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Railroaders' Nostalgia > Pain???
Date: 10/15/20 06:40
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
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
Yes, my knees found them more often than my shins.
Posted from iPhone
Date: 10/15/20 15:05
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
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
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
> 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
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.
Date: 10/19/20 09:39
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
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
I can't count the number of bruises and knots I've raised getting around on locomotives!