering about George he remembered that he had said he needed to use the head. Satisfied, ol' Tippy worked on his crossword puzzle some more and watched for any signal changes.
Green eyes the whole way so far.
After awhile the train was approaching ''old'' Keenbrook and all of a sudden the radio burst to life with frantic chatter.
''Cajon DS to the ATSF 627 East, over''
Tippy picks up the hand set and speaks into the reciever,
''ATSF 627 East answering, over''.
''Cajon, 627, ah, where is your engineer, over''
Tippy nervously glances back and replies,
''Ah, er, he's checking out an alarm and in the head, over''
''Cajon, 627 YOUR engineer just called me from a pay phone at Devore STOP YOUR TRAIN, OVER''!!!

How George fell off is anyone's guess. Luckily he was not hurt.
I would sure have liked to see the reaction on the DS's face when the engineer made his ''phone call''. I also wonder if Tippy ever got done with that crossword puzzle.

Devore did sport a new Station name for awhile after that--''George's Falls''
If any of you rails have a good story let's hear it!!
Last edited by DrawbarFlats on Thu Jan 25, 2007 12:19 am, edited 4 times in total.
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Postby ExEMDLOCOTester » Wed Jan 24, 2007 11:08 am

I know this is a story but what is the distance between Devore & Keenbrook?
ExEMDLOCOTester
 

Postby DrawbarFlats » Wed Jan 24, 2007 11:33 am

ExEMDLOCOTester wrote:I know this is a story but what is the distance between Devore & Keenbrook?


Not that far. From Devore road to Keenbrook (MP 69.4) is about 6700'. There are mixed stories that Tippy was either notified at the present Keenbrook or ''old'' Keenbrook.
In either case George fell off his train at Devore Rd and was able to use the phone at the general store to notify the DS.
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Postby conrail_engineer » Wed Jan 24, 2007 2:09 pm

I had something similar happen (with different outcome) when I was a newly-certified engineer, busted down to conductor. We were coming out of Collinwood, bound for Buffalo...we had two pieces of excrement for power, pulling about 5000 tons.

Out of Collinwood it's a moderate upgrade to Willoughby. We weren't doing so good on it..about 20 mph.

John, the hogger, tells me to go check out the trailing unit. I go back there, and the ammeter's about a hundred amps, the engine's idling. Something's really wrong.

I come back forward and tell all this to John. He makes a face..."Take the controls. I'll see if I can't get it running right..."

And I do. As underpowered as it was, it wasn't a hard train to run. Basically, all I had to do was whistle off the crossings.

We go through Willoughby...there's a short downgrade and then an S-curve on the upgrade. We keep lumbering along, about 25...down the hill into Painesville, we start moving around 40.

John's been back there a time. Where IS he? I start to wonder. I can't see his head in my mirror, in the second cab...the power was lashed up nose to tail...

On the other side of Painesville, there's another upgrade on another gentle S. That bogs down all but the fastest trains...and we're gaining speed. By the time we make Perry, we're traveling about 40.

And there's no sign of the engineer. I ring the signal bell...no response.

How far do I go before I call in that my engineer's missing? I wonder. I knew he was going to check the jumper cables...suppose he fell off in the process? He could be cut in two ten miles back.

We start on the downgrade into Geneva...by this time I'm doing track speed, and have to notch it back. We clear Madison...time to stop and find out what's what...

I close the throttle and set up the air. Just then, the door bangs open...

"What the #@&*'s wrong with you?" he demands.

"Jeez, John...I was about to go back. Where WERE you?"

"Oh...I yanked the jumper cable. I set the second unit to run in Notch 8."

And that, people, is how we made that run, all the way into the yard limits in Frontier. We needed to stop or slow, John would set the lead unit on dynamic, maybe shoot a little air...but that second unit was yanking wide open the whole trip.
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Postby DrawbarFlats » Wed Jan 24, 2007 2:28 pm

conrail_engineer wrote:I had something similar happen (with different outcome) when I was a newly-certified engineer, busted down to conductor. We were coming out of Collinwood, bound for Buffalo...we had two pieces of excrement for power, pulling about 5000 tons.

Out of Collinwood it's a moderate upgrade to Willoughby. We weren't doing so good on it..about 20 mph.

John, the hogger, tells me to go check out the trailing unit. I go back there, and the ammeter's about a hundred amps, the engine's idling. Something's really wrong.

I come back forward and tell all this to John. He makes a face..."Take the controls. I'll see if I can't get it running right..."

And I do. As underpowered as it was, it wasn't a hard train to run. Basically, all I had to do was whistle off the crossings.

We go through Willoughby...there's a short downgrade and then an S-curve on the upgrade. We keep lumbering along, about 25...down the hill into Painesville, we start moving around 40.

John's been back there a time. Where IS he? I start to wonder. I can't see his head in my mirror, in the second cab...the power was lashed up nose to tail...

On the other side of Painesville, there's another upgrade on another gentle S. That bogs down all but the fastest trains...and we're gaining speed. By the time we make Perry, we're traveling about 40.

And there's no sign of the engineer. I ring the signal bell...no response.

How far do I go before I call in that my engineer's missing? I wonder. I knew he was going to check the jumper cables...suppose he fell off in the process? He could be cut in two ten miles back.

We start on the downgrade into Geneva...by this time I'm doing track speed, and have to notch it back. We clear Madison...time to stop and find out what's what...

I close the throttle and set up the air. Just then, the door bangs open...

"What the #@&*'s wrong with you?" he demands.

"Jeez, John...I was about to go back. Where WERE you?"

"Oh...I yanked the jumper cable. I set the second unit to run in Notch 8."

And that, people, is how we made that run, all the way into the yard limits in Frontier. We needed to stop or slow, John would set the lead unit on dynamic, maybe shoot a little air...but that second unit was yanking wide open the whole trip.


Heh, heh, heh!!! Good one! My sides are still hurting!!!

Early DP train eh? Heh, heh!!

I always hate it when a good conductor will go back and ''help out'' with power problems but never rings the bell just let ya know he made it back okay while blasting away at 70mph.

A fellow hogger once told me of the ''rookie'' conductor who ''rang'' the bell when he got back to the rear unit.
Oh he rang the bell alright, he ''rang'' the MU Shutdown by mistake!!!!!!!!!!!!!Whooopsi!

Come on folks! Let's hear your railroading yarns!! I think it would be interesting to hear from different parts of the Nation or World.
Last edited by DrawbarFlats on Wed Jan 24, 2007 7:29 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: Funny Railroad Stories- By railroaders

Postby git a holt to it » Wed Jan 24, 2007 6:04 pm

DrawbarFlats wrote:I'm not even sure if this is where to put the following but here it goes-

As my fellow railroaders can attest, we love our stories and yarns!

The following is a story that has been handed down and told with many different variations. This story happened back in the early 90's. I'll tell it as it was told to me. (I have changed the names of course)

Tippy and George (both retired now) were ''old head'' Santa Fe out of San Bernardino. While working a eastbound manifest train to Barstow all was fine until-

Just past Verdemont they got a bell ringer. Un phased, ol' Tippy just continued on with his daily crossword puzzle from the local paper, while George let out a few choice words.
''Tippy, I'm gonna go back and check out the problem so keep an eye on the alerter, need to use the head anyway''. Tippy just grunted his response and without even looking up picked up his coffee and crossword puzzle and moved it over to the hoggers seat while George opened the back door and dissapeared into the darkness as the train continued on its climb up the steep mountain pass.
After what seemed like an eternity the irritating alarm stopped and Tippy casually glanced up as if to say, ''finally!''
After about 10 minutes the train slowly passed Devore, a small town with a general store next to the tracks. Tippy got up and looked back as the train rounded the curve. Just as Tippy was wondering about George he remembered that he had said he needed to use the head. Satisfied, ol' Tippy worked on his crossword puzzle some more and watched for any signal changes.
Green eyes the whole way so far.
After awhile the train was approaching Keenbrook and all of a sudden the radio burst with frantic chatter.
''Cajon DS to the ATSF 627 East, over''
Tippy picks up the hand set and speaks into the reciever,
''ATSF 627 East answering, over.
''Cajon, 627, ah, where is your engineer, over''
Tippy nervously glances back and replies,
''Ah, er, he's checking out an alarm and in the head, over''
''Cajon, 627 YOUR engineer just called me from a pay phone at Devore STOP YOUR TRAIN, OVER''!!!

How George fell off is anyone's guess. Luckily he was not hurt.
I would sure have liked to see the reaction on the DS's face when the engineer made his ''phone call''. I also wonder if Tippy ever got done with that crossword puzzle.

Devore did sport a new Station name for awhile after that--''George's Falls''
If any of you rails have a good story let's hear it!!
This is a well known story, heard it a few years back.
git a holt to it
 

Postby Aji-tater » Wed Jan 24, 2007 11:37 pm

There's an old one which has been told all over the country. No doubt at SOME place it really happened but about every time guys are spinning tall tales this one gets thrown in, with names and locations changed to suit the teller. "Oh yeah, this one REALLY happened to me" they all say.

Seems a conductor had a greenhorn brakeman and kept him on the rear end so he could keep an eye on him. They took a siding for a meet, then started on their way. The conductor dropped off and lined the switch back for the main and was locking it when the slack ran out and the train began picking up speed. The conductor saw he wasn't going to be able to run that fast, so he figured to have the kid make a reduction with the conductor's valve to slow the train down. "Hey, don't go and leave me here all alone!" he hollered.

At which point the student, ignorant of the function of the air valve, promptly unloads and joins the conductor on the ground as the train vanishes around the bend.
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Postby GOLDEN-ARM » Thu Jan 25, 2007 12:29 am

Any Conrail guy, from the late 80's, early 90's, who worked around the North Jersey Consolidated Terminal will verify the truth of this one. A certain "Blind-berg" conductor/engineer was qualifying on the Dover drill. He went to use the can, on the second unit. The train was headed eastbound, from Washington to Dover. As the train was approaching Netcong, the qualifying conductor (Jack) was standing at the crossing, and waved down the train. The train stopped, picked up Jack, and asked him what the hell was going on. Jack was crossing between units, and failed to make the turn, onto the catwalk, and stepped off the loco, at a grade crossing, and ate the pavement, in front of a very startled motorist. The driver felt sorry for the hapless (helpless :P ) conductor, and drove ahead, to meet the train, down the road. If you know jack, you know he was actually "legally blind", and was hired by accident. His glasses were the thickest I have ever witnessed personaly, and Jack was really a liability, on the job. He wasn't fired, and as he didn't lose time due the the fall, all was forgiven. Jack was promoted to engineer, much to the chagrin of anyone called to work with him. He also carried binoculars, that he used constantly, for "normal vision". (Jack was riding with us, to Allentown one day, and was calling signals as he saw them, with the binocs. Problem was, they were literally right in front of the loco, when he finally called them out. We had seen them, and called them, from over a mile away!!!! :-D ) I understand Jack finally left, to do some other type of work, due to the numerous crewmen, that refused calls, when they learned he was on the job. Conrails' NJCT, a hell of a place to railroad at....... :-D
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Postby conrail_engineer » Thu Jan 25, 2007 12:51 am

Another story:

This supposedly did happen shortly after the Conrail split. An old head with street-cred told it around the breakroom; but that was a long time ago and I may not have the particulars right.

But here's what supposedly happened:

Both CSX and NS were in a complete turmoil in July 1999, when Conrail was broken and put out of existance. Cars were lost; crews were called out of turn or on territory they weren't qualified for or even had rights to.

But one night - this supposedly happened in Cleveland, going down the old Cleveland Line towards Conway - an NS crew was called up at Rockport. The crew members were both new guys, strangers to each other.

They greet; pick up bulletins; the one turns to the other. "You want to run?"

"Yeah, sure, I'll take it to start." That settled, they tie onto their train, get the folderol out of the way, start heading east and south.

At Alliance, the guy running turns to the other guy, asleep on the conductor's side.

"You better run from here," he says. "I don't know the rail that well from here into Beaver. I've only run a little bit, time to time."

The other man stares at him; his jaw drops.

"I thought YOU were the engineer!!"

Turned out they'd called two conductors for the job. :P
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Postby BlackDog » Thu Jan 25, 2007 11:30 am

Early in my WC days I was called for a loaded welded rail train. The 1 SD45 should have been good enough (even though it was facing the wrong way) but this one had issues; it wouldn't load past notch 5. No problem, we'll just limp along until we make it or we die. Towards the end of the trip we started up a fairly long hill and by now traffic was starting to catch up with us. The DS called and asked how we were doing. I told him that we were on the verge of stalling. The DS then told us that if we had to we could double the hill.
Go ahead and back up.
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Postby conrail_engineer » Thu Jan 25, 2007 12:26 pm

Time for another one...what the hey, it's my vacation and I'm sick in bed...

This actually happened as well.

A crew off the Willard-Buffalo A0 pool were called to recrew a container train at Crestline. Trains going east or west from Avon to Buffalo, never enter the yard - they're recrewed on the main line.

The Buffalo crew, out of the hotel, get on board...start pulling...all seems well. With a fast van-train, Cleveland's about 90 minutes out.

At Collinwood, they stop on the main for fuel, as all trains do. The trainmaster gets on the radio:

"Q140, what's your marker reading?"

The engineer stammers. "Uh, we lost the reading a little ways out. We got a no-comm."

"Q140, your marker's on the end of your train ON THE MAIN AT CRESTLINE. Tie it down and sit tight for supervision."

The perp in this instance got a "time-out" - no suspension, not fired. Could it have had something to do with his being a union officer?
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Postby ExEMDLOCOTester » Mon Feb 19, 2007 1:52 pm

With all the Hoggers on this site, with mega years in, U gotta have more stories than this....
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Postby conrail_engineer » Thu Feb 22, 2007 12:29 am

Well, I can throw out one more...what I lack in quality I can make up in quantity.

It was in a fog, going east on Cleveland's Short Line, into Collinwood. At the time, CSX had taken over a couple months earlier; the route was realigned. The Lakefront route had been cut; the line from Collinwood to the Cuyahoga River was a secondary track for coal deliveries and for Amtrak.

The Short Line goes down a steep (over 2 percent) grade into a 40-degree curve into Collinwood Yard.

This particular night, the crew - it was a local character, we'll call him Enrique, that's close enough - and Murph, the new-guy conductor, a guy I hired with. Enrique, he was - how shall we say? - he's too cool for school. A sharp guy, he's always in trouble because he thinks he's smarter than he is.

The train passed CP-3 on an approach, and the signal at milepost 1 was stop-and-proceed. Restricted speed. Enrique takes it, he's starting downhill a little hot, 18 mph.

Just then Murph looks up and sees a marker through the fog! Panic all around...Enrique sets the brakes.

"Can you stop?" asks Murph.

"I dunno, mon..."

"Yah, well, f#$% that s&#~." With a studied detachment, Murph nonchalantly yanks the Big Red Handle and goes out the front door, hits the gravel. He's putting distance between himself and the tracks; ordinarily it would be the best plan...

Enrique, meantime, makes the - relatively - pleasant discovery that the marker ahead is moving, almost as fast. The brakes dig in, the 19,000-ton coal train comes to a stop, the marker disappears in the mist.

And Enrique is mad. While his conductor is - in his mind - "walking the train," Enrique decides to do a recovery on the air. Bad, bad plan...the air comes right up, and - as will happen - the brakes kick off.

Those 19,000 tons are too much for the locomotive independent to hold on the hill.

The train starts rolling...it's becoming clear it isn't going to stop. Right around the bend is CP-175, Quaker to the old heads...it's a signal that can't be seen even at the best of times until a train is about 15 cars ahead of it.

Enrique has his SECOND lapse of the night. He's run red signals before; he's not going to be treated lightly if he runs another...he decides to get out and START WINDING DOWN HANDBRAKES ON A RUNAWAY COAL TRAIN.

Murph, meantime...he's on the ground, in the roughest section of Cleveland, at 2 in the morning. He sees his train stop. Time to get back onboard...he's the wrong age, the wrong complexion, the wrong clothing for a late night stroll in the 'hood.

As he's walking up toward the head end, he sees his train start to move - without him! Not thinking it through, either - he hops the nearest hopper, about three cars back from the power - and he's shocked to see his engineer's head over the handbrake platform at the other end of the car!

Enrique is screaming. "Use your handheld! Call dispatch! Line us through! Line us through!!

I don't recall whether they got a signal or got stopped short. What saved them was the complete pandemonium that the terminal was in, with the transfer to CSX ownership.
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Postby DrawbarFlats » Thu Feb 22, 2007 1:50 am

Years ago, before I changed sides in the locomotive cab I was working as a conductor on an E/B stack train with a good fishing buddy of mine named Mark. Mark is a great engineer and is a blast to work with. He also likes to share good natured ribbings and insults, and since I do as well, we always get along great.

Well, on this particular trip we get held at the Fullerton Depot waiting for a W/B to go by and Mark makes his stop along the platform along the depot.
Fullerton on a weekend is usually full of railfans and a crew can get asked lots of questions by the crowd. Most engineers will stop well short of the platform to advoid this, but not Mark. He always seems to enjoy talking to the small crowd.

Anyway, as I'm filling out some paperwork I hear Mark talking to a little kid and his Dad. The kid is about 7 years old and Mark is busy explaining the duties of being a locomotive engineer to this youngster.
By this time I'm on the engineer side as well and sharing in on the conversation.

After a few minutes the dad gently pats his sons shoulder and tells him, ''okay son ask this man your question.
After a short pause the little kid finds the courage and asks Mark in a shy voice, ''so how can I be an engineer like you when I grow up?''

In an enthusiastic voice, Mark replies, ''well, you need to do what your mom and dad tell you to do, don't fight with your brothers or sisters, do your chores without being told and above all, do good in school and then when you are all grown up you can come and work for the Santa Fe railroad with Mikey and I.

With a sad and confused look on his face the kid asks Mark, ''well, what if I don't do that good in school?''

Mark ponders this question as he rubs his chin. Suddenly Marks eyes light up and he points his thumb towards me and says, ''well, you can always be the CONDUCTOR!!''




I don't think Mark was too popular with the kids dad after that, least of all, me!
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Postby CN_Hogger » Thu Feb 22, 2007 3:25 pm

DrawbarFlats wrote:With a sad and confused look on his face the kid asks Mark, ''well, what if I don't do that good in school?''

Mark ponders this question as he rubs his chin. Suddenly Marks eyes light up and he points his thumb towards me and says, ''well, you can always be the CONDUCTOR!!''




I don't think Mark was too popular with the kids dad after that, least of all, me!


That is freakin' classic!!! :P
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