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Railroaders' Nostalgia > Dog on a mission.

Date: 01/27/19 21:48
Dog on a mission.
Author: eminence_grise

Some years ago, I was the engineer on a train approaching a highway grade crossing. We were moving along at forty miles an hour on a heavy train. It was open country, with a good view of the road on either side of the crossing.

As we approached the crossing, I noticed a large dog racing toward the crossing down the road. As I recall, it was a shepherd-labrador cross..
He/she was running as fast as possible. It also was apparent that we would likely run over the poor beast.

It vanished in front of the engine, but I didn;t hear a thud. By this time, the conductor was aware of what was happening.

He said, "He made it, mostly".  It had been so close that the wheels cut off his tail.  The conductor said the dog quickly circled to see what had happened to his tail, and then carried on at full speed down the road away from the tracks.

We imagined the dog returning to its owner, without its tail.  What did the owners think? Who could possibly think that a train did it?
Probably they suspected some horrible person had mutilated their dog. The only clue would have been some axle grease around the wound.

I hope it lived a long happy life after its encounter with a freight train.

Date: 01/28/19 11:37
Re: Dog on a mission.
Author: Trainhand

I saw very few dogs escape a train like this one did. Usually when they started running between the rails they never got out of the way. I did find this out after running over many dogs, if you just rang the bell the dog would calmly step out of the gauge, if you blew the horn they tried to outrun you.  Of day I did stop and let a dog get out from between the rails. I was going about 10mph and coming to a crossing, so I stopped, the dog got out of the way and I went on.

Date: 01/28/19 12:16
Re: Dog on a mission.
Author: Beowawe

While working between Roseville and Sparks in the early 2000’s I was on an empty auto train eastbound during winter.   We tipped the hill at Norden and entered tunnel 41, “the big hole” as it was known among the mountain crews.  The tunnel is about 2 miles long.  As I approached about the middle a coyote appeared between the rails and started running east.  It’s a downhill grade eastbound so I came out heavier on my dynamic and slowed enough that I would not overtake him.

He ran for that last mile full out.  As I approached the east portal he started getting tired and slowed a bit and with all the ice and snow just inside he started slipping but he made it and hung a left at the entrance and was off into the night!

Date: 01/28/19 13:47
Re: Dog on a mission.
Author: spnudge

But......... Did he have a ticket?????



Date: 01/28/19 20:50
Re: Dog on a mission.
Author: roustabout

Something that bugged me at the time:  I was conductor on P&W's Mac Hauler, early in my time with them and over 20 years ago.  We were on our way back to McMinnville, coming down Rex Hill and a dog came out of somewhere and ran ahead of us.  The engineer made no effort to slow or stop and the dog finally went under the plow as we went over a bridge.  Bye, bye!

I remembered that dog when, a few years later, I was engineer on the same run and nearly the same situation.  We had a dauchshund running in the guage and I stopped to give chase.  I caught it as it had a leash and collar but it was so scared that it crapped on my arm when I picked it up; some thank you but understandable.  Some neighbors appeared and took it as they seemed to know where it belonged.  We all went home happy - and a bit smelly...

Date: 01/29/19 08:53
Re: Dog on a mission.
Author: JMaurer1

A coyote is NOT a dog...should have sped up (it's probably the same coyote that has been eating our chickens).

Date: 01/29/19 10:32
Re: Dog on a mission.
Author: ns2557

JMaurer1 Wrote:
> A coyote is NOT a dog...should have sped up (it's
> probably the same coyote that has been eating our
> chickens).

Usually when the coyote speeds up all sorts of things happen. ACME Industries is usually involved also. Think his name is Wile E.  :) B

Date: 01/29/19 13:03
Re: Dog on a mission.
Author: trainjunkie

I hate hitting any animal, but especially dogs. There are so many loose dogs running around on the subdivisions I work, it's a frequent occurrence. They just don't know any better.

Adult humans, on the other hand, should know better. I have little sympathy for them. Most of the trespasser strikes around here are druggies and alcoholics.

Every time I hit a dog, it aches. I wish people would take better care of their "pets" but it's like some third-world country where I work and the residents of these backwards communities seem to think nothing of letting their dogs run wild, and worse, breed. Sad situation. Lots of dog people in my terminal and we all hate this.

Date: 01/30/19 13:59
Re: Dog on a mission.
Author: UPNW2-1083

A number of years ago I caught a train heading east to Yuma from West Colton (Ca) and as we were tipping the hill heading into Banning., a small little white dog was running inbetween the rails going the same direction, I kept blowing the horn hoping he's get out of the way but we ran right over him. I thought he was a gonner but I was looking back in my mirror and saw him shoot out between the units and the first car! That dog just kept running, must have scared the crap out of him. I couldn't believe the perfect timing it took to jump out as we were doing 40 mph and the little dog only had a split second to react.-BMT 

Date: 01/31/19 21:33
Re: Dog on a mission.
Author: KMiddlebrook

Even the most loyal family dogs can suddenly alter their behavior...

Two years ago, my coworker and her family were taking a walk with their dog on leash.   Their walking route included legally crossing the Caltrain tracks at a grade crossing.  Approaching the tracks, the bells and lights were activated by an approaching train.   The family stopped and the dog started barking in response to the horn, now blasting the familiar grade crossing warning.

Before either adult could attempt to settle their family dog, the dog twisted and pulled out of its collar and ran toward the approaching train with the family watching in horror, particularly the children.   The only comment from my coworker was..."And the train did not stop!"


Date: 02/06/19 12:14
Re: Dog on a mission.
Author: co614

In 1981 I was running steam engine 614 pulling a 21 car excursion out of Savanah, Goergia when I spotted two hound dogs a mile or so up the tracks standing in the middle of a trestle about 300 ft. long. I was doing track speed there of 60 mph and when after a few seconds the dogs never moved I made a minimum reduction and when about 3/8 mile from the trestle I made another application and we stopped about 2 engine lenghts from the trestle. I sent my fireman and head end brakeman to get the dogs and they ended carrying one each back to our end of the trestle,put them on the ground and they took off like a shot across te flatlands. 

    While this was going on the CSX traim mgr. ( Billy Eason) kept calling the engine on the radio to determine why we stopped in the middle of nowhere and I answered that we were rescueing two dogs on a trestle. As he spoke southern real good and I spoke yankee real good, he came back and said please repeat that reason. I repeated and then he came back on the radio and in a real loud voice said " OH YOU MEAN DAWGS !! " I said yes, that's correct, they're now safe and here we go. 

      Always glad we stopped to save those two hounds.  Great memories.  Ross Rowland 

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 02/06/19 12:23 by co614.

Date: 02/07/19 21:34
Re: Dog on a mission.
Author: the_expediter

I'm More of a Cat person...who would run like hell from any loud noise !- SM

Date: 02/08/19 11:51
Re: Dog on a mission.
Author: cc51

In the late 1950's my grandfather C.A. Oels was the agent/operator at Greenville on the Western Pacific's Highline. He and my grandmother lived upstairs in the depot with their cat, a large orange tom named, (what else?) Rusty. Rusty enjoyed sitting in the depot's bay window watching trains or any other activity. One day while crossing the tracks Rusty took it upon himself to jump between the rails in front of the oncoming Westwood Turn. The cat had the sense to stay there as the short train rolled over him. After the train passed Rusty walked on over to the depot to be let in, a little dirtier perhaps but no worse for wear. This episode was written up in WP's employee magazine "Mileposts". Rusty lived on to be 18 or 19 years old at his passing.        -Chris Collins

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