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Railroaders' Nostalgia > And the final batch of lingo...


Date: 08/22/21 13:54
And the final batch of lingo...
Author: cewherry

....for now

ALLEY---Clear, (no cars on it), track. 

BOARD---Fixed signal governing railroad movements such as a speed board, train order board,
yard limit board; clear, approach or stop signal boards. These 'boards' are not to be confused with
Extra or Pool boards, Lay-off boards etc., which are crew related in their function.

GOAT---Locomotive used in yard service. 

CABOOSE HOP / CABOOSE BOUNCE---A train composed only of an engine and caboose.

LIGHT ENGINE---Locomotive operating as an authorized train, without caboose. Many railroads operated
these to position helper power for trains not yet arrived where the helper would be required or simply to
move locomotives to or from locations where they were needed.

CORNFIELD MEET / SMOKE MEET---Head on meeting, and probably collision, between two opposing
movements. Could happen in yards or on main track between stations. Many documented examples
caused by misreading of train orders or errors in the authority issued by train the train dispatcher. 

COWCATCHER---The pilot or front of a locomotive. Not to be confused with an employee acting as a guide for a
crew not qualified or familiar with the area where their train is required to operate. 

FROG---Implement for re-railing car or engines. Also and 'X' shaped casting or plate where two tracks cross.

FLIMSY---A train order, so named because of it's thin, tissue-like paper. Standard practice was to have operators
make multiple copies of orders as they were issued by the dispatcher, using carbon paper between each layer, thus 
it was necessary to have the paper as thin as possible.
  
BREEZE / OXYGEN---Compressed air used in car and locomotive air brake systems.

TO's member Cabhop writes of Espee conductor AA Swanson instructing his 'new bunny' (inexperienced brakeman)
to "...introduce (couple) those 'balonies' (air hoses) to each other and make sure to check the 'faucets' (angle cocks) so
we can get some 'oxygen' in the hack". Swanson may have taken the 'art' of railroad lingo a bit far, but to that brakeman,
Swanson might just have well been speaking from another world which, when you think about it, he really was.

I hope you've enjoyed this trip back to another time. I have.

Charlie

 



Date: 08/22/21 14:32
Re: And the final batch of lingo...
Author: OSWishram

Thank you, Charlie.  Enjoyable indeed.

There certainly are a number of different kinds of "boards" in railroading.

Bob W.
KC



Date: 08/22/21 19:37
Re: And the final batch of lingo...
Author: Ozolian

One more,
"Tornado in the tube" - cutting in the air.



Date: 08/22/21 21:21
Re: And the final batch of lingo...
Author: tbdbitl

cewherry Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
>
> GOAT---Locomotive used in yard service. 
>


In my area (Hartford, CT), a new stadium was built for a minor league baseball team (an affiliate of the Colorado Rockies) team that was relocating to town.   A new name was needed for the team, and the winner of the contest was "The Yard Goats".  The stadium, BTW, was built on the site of the former New Haven RR  Freight house, apparently quite the busy place many years ago.  So there was some synergy with the team name, and the location of its stadium. 

There were, of course, many people that had to be educated on what exactly a Yard Goat was - many thought it was a goat kept in the farmer's yard, or something similar, not having any idea that there was even a railroad anywhere near what is now a ball park  at the intersection of Interstate routes 91 and 84, and within a good home run from downtown Hartford. 

Unfortunately, the team logo includes a caricature of a goat eating a carrot, ad not a RR Goat..

JWL



Date: 08/22/21 23:31
Re: And the final batch of lingo...
Author: cewherry

tbdbitl Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------

>
> In my area (Hartford, CT), a new stadium was built
> for a minor league baseball team (an affiliate of
> the Colorado Rockies) team that was relocating to
> town.   A new name was needed for the team, and
> the winner of the contest was "The Yard Goats". 
> The stadium, BTW, was built on the site of the
> former New Haven RR  Freight house, apparently
> quite the busy place many years ago.  So there
> was some synergy with the team name, and the
> location of its stadium. 
>
> There were, of course, many people that had to be
> educated on what exactly a Yard Goat was - many
> thought it was a goat kept in the farmer's yard,
> or something similar, not having any idea that
> there was even a railroad anywhere near what is
> now a ball park  at the intersection of
> Interstate routes 91 and 84, and within a good
> home run from downtown Hartford. 
>
> Unfortunately, the team logo includes a caricature
> of a goat eating a carrot, ad not a RR Goat.
>
>JWL

Great bit of local 'color'!  

I actually thought the 'goat' connection in railroad lore had to do with the propensity of goats, rumor or not, having
the ability to actually chew on metal objects. And where will you find an abundance of metal objects to butt around?
Why of course, look no further than your local rail yard. On a related note; I know that herds of goats are used
regularly in the Seattle, WA area to keep the native blackberries under control.  Their mouths and digestive system
must be pretty tough! Thanks, JWL.

Charlie


 



Date: 08/23/21 05:49
Re: And the final batch of lingo...
Author: boxcar1954

Charlie, I have really enjoyed these posts. Perhaps as other examples pop into our heads, more will be contributed.
Your posts motivated me to buy a copy of 'Railroad Avenue' and I have enjoyed it. Also, coincidentally, I found in the Fall 2001 edition of the RLHS Railroad History a feature article on Freeman Hubbard, which was lots of fun to read, therein I learned all about what a 'Pocatello Yardmaster' was.
.
My five year old grandson and I have a lot of fun here by using hand signs, like a brakeman or switchman, to say "Line the main track switch, get in the clear in the house track and go to beans." 

Its uproarious.

All the Very Best.
 



Date: 08/23/21 07:46
Re: And the final batch of lingo...
Author: cewherry

boxcar1954 Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------

> My five year old grandson and I have a lot of fun
> here by using hand signs, like a brakeman or
> switchman, to say "Line the main track switch, get
> in the clear in the house track and go to
> beans." 

Hand signs. Now there's a subject that's even more "endangered" than lingo, especially after
the introduction of radio into railroad operations. I'm happy that I had the chance to use them
before they went away. Truly, a lost art today.

Thanks for your comments and enjoy your time with your grandson!

Charlie
 



Date: 08/23/21 18:59
Re: And the final batch of lingo...
Author: SanJoaquinEngr

cewherry Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> ....for now
>
> ALLEY---Clear, (no cars on it), track. 
>
> BOARD---Fixed signal governing railroad movements
> such as a speed board, train order board,
> yard limit board; clear, approach or stop signal
> boards. These 'boards' are not to be confused
> with
> Extra or Pool boards, Lay-off boards etc., which
> are crew related in their function.
>
> GOAT---Locomotive used in yard service. 
>
> CABOOSE HOP / CABOOSE BOUNCE---A train composed
> only of an engine and caboose.
>
> LIGHT ENGINE---Locomotive operating as an
> authorized train, without caboose. Many railroads
> operated
> these to position helper power for trains not yet
> arrived where the helper would be required or
> simply to
> move locomotives to or from locations where they
> were needed.
>
> CORNFIELD MEET / SMOKE MEET---Head on meeting, and
> probably collision, between two opposing
> movements. Could happen in yards or on main track
> between stations. Many documented examples
> caused by misreading of train orders or errors in
> the authority issued by train the train
> dispatcher. 
>
> COWCATCHER---The pilot or front of a locomotive.
> Not to be confused with an employee acting as a
> guide for a
> crew not qualified or familiar with the area where
> their train is required to operate. 
>
> FROG---Implement for re-railing car or engines.
> Also and 'X' shaped casting or plate where two
> tracks cross.
>
> FLIMSY---A train order, so named because of it's
> thin, tissue-like paper. Standard practice was to
> have operators
> make multiple copies of orders as they were issued
> by the dispatcher, using carbon paper between each
> layer, thus 
> it was necessary to have the paper as thin as
> possible.
>   
> BREEZE / OXYGEN---Compressed air used in car and
> locomotive air brake systems.
>
> TO's member Cabhop writes of Espee conductor AA
> Swanson instructing his 'new bunny' (inexperienced
> brakeman)
> to "...introduce (couple) those 'balonies' (air
> hoses) to each other and make sure to check the
> 'faucets' (angle cocks) so
> we can get some 'oxygen' in the hack". Swanson may
> have taken the 'art' of railroad lingo a bit far,
> but to that brakeman,
> Swanson might just have well been speaking from
> another world which, when you think about it, he
> really was.
>
> I hope you've enjoyed this trip back to another
> time. I have.
>
> Charlie
>
>  
AA Swanson was a character.. I made my first trip on the SP with him as the conductor. As a young kid of 19 years of age listening to his tall tales and his terminology.
AA isms.
Money pump...was a switch because every time its was lined by doing this made the company money

Jewels...a rear brakeman would turn on the marker on the caboose. Kerosene lanterns had both green and red lenses. Green for emerald and red for a ruby.

Button snapper...was the dispatcher

Open the alligator...which meant to line a derail

Flimses..were train orders.

Glad hands ..he would say introduce the glad hands..which meant lace the air hoses
Brian ,JP and a few others worked with him can probably add more of his nonsensical terms.

The biggest story he ever told was he (AA) and Del Webb built LAS Vegas to the city it is now. AA said he pounded in every nail into every building in LV.

Posted from Android



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 08/23/21 19:00 by SanJoaquinEngr.



Date: 08/25/21 18:26
Re: And the final batch of lingo...
Author: Lurch_in_ABQ

"...FLIMSY---A train order, so named because of it's thin, tissue-like paper..."
 
Similar to BUMWAD used for tracing elements of architectural/engineering drawings.



Date: 08/26/21 07:38
Re: And the final batch of lingo...
Author: xrds72

When I was taking a rules test from Craig Willet on CP, he always asked us what we meant by "board". What, you got a 2x4 out there? Those are FLAGS!



Date: 08/26/21 08:54
Re: And the final batch of lingo...
Author: santafe199

Outstanding series, Charlie! I dare say there are quite a few of us downloading & organizing a master list of the RR lingo treasures you've been posting! Kudos... :^)

Lance/199



Date: 08/28/21 16:49
Re: And the final batch of lingo...
Author: WW

One that I don't think was listed:  "stabbed."  Usually used in reference to a high-priority or scheduled train being delayed or put in a siding by the Dispatcher in favor of an inferior train.  "We got stabbed at Smithville for an hour for a drag freight."



Date: 08/28/21 21:14
Re: And the final batch of lingo...
Author: LarryDoyle

WW Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> One that I don't think was listed:  "stabbed." 
> Usually used in reference to a high-priority or
> scheduled train being delayed or put in a siding
> by the Dispatcher in favor of an inferior train. 
> "We got stabbed at Smithville for an hour for a
> drag freight."

Another use of stabbed (or, sometimes, "speared") is when a train or cut of cars is intersected by another movement at a switch, with generally disastrous results.

-LD



Date: 08/29/21 09:06
Re: And the final batch of lingo...
Author: engineerinvirginia

LarryDoyle Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> WW Wrote:
> --------------------------------------------------
> -----
> > One that I don't think was listed: 
> "stabbed." 
> > Usually used in reference to a high-priority or
> > scheduled train being delayed or put in a
> siding
> > by the Dispatcher in favor of an inferior
> train. 
> > "We got stabbed at Smithville for an hour for a
> > drag freight."
>
> Another use of stabbed (or, sometimes, "speared")
> is when a train or cut of cars is intersected by
> another movement at a switch, with generally
> disastrous results.
>
> -LD

A mess perhaps...but not disaster.....unless there's a breach of some sort....



Date: 11/30/21 14:47
Re: And the final batch of lingo...
Author: Frisco1522

I can remember my Dad getting called for a train and asking the caller if there was anything in the "Dope Book" that he should know.



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