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Railroaders' Nostalgia > More slang from the wayback machine


Date: 08/11/21 16:28
More slang from the wayback machine
Author: cewherry

For your dining and dancing pleasure....

CATWALK---Another name for the roof running board. Back 'in the day' trainmen would 'decorate', or 'go high' to see
or relay hand signals as well as apply and release hand brakes, and air brake 'retainers'; remember, there were no radios then. 
Railroads began removing these wayback, I believe, in the  late 1960's or early 70's. Today, operating employees, in the
industry, called TY&E for Trainmen, Yardmen & Enginemen, are not permitted to occupy the tops of cars or engines.
Carmen and mechanical employees, for inspection and repair purposes, must be wearing PPE harness gear when atop cars and engines.

[EDIT] After posting this, it occurs to me that readers not familiar with railroading may be puzzled by the term "cut-in" or its opposite; "cut-out".
In its simplest form, 'cut-in' means to enable or make operative a device or system. 'Cut-out' is to disable or make inoperative. Throughout the
industry these two terms are used not only for air brake but also to electrical applications such as dynamic braking and they found their way into
yard offices, as well. In the following paragraph getting 'cut-in' means, as we often hear in today's vernacular: getting 'with the program', 'joining
the team', 'on the same sheet of music', etc. Maybe these last three are not of today; oh well, they once were. Moving on...

GET 'CUT-IN'---Heard most often in the third-party, as: "When's that Brakie gonna get cut-in?" Translated: "That guy's been
on this job for over a week and he still doesn't understand:_fill in the blank here__. 
As a new employee, it was important to be accepted by your peers and the surest way to do this was to be able to shoulder your responsibilities
without complaint. The last comment you wanted to hear around the yard office was "He's just not cut-in", whispered with a side-long glance in your
direction. As a 'newbie' or 'young-head' what you wanted to hear was: "Come on back, anytime" delivered with a genuine smile.

HEEL---Another name for a hand-brake applied to a car or cars to prevent all cars coupled to the 'heel' from moving.

SHINE JOB---On the railroad there are two categories of jobs: 'On Call' and 'Shine'. Shine jobs have a known on duty time thus not needing
the services of a crew caller to wake and remind you what time you are to report for duty. All other jobs are 'On Call'.
Believe me, Shine jobs are best; no tossing and turning wondering when that call is coming. You already know what time to set your alarm for.

BLAZER---Hot journal with packing on fire. It's going to be a long trip. 

BIRD CAGE---A oil lantern used by trainmen. The name comes from the wire construction, similar to it's namesake,  connecting the oil reservoir
beneath the globe and mantle to the top where the chimney and handle are attached. 

DEHORNED---A descriptive term applied to an employee who has been temporarily or permanently demoted from a position of authority
to one of lesser importance. Most often used when describing say, a yardmaster who has been 'dehorned' or a railroad official such as 
a trainmaster who has been 'dehorned'. I was 'dehorned' once; best thing that ever happened to me. 

HOME GUARD---Back in the day of boomers (no, not baby boomers) there were two categories of railroad operating employees; Boomers
and Home Guards. See my comments here: https://www.trainorders.com/discussion/read.php?18,5287900,5287900#msg-5287900 
At the opposite end of the spectrum were the Home Guards which Mr. Hubbard described as an: "Employee who stays with one railroad.

DOG HOUSE---Mr. Freeman described this as a caboose or its cupola. I would add the small hut atop the tenders of some railroads locomotives
where the forward brakeman rode, out of the weather. 

DRAWBAR FLAGGER---Flagman leaning against the drawbar on the caboose, or standing near the caboose instead of going back a sufficient 
distance to provide full protection as required by the rules. Many men died as a result of this practice; failure to provide full protection. 

Charlie





 

 




 



Edited 2 time(s). Last edit at 08/12/21 07:31 by cewherry.



Date: 08/12/21 10:45
Re: More slang from the wayback machine
Author: trainjunkie

I still use "heel" and often get puzzled looks, especially from the younger guys.

We still use "shine" on BNSF as well. We referred to it as "Auto call" on the Alaska Railroad, which made more sense to me.



Date: 08/12/21 12:29
Re: More slang from the wayback machine
Author: tehachcond

When I bid in a regular local out of Southern Pacific's Los Angeles Taylor Yard, I told the crew dispatcher I'd "shine" for the job.  He was fairly new, and had no idea what I was talking about.

Brian Black
Castle Rock, CO



Date: 08/12/21 23:23
Re: More slang from the wayback machine
Author: roustabout

trainjunkie Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> I still use "heel" and often get puzzled looks,
> especially from the younger guys.
>

We used to say 'bumper' back when we kicked cars around.



Date: 08/13/21 07:36
Re: More slang from the wayback machine
Author: SanJoaquinEngr

tehachcond Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> When I bid in a regular local out of Southern
> Pacific's Los Angeles Taylor Yard, I told the crew
> dispatcher I'd "shine" for the job.  He was
> fairly new, and had no idea what I was talking
> about.
>
> Brian Black
> Castle Rock, CO

In my years with the SP never heard that term...what I heard and said was that I would show for the assignment and the crew dispatcher wouldn't have to call me daily. The only time would have them call me was when working passenger service to Santa Barbara.

Posted from Android



Date: 08/14/21 12:42
Re: More slang from the wayback machine
Author: sp3204

I found the "cut in and cut out" parts of the thread interesting. Another way that I used this term was while working helpers.
Generally while getting on a train that you were going to shove the Trainman would cut the ttrainline in and I would then
cut my Automatic Brake Valve out. At that point I would call the Headend Engineer and inform him I was In  and I was Out!



Date: 08/14/21 14:39
Re: More slang from the wayback machine
Author: cewherry

sp3204 Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> I found the "cut in and cut out" parts of the
> thread interesting. Another way that I used this
> term was while working helpers.
> Generally while getting on a train that you were
> going to shove the Trainman would cut the
> ttrainline in and I would then
> cut my Automatic Brake Valve out. At that point I
> would call the Headend Engineer and inform him I
> was In  and I was Out!

"Cut-in and cut-out" were heard daily on the radios of SP's manned helper trains. Read my comment about working with an old-head
when he didn't actually 'cut-out'.

This from 9 years ago https://www.trainorders.com/discussion/read.php?18,2790958,2796415#msg-2796415

Charlie



Date: 08/14/21 17:04
Re: More slang from the wayback machine
Author: engineerinvirginia

When pushing we say....."pump's cut out, ready for further reduction"  A "further" reduction because he already has the brakes set at ten pounds or so....and needs to draw more off to test the brakes on my engine which is now connected to that train. 



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