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Railroaders' Nostalgia > Cowboys at 75...and Bobby McGee


Date: 08/09/20 11:02
Cowboys at 75...and Bobby McGee
Author: TAW

Late on 2d trick at B&OCT 75th Street, probably late winter in 1968, since it was already dark when B&OCT run 33 (the Stock Run: Barr-CJ Ashland and US Yards and return) came back from the stock yards, I hooked (delayed) 33 for several minutes for traffic on BRC and/or WAB. They stayed back of the 71st Street crossing. The traffic cleared and 33 blew past. A few minutes later, I was looking out the front (B&OCT side) window and saw a steer running south on the B&OCT tracks...and another one. Now, high on the list of unusual stuff to see while railroading in Chicago is livestock on the track. I called the operator at 79 and at Beverly to tell them what was coming (just like we did for every train). Then, there were two cowboys rode by...straight out of the Old West. Now, at least as unusual as livestock running down the track in Chicago is fully equipped and outfitted cowboys riding down the track on fully equipped and outfitted horses. I called 79 and Beverly on the block phone again, then told the dispatcher. He just got a call explaining what he would otherwise have questioned when I reported it.

It seems that while 33 was standing at 71st Street, the neighborhood yoots (see My Cousin Vinny) entertained themselves by throwing stones at the livestock. The crew in one of the cars got really upset at that and kicked out the side of the car (opposite the tower, so I didn't see it as 33 went by). That presented opportunity to a) go after the miscreants and b) take the opportunity of freedom that the incident presented to them. A while later, Beverly called to tell me that the cowboys caught the steers just about in front of the tower. About then, a truck pulling a stock trailer came south on Bell Ave, turned onto 75th Street, then south on Western. The Chicago Union Stockyards used to have cowboys...the real thing. When they were notified of the escape (we actually had the US Yards cowboys number in the Chief's black book of special numbers), they loaded up in a stock truck and headed for the scene.

Had I been listening at the outset, maybe I could have heard the steers singing that freedom's just another word for nothin' left to lose.

TAW



Date: 08/09/20 16:18
Re: Cowboys at 75...and Bobby McGee
Author: lynnpowell

Back in the 1970s and 80s I railfanned the SP yard in Roseville (CA) often on weekends.  There was a livestock auction right beside the SP engine terminal, and on at least two occasions while I was railfanning on the weekend, cattle escaped from the auction and headed out into the engine terminal and the rest of the yard.  Mounted cowboys would eventually be in pursuit of the bovines.  My scanner would come to life with the yardmaster ordering all train movements in the yard to come to a halt immediately.  SP police showed up real quick to join in the fun.  After a half an hour or so, the cowboys had all of the escapees rounded up and returned to the auction, and the yardmaster gave the OK for all of the train movements to resume.



Date: 08/09/20 20:47
Re: Cowboys at 75...and Bobby McGee
Author: Drknow

My dad worked st a small town elevator 1970/73 (Ackley,Iowa) and loaded some of the last livestock that went to Chicago on the IC. At least that’s where he thinks he remembers where they were billed.
Pretty sure it would have been hogs but I need to ask him. God, times have sure changed. 🙄

Posted from iPhone



Date: 08/10/20 06:49
Re: Cowboys at 75...and Bobby McGee
Author: RRTom

In the fall of 1991 with Amtrak in Philadelphia, I came to work one Monday morning to learn that the day before, a horse had caught it's leg in an open-deck bridge on the NEC near North Philadelphia, PA.
Anyone who knows what North Philadelphia was like in 1991 (and even today) would understand how odd that sounds.

William Faulkner wrote a short story called "Mule in the Yard" which talked about a man who made a living deliberately getting mules hit by trains so he could collect settlements from the RR.  The laws in some places were apparently favorable to the animal owner when there was an "accident".



Date: 08/10/20 07:22
Re: Cowboys at 75...and Bobby McGee
Author: Rmosele

RRTom Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
>
> William Faulkner wrote a short story called "Mule
> in the Yard" which talked about a man who made a
> living deliberately getting mules hit by trains so
> he could collect settlements from the RR.  The
> laws in some places were apparently favorable to
> the animal owner when there was an "accident".

What I like about that story is that eventually that guy, himself, got killed doing that and his wife got a huge settlement.



Date: 08/11/20 07:21
Re: Cowboys at 75...and Bobby McGee
Author: cnr6776

And if the SP cops cited the cattle for trespassing I would say that is a lot of bull.

Posted from Android



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