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Railroaders' Nostalgia > Don't go to sleep.


Date: 03/23/20 11:28
Don't go to sleep.
Author: ExSPCondr

One evening between Bakersfield and Fresno in the late 80s, we had a fireman who was tired  and was having trouble staying awake with nothing to do, and eventually went to sleep.  The engineer and I started looking for something to do to him, and noticed his grip was open.  We got one of the SP's all steel hammers, wiped it clean, and put it in his grip under some other stuff. At the end of the trip, he picked up his grip and got off of the engine without noticing anything.

This fireman owned a Chevelle El Camino, and a couple of weeks later he was going to work when I was tieing up, and in the back of the El Camino was the hammer.  I said something to him about stealing company property, which brought an immediate response of "you SOB, you're the one who did this!"  It was in fun, and then he said he carried it around for about a week before he figured out the bag was too heavy!
G

 



Date: 03/23/20 12:08
Re: Don't go to sleep.
Author: LarryDoyle

For some reason houseflies, before cabs were air conditioned, liked to congregate in the cabs.

We had an old engineer, Denny Ryan, who, if he noticed his fireman or brakeman asleep, would catch those flies, pull off their wings, and drop them into the sleepers open mouth!

-LD



Date: 03/23/20 12:20
Re: Don't go to sleep.
Author: tehachcond

ExSPCondr Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> One evening between Bakersfield and Fresno in the
> late 80s, we had a fireman who was tired  and was
> having trouble staying awake with nothing to do,
> and eventually went to sleep.  The engineer and I
> started looking for something to do to him, and
> noticed his grip was open.  We got one of the
> SP's all steel hammers, wiped it clean, and put it
> in his grip under some other stuff. At the end of
> the trip, he picked up his grip and got off of the
> engine without noticing anything.
>
> This fireman owned a Chevelle El Camino, and a
> couple of weeks later he was going to work when I
> was tieing up, and in the back of the El Camino
> was the hammer.  I said something to him about
> stealing company property, which brought an
> immediate response of "you SOB, you're the one who
> did this!"  It was in fun, and then he said he
> carried it around for about a week before he
> figured out the bag was too heavy!
> G

  I'm sure this individual will need no introduction to the SP LA Division old heads, but someone put a knuckle pin in D.D. Burke's grip.  He reportedly carried that around for some time before he noticed it.

Brian Black
Castle Rock, CO

>
>  



Date: 03/23/20 12:22
Re: Don't go to sleep.
Author: atsfer

A knuckle?   Wow, he must have had a BIG grip.   We did the same thing only with fusee's, add one or two at a time till the victim finally wised up.



Date: 03/23/20 14:00
Re: Don't go to sleep.
Author: starsandbars

Or you would pour water into the cab air hose and let them have a shower while sleeping, did rub a hot dog on one firemans lips once and boy never had an i ssue with them falling asleep again 



Date: 03/23/20 14:07
Re: Don't go to sleep.
Author: retcsxcfm

Car knockers were known for nailing someone's
tool box to a box car floor.

Another was using grahite grease or crater compound
to throw at one another.

If the word got out and you were going to get married.
Guys would hold you down and paint between your legs.

A little off the topic,but anong with some of the answers.

UJ



Date: 03/23/20 15:30
Re: Don't go to sleep.
Author: Zephyr

Brian, I remember DD not only carried the knuckle, but also a card that stated he was sane...

Unbelievable!

Pete
Clio, CA



Date: 03/23/20 16:08
Re: Don't go to sleep.
Author: wp1801

I've seen brakeshoes put into grips!



Date: 03/23/20 18:46
Re: Don't go to sleep.
Author: trainjunkie

Knuckle pins have become completely useless in recent years. They are made out of plastic and barely weigh anything. :-(



Date: 03/23/20 20:59
Re: Don't go to sleep.
Author: Railbaron

wp1801 Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> I've seen brakeshoes put into grips!

Been there, done that.

Used to work with a conductor in California when I was a trainman and we did all kinds of practical jokes to each other; admittedly he was better than me by a long ways. We pulled into the receiving yard (Antelope) and one of the jobs of the rear brakeman was to ride the caboose into the track to make sure you cleared the west end. When Smokey got off at the herder's shanty to get a ride he took my grip with him; standard procedure. After spotting the train I walked back and climbed in the van with him; my grip was in the back. Then when we got to the yard office the "town van" was about to leave to go to the mods. Since Smokey had a house in Roseville he didn't use that van so I grabbed my grip and took off in that van while he tied up. When I got to the mods and grabbed my grip there I realized it seemed a bit "heavy". Once in my room I checked it and there in the bottom was a new cast iron brake shoe all wrapped in paper towels - he got me good. I'm sure there was payback eventually though.



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 03/23/20 21:00 by Railbaron.



Date: 03/24/20 05:19
Re: Don't go to sleep.
Author: LocoPilot750

We had an engineer at Emporia that would light a firecracker and throw it under the seat on the left side, to startle a brakeman who nodded off.

Posted from Android



Date: 03/24/20 10:40
Re: Don't go to sleep.
Author: alcoc636

Brian didn't say "knuckle". He said knuckle "PIN". But knowing D. D. Burke, he could have just as easily carried around a knuckle too!

Tim Dickinson
La Verne, CA



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 03/24/20 10:42 by alcoc636.



Date: 03/24/20 12:30
Re: Don't go to sleep.
Author: ExSPCondr

Burke deserved everything that all the crews did to him.

He would turn off the refrigerator and the marker lights in the caboose to save electricity for the radio, because he really wanted to know what was going on.  

He broke a train in two at the west end of C of I by making a service reduction with the conductor's valve, in violation of the rules.

The infamous "Clearance Card."  He did indeed have a letter from a psychaitrist that said he was sane, many of the rest of us would ask each other for their card!

I don't remember what got him fired, but he was finally taken back without his conductor's rights, and went on the night Basset switcher as the head brakeman.  He got the bright idea of putting bowling ball sized rocks in the toe path to show him where to get off for a switch stand that was on the opposite side from where they were working.  Needless to say, the chance of falls and sprained ankles was tremendous, and the crews took up a petition to get him fired again which got over 400 signatures.

He ended up going on the Coast Pool to get away from the hatred in LA, and all at once we started having air trouble with the power on the Outgoing trains in SLO.  After about the fifth train in a row with him as the head brakeman that had a trainline or M/U cock closed after the power had  arrived intact and just cut off for fuel, or the roundhouse foreman had built the four unit set and made the initial terminal air test, then the power had air trouble, the roundhouse foreman and I went through a consist and checked everything.   Everything worked properly, so I parked my car up on the hillside and watched the consist until the crew came on duty and took it over.  No trespassers bothered the units, and even though the rhse. fmn. and I had checked the consist, and I had watched it continuously, they couldn't get air through the train. 45 minutes later, after they were on initial terminal delay, Burke became the hero by finding the closed angle cock.

Burke, the roundhouse foreman and I had quite a discussion, and after explaining to him that he was the only brakeman to have air trouble, AND that this consist had been set up and tested by two of us, and watched until he took over, he finally realized that he wasn't the hero, but a goat.  It was also explained to him that it wasn't going to happen again!

There's a whole lot more that I will leave to others.



Date: 03/24/20 20:16
Re: Don't go to sleep.
Author: Trainhand

There was an old SAL yard engineer? in Savannah that was almost blind,wasn't very smart and had bad habits,if you know what I mean. Switchmen on the job with him kept putting knuckle pins, brake shoes, and anything else they could find in his grip. One day he picked it up to get off the engine and the handles pulled off. His comment was I thought it was a little heavy.  Another SAL road engr who had strange ideas, probably caused by seeing the inside of the ramp on landing crafts on his South Pacific USMC tour. If he wasn't crazy he should have been. If a brakeman went to sleep on a train he would put the broomhandle in the independent brake vale to hold it down, go out the back door and throw the hammer against the front of the cab and pull the broom out at the same time. If you were firing for him he would come over to say something to you (this was always 3 or 4 am) open the window so he could spit tobacco and shoot out the window with a little .32 auto he kept in his pocket. That little .32 always had a round in the chamber and the safety off. He said sometimes it took too much time to do any of that if you weree in a tight. 



Date: 03/25/20 09:54
Re: Don't go to sleep.
Author: tehachcond

Zephyr Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> Brian, I remember DD not only carried the knuckle,
> but also a card that stated he was sane...
>
> Unbelievable!
>
> Pete
> Clio, CA

You're correct, Pete.  I was braking for him one time, (the crew dispatcher caught me sleeping) and he wanted me to make some way-out move.  I'd finally had enough, and I said, "Burke, you're nuts!"  He immediately whipped out that card and said, "I bet you don't have one of these!"
   This thread is about practical jokes, so I won't get started about stories from when he was braking for me on the Los Angeles-Mojave Local.

Brian Black
Castle Rock, CO.



Date: 03/25/20 18:49
Re: Don't go to sleep.
Author: SanJoaquinEngr

tehachcond Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> Zephyr Wrote:
> --------------------------------------------------
> -----
> > Brian, I remember DD not only carried the
> knuckle,
> > but also a card that stated he was sane...
> >
> > Unbelievable!
> >
> > Pete
> > Clio, CA
>
> You're correct, Pete.  I was braking for him one
> time, (the crew dispatcher caught me sleeping) and
> he wanted me to make some way-out move.  I'd
> finally had enough, and I said, "Burke, you're
> nuts!"  He immediately whipped out that card and
> said, "I bet you don't have one of these!"
>    This thread is about practical jokes, so I
> won't get started about stories from when he was
> braking for me on the Los Angeles-Mojave Local.
>
> Brian Black
> Castle Rock, CO.


We all have had Dangerous Dan stories to tell dealing with his antics in our careers...we should share ..

Posted from Android



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 03/29/20 16:30 by SanJoaquinEngr.



Date: 03/26/20 07:13
Re: Don't go to sleep.
Author: RRTom

tehachcond Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> Zephyr Wrote:
> --------------------------------------------------
> -----
> > Brian, I remember DD not only carried the
> knuckle,
> > but also a card that stated he was sane...

Upon my arrival at work today I was handed a piece of paper saying I'm essential as defined by the Department of Homeland Security, Cybersecurity & Infrastructure Security Agency.
I must therefore be sane!



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