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Railroaders' Nostalgia > Pain???


Date: 10/15/20 06:40
Pain???
Author: santafe199

I see an image like this and just like an electric jolt, a very unpleasant memory comes shooting forward from my working career. There’s no pain quite so exquisite as cracking your shin against a rigid and unmovable iron object. Such as that which is found on the ice-covered walkway of your average RR locomotive. Yessir… it’s the kind of pain that will often coerce you into inventing 1 or 2 brand new curse words. Involuntarily, of course. It’s the kind of excruciating pain that usually doesn’t even require medical attention. But it dang sure can bring a grown man down to his knees, making pathetic little whimpering noises.

And oh by the way: Those shin-loving handrail stanchions and end sill foot ladders were designed with crew “safety in mind”. Hrrrrummphhh!!! Watch your step, indeed…

1. Snow & ice-covered MILW 5500 sits in Kansas City, MO on December 29, 1968.
B/W negative by William A. -Art- Gibson (WAG) Jr.

Thanks for looking back!
Lance Garrels (santafe199)
Art Gibson (wag216)




Date: 10/15/20 13:13
Re: Pain???
Author: x6924w

Mine were the bolts on the front side of the stairwells on EMDs. Can't remember why they were there but against my knees were prone to finding them. Makes me want to cry thinking about them.



Date: 10/15/20 13:38
Re: Pain???
Author: CPCoyote

Yes, my knees found them more often than my shins.

Posted from iPhone



Date: 10/15/20 15:05
Re: Pain???
Author: trainjunkie

Worst shin bruise I ever got happened in the early 90s when I was walking through a moving locomotive consist going from a SD40-2 to a C40-8. The walkways/drop steps are quite a bit higher on the GEs and you have to step up quite a bit, which becomes an automatic (muscle memory) movement after you've done it enough times. But this particular time we hit a frog or low spot or something and when the locomotives lurched I lost my balance just as I was stepping up to the GE, which threw off my reach, slamming my right shin into the edge of the drop step on the rear of the unit. These days the rule is that you can't be on the walkways if you are going over 20 MPH, but back then we used to regularly do it at speed and in this case we were doing about 50. 

The pain shot through me but I collected myself and pressed on until I got back to my seat in the cab so I could survey the damage to my shin. I don't bruise very easily but this time my shin was turning purple and swelling like mad. After I tied up I went home and iced it down and took some Advil and by the next day it was still bruised but the pain had subsided enough that I figured the worst was behing me. I never reported it but I'll tell you what, it instilled in me a healthy respect for the dangers of crossing between moving units that I remember to this day. 



Date: 10/15/20 15:43
Re: Pain???
Author: march_hare

Ouch. That U25 brings back a memory.

I watched a CR brakeman climbing up the front steps of a snow-packed former PC U25B on a local switching gig in the legendary awful winter of 1976-77, here in Albany. He got two steps up, slipped on the third and his feet went out into the open air. Gravity being what it is, he rapidly descended with his principal new  point of contact being his nose and mouth against the top of the locomotive frame. He hit hard, real hard. 

Blood everywhere, including all over the snow pack. I made a point of NOT shooting a pic, no way that could be helpful or even basically respectful under those conditions. Guy seemed to be OK, but I think they called for an ambulance anyway. 



Date: 10/15/20 18:34
Re: Pain???
Author: Railbaron

I banged myself many times on various components but I think the worse was on an SW1500. I was entering the cab from the hood end. The door swings out and against the handrail, which is fine. As I swung the door open it hit the handrail and bounced back - unfortunately just as I raised my lower leg and knee to go up the step into the cab. The bottom corner of that door contacted the top of my kneecap and I swear hit the nerve as the pain was excruciating - I went down paralyzed in pain. I know I used every curse word in my vocabulary and no doubt invented a few new ones. It took a while before I could walk again. Learned my lesson and held onto that door after that. 



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 10/15/20 18:35 by Railbaron.



Date: 10/15/20 19:58
Re: Pain???
Author: trainjunkie

Railbaron Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> I banged myself many times on various components
> but I think the worse was on an SW1500. I was
> entering the cab from the hood end. The door
> swings out and against the handrail, which is
> fine. As I swung the door open it hit the handrail
> and bounced back - unfortunately just as I raised
> my lower leg and knee to go up the step into the
> cab. The bottom corner of that door contacted the
> top of my kneecap and I swear hit the nerve as the
> pain was excruciating - I went down paralyzed in
> pain. I know I used every curse word in my
> vocabulary and no doubt invented a few new ones.
> It took a while before I could walk again. Learned
> my lesson and held onto that door after that. 

Had to laugh RB. I've had similar encounters countless times, mostly on EMDs. Many doors down't swing open very easily so you tend to over-compensate for that by slamming the handle down and yanking the crap out of the door. When you encounter one that opens easily, it usually flies open and bounces off the handrail, right back into your path. Banged my noggin a couple times on those, but not as bad as your battle with one. 



Date: 10/15/20 20:45
Re: Pain???
Author: 3rdswitch

Growing up in Southern California, I cannot identify with this ice covered unit (great shot) HOWEVER, working as the inside hostler at Amtrak's former Santa Fe Redodo Junction roundhouse had me climbing the side steps of their F40PH's from the ground to the side cab door numerous times a shift. At the top of one such climb I somehow bumped my kneecap on the last one which put me on the floor for quite a while writhing in pain almost thowing up at the same time. A memorable mistake I never made again.
JB



Date: 10/19/20 09:39
Re: Pain???
Author: tomstp

Lance, you almost had me on the floor as I was laughing so hard.  But, I do know you hurt.  You got any more??



Date: 10/19/20 10:10
Re: Pain???
Author: Rmosele

Apart from the shin-banging implied, that picture exhudes so much "cold" that I had to go put on a sweater, and I live in LA (the state, not the city) where it's 80 degrees out.



Date: 10/21/20 07:17
Re: Pain???
Author: engineerinvirginia

I can't count the number of bruises and knots I've raised getting around on locomotives!



Date: 10/26/20 17:59
Re: Pain???
Author: agentatascadero

Some, maybe all of you guys, have entered my phase of life.......ancient and delicate geezer, perhaps more the latter than the former.......now large, sometimes huge,  bruises appear for no reason at all.....until you realize that slight bump as you passed the doorway.
Every time I take a train ride I get bruises all over my hands and forearms from steadying myself, just the cost of doing business these days........if only it were safe to be out there riding trains.

AA

Stanford White
Carmel Valley, CA



Date: 10/27/20 10:38
Re: Pain???
Author: OHCR1551

I'm not only old, but have always been a klutz and have depended on a substantial layer of internal padding to keep down the bruises. Over the past year, I finally managed to dispose of some of the excess cargo, only to find that newly thin skin on my forearms and assorted immovable objects don't mix well. At one time the skinned and bruised spots looked like a highly localized version of measles.

Husband has a perpetual supply of calf-length socks with blown toes and heels. I have found that cutting off the foot and sliding the ribbing up over my forearms is a good substitute for the now-gone lifetime accumulation of subcutaneous Hershey bars. I don't care what it looks like around the house, but if you're worried about high fashion, hiding them under long sleeves works very well now that the weather's colder. It's entirely possible to make a more elegant version--all you need are knitting needles and yarn that will wash well but not melt if you'll be around steam, and the product is called a wrist warmer--but that brings up another problem, namely remembering that I jumped out of the car to look at a passing train, forgetting that the needles are now on the car seat. While such injuries are technically not train-related, it's definitely contributory. Same goes for dropped car keys with fancy decorated key fobs.

If you want interesting bunged-up places, squeeze into the cab of a GG-1. You don't get in so much as put the locomotive on and take it off. Also, when you get a new pair of boots or shoes, check your overhead clearance before nonchalantly strolling through that undersized doorway, or you may be chalant in a hurry. I'm only 5'7" or so, but the change in elevation did not mix well with that hatchway.

 

Rebecca Morgan
Jacobsburg, OH



Date: 10/31/20 06:00
Re: Pain???
Author: RGTower

How many times in your career did you MU a locomotive consist together in the dark and bang your head after lacing up the hoses and cables? C’mon, be honest.

I’ve seen so many stars from doing that over the years, I swear I have a flat spot on the back of my skull now.



Date: 10/31/20 11:02
Re: Pain???
Author: trainjunkie

RGTower Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> How many times in your career did you MU a
> locomotive consist together in the dark and bang
> your head after lacing up the hoses and cables?
> C’mon, be honest.

For me, it was lacing up brake and main-reservoir hoses on passenger trains that got me the most head gashes. But that was the case for just about everyone over 5 foot tall. You literally had to crawl under the coaches on your belly or back, in the gauge, to reach everything and inevitably, at some point in the shift my head would find the sharp edge of the bottom of the diaphragm striker plate. I tried wearing a hard hat for awhile but with all the contortions, it usually just fell off under the train. Plus it took up too much room in the really tight spaces.



Date: 10/31/20 13:33
Re: Pain???
Author: PHall

agentatascadero Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> Some, maybe all of you guys, have entered my phase
> of life.......ancient and delicate geezer, perhaps
> more the latter than the former.......now large,
> sometimes huge,  bruises appear for no reason at
> all.....until you realize that slight bump as you
> passed the doorway.
> Every time I take a train ride I get bruises all
> over my hands and forearms from steadying myself,
> just the cost of doing business these
> days........if only it were safe to be out there
> riding trains.
>
> AA

The guys I hang with just call it "Old Guy Skin". You bleed for no reason and can get a bruise just from someone giving you a stern look!



Date: 11/01/20 07:41
Re: Pain???
Author: engineerinvirginia

PHall Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> agentatascadero Wrote:
> --------------------------------------------------
> -----
> > Some, maybe all of you guys, have entered my
> phase
> > of life.......ancient and delicate geezer,
> perhaps
> > more the latter than the former.......now
> large,
> > sometimes huge,  bruises appear for no reason
> at
> > all.....until you realize that slight bump as
> you
> > passed the doorway.
> > Every time I take a train ride I get bruises
> all
> > over my hands and forearms from steadying
> myself,
> > just the cost of doing business these
> > days........if only it were safe to be out
> there
> > riding trains.
> >
> > AA
>
> The guys I hang with just call it "Old Guy Skin".
> You bleed for no reason and can get a bruise just
> from someone giving you a stern look!

It's the decrease of collagen in skin...it no longers is an effective cushion against impact.....supposedly there are collagen bearing oitments which may be applied, but I don't know how well they are absorbed if at all. 



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