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Western Railroad Discussion > Cooking chow while at work?


Date: 06/24/10 12:12
Cooking chow while at work?
Author: xtra1188w

A little while as I was waking from a nap I got to remembering and thinking about food getting cooked while on duty by folks that I've heard about in times past. Railroaders and truckers alike have taken meat, and whatever else they wanted, wrapped it in tinfoil securely and lashed it to the exhaust manifolds of their respective diesel engines to cook to their respective tastes. It doesn't take too long to cook something like this. Before that steam locomorive crews used the boiler's backhead for the same purposes. I've heard stories of a fireman cookig ham or bacon and eggs on a shiny coal scoop while he held it over the white hot fire in the firebox of a working steam loco. Do any of you professional railroaders still do such things today, or do you just wait on a crew van to come after you and take you to a cafe somewhere when you have had a long day and are hungry?

I was an independent OTR trucker for the most part, That is to say that I never was a Teamster. Independent drivers did things differently than the union guys did in a lot of ways, including cooking their own dinner occasionally while out on the big road headed someplace. For different reasons a driver might not want to eat at a "choke and puke" (truck stop) somewhere for one reason or another, or sometimes a hand might just enjoy doing something like this themselves. Some of these drivers could cook like this way better than what they could get in 95% of truckstops. I'm sure that the same sort of thing is true for trainmen as well.

As I was waking up from my nap, I remembered all of this, I got to wondering if this sort of thing isn't heard of anymore or maybe sometimes for one reason or another in some places of the country this sort of thing still happens? Comments invited!

Con



Date: 06/24/10 12:36
Re: Cooking chow while at work?
Author: icancmp193

Somewhere on the net a crewman has a (somewhat tongue in cheek) "cooking on the locomotive" cookbook with recipes and recommendations. IIRC he even rates various locomotive models cooking abilities. Quite funny!

Just found the link:
www.nebraska-locksmith.com/articles/ManifoldM.pdf
Tom Y



Date: 06/24/10 12:39
Re: Cooking chow while at work?
Author: fbe

The electric sidewall heaters have become the cooking appliance of choice now. The railroads have mostly prohibited the practice since too many employees lack basic Boy Scout training and forget to poke a vent hole or two into the lid of the cans of stew or soup. Upon opening the contents stream out of the can and have resulted in some serious burns. So instead of posting instructions on the cab wall for crews to follow the practice is banned. Some Canadian locomotives have micro wave ovens along with the common hot plate. Prime mover baking is still used once in a while.



Date: 06/24/10 13:09
Re: Cooking chow while at work?
Author: DKay

Loco's down here in australia used to have hot plates in the cab for cooking meals.Dont know if this is still the case .
Regards,Daryl Kay.



Date: 06/24/10 13:10
Re: Cooking chow while at work?
Author: UPTRAIN

Sidewall heaters are awesome. Those new age plastic soup cans don't hold up well though. I usually put them on their metal top upside down and then held them out the window away from me when opening them, just in case they wanted to spew.

Leftover BBQ ribs and brisket from Jack Stack here in town was always good after a few minutes on the heater. Most of those heaters will make just about anything sizzle after a while.

Pump



Date: 06/24/10 13:34
Re: Cooking chow while at work?
Author: cota1992

Same method works well on a farm tractor if you use a canned item, otherwise the hay dust can get in.

Art Reid
Washington DC



Date: 06/24/10 14:20
Re: Cooking chow while at work?
Author: hoggerdoug

On BC Rail we had conventional ovens on the locomotives and propane fired ovens and three burner ranges on the caboose. I used to bring to work "leftovers"from home in a tin pie plate wrap in foil and warm up in the oven. In fact if we had a nice dinner at home I would make up a couple of dinners an freeze for later use. Also the TV Dinner has come a long way and some of the newer frozen stuff is pretty good when you are hungry, either warm up in the oven or microwave it. As CN took over it was a small microwave oven on the locomotives, can't do any creative cooking with them!!! I do remember some great meals cooked in the caboose and shared with both end crews.
BTW, I seem to recall I website with the "Great Northern" passenger train menu's and recipes. Down right good home cooking.Can't seem to find it in the computer.
Doug



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 06/24/10 14:27 by hoggerdoug.



Date: 06/24/10 14:24
Re: Cooking chow while at work?
Author: CCMF

CN units have microwave ovens but I think they are only used for popcorn. ;-)



Date: 06/24/10 14:25
Re: Cooking chow while at work?
Author: sandmanre

We used to set our food, and I use that word lightly, on the air cooled engines when I drove a tank in the Army (46 years ago). We also used to set them next to the heater exhaust outside on the the fender, if it was cold. These were the old "C" rations, and not the newer MRE (Meals ready to eat). I understand they have some sort of heating chemical on the outside of the food packs that will heat them, but I'll let a newer GI ring in on that one.

Ron Evans
Golden Valley, AZ



Date: 06/24/10 14:47
Re: Cooking chow while at work?
Author: 3rail

My wife collects cook books. I found one for her titled "Manifold Cooking: The Art of Cooking on Your Engine". This is full of great recipes. I also heard of a cook book called "Yellow Line Yummies" but I haven't been able to find it.



Date: 06/24/10 15:14
Re: Cooking chow while at work?
Author: WAF

Some of the old SP hogheads used to cook over the engine manifold



Date: 06/24/10 15:14
Re: Cooking chow while at work?
Author: WAF

Some of the old SP hogheads used to cook on the engine manifold



Date: 06/24/10 15:16
Re: Cooking chow while at work?
Author: CN_Hogger

M-636 Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> CN units have microwave ovens but I think they are
> only used for popcorn. ;-)


I have reheated many a leftover in them...



Date: 06/24/10 15:31
Re: Cooking chow while at work?
Author: imrl

GE's work great. There is a nice flat spot where the radiator fill is that is perfect for s TV dinner or leftovers or whatever you might have. I have stuck a frozen Stauffer's lasagna up there and it is cooked to perfection 4 hours later.

Another thing that I sometimes take along is my JetBoil. It's a great little self contained cook pot that is the size of a large mug. It's great for hot dogs, hot chocolate, oatmeal or premade freeze dried meals.



Date: 06/24/10 16:40
Re: Cooking chow while at work?
Author: CCMF

M-636 Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> CN units have microwave ovens but I think they are
> only used for popcorn. ;-)

>CN_Hogger replies ....
>I have reheated many a leftover in them...


Oh, you're the guy !!



Date: 06/24/10 16:58
Re: Cooking chow while at work?
Author: UPLasVegas




Date: 06/24/10 17:48
Re: Cooking chow while at work?
Author: kushtaka

I know an equipment mechanic for CSX that tells a story about the total loss of a Jordan Spreader because one of the summer help (and some 'r not) tried to make a bag of microwave popcorn on the exhaust manifold.



Date: 06/24/10 19:49
Re: Cooking chow while at work?
Author: SanJoaquinEngr

xtra1188w Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> A little while as I was waking from a nap I got to
> remembering and thinking about food getting cooked
> while on duty by folks that I've heard about in
> times past. Railroaders and truckers alike have
> taken meat, and whatever else they wanted, wrapped
> it in tinfoil securely and lashed it to the
> exhaust manifolds of their respective diesel
> engines to cook to their respective tastes. It
> doesn't take too long to cook something like this.
> Before that steam locomotive crews used the
> boiler's back head for the same purposes. I've
> heard stories of a fireman cooking ham or bacon and
> eggs on a shiny coal scoop while he held it over
> the white hot fire in the firebox of a working
> steam loco. Do any of you professional
> railroaders still do such things today, or do you
> just wait on a crew van to come after you and take
> you to a cafe somewhere when you have had a long
> day and are hungry?
>
> I was an independent OTR trucker for the most
> part, That is to say that I never was a Teamster.
> Independent drivers did things differently than
> the union guys did in a lot of ways, including
> cooking their own dinner occasionally while out on
> the big road headed someplace. For different
> reasons a driver might not want to eat at a "choke
> and puke" (truck stop) somewhere for one reason or
> another, or sometimes a hand might just enjoy
> doing something like this themselves. Some of
> these drivers could cook like this way better than
> what they could get in 95% of truck stops. I'm
> sure that the same sort of thing is true for
> trainmen as well.
>
> As I was waking up from my nap, I remembered all
> of this, I got to wondering if this sort of thing
> isn't heard of anymore or maybe sometimes for one
> reason or another in some places of the country
> this sort of thing still happens? Comments
> invited!
>
> Con


I have personally cooked raw tri tip.. raw chicken... pork chops... turkey breasts... on the headlight rheostat on SD-60... side wall heaters work just as well... My brakeman cooks and steams okra, chitin's, hog guess whats...



Date: 06/25/10 15:24
Re: Cooking chow while at work?
Author: CN_Hogger

M-636 Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> M-636 Wrote:
> --------------------------------------------------
> -----
> > CN units have microwave ovens but I think they
> are
> > only used for popcorn. ;-)
>
> >CN_Hogger replies ....
> >I have reheated many a leftover in them...
>
>
> Oh, you're the guy !!

There's quite a few of us down here in the US that do. Although if I had to choose I'd take air conditioning over a microwave!!



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