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Railroaders' Nostalgia > It's what I wanted to do (part 2)


Date: 02/03/24 02:46
It's what I wanted to do (part 2)
Author: Sunset150

  Back in the late 90's, I worked for a switching outfit in eastern Nebraska.  I actually loved the job, until winter set in.  My Carhartts were never thick enough or insulated enough for that -35 wind...much less trying to lace up cars or riding the shove back to the top of the hill.  There were several nights that I sought refuge in the loco just to thaw out for 30 minutes.  Hands stung and burned so bad they were useless to me, even while wearing gloves.  But, eventially spring and summer rolled around and it was the best job ever!  I had a good crew and great boss, it was fun and I learned a lot.  
  The poor guy I replaced had got his feet amputated from errant slack action on Thanksgiving day and the fact I still wanted to work there, got me the job.  Didn't hurt that I was also on the volunteer fire department that responded to the accident.  In any case, I loved the job, loved the guys I worked with and the company took care of us.  Doesn't sound like that's the case anymore reading some of these posts.  Now 64 years old...would I do it again?  I sure would, as long as I could do it in a warmer climate!  Got pneumonia my first winter and that one about killed me, but after I survived that bout, I was welcomed back with open arms.  I often wonder where they all are today.  As a side note, one of the locos I got to play with ended up in Idaho near where I live.  I guess the traction motors seized up on it and it was parked for a long time, may still be there - I don't know.  
  Anyway, enjoy reading of all the exploits of everyone and the things they went through so I thought I'd add my experience in the industry.  I guess there's a certain truth to "Your Mileage May Vary".

Tom in Boise



Date: 02/04/24 19:46
Re: It's what I wanted to do (part 2)
Author: Drknow

I’ve seen private industry switch crews that wore tennis shoes to work and didn’t even know to sweep out switches when it snowed.

Gave them crash courses in basic RR safety 101, what to wear for clothing, and gave them switch brooms.

Thank God no injuries or bent iron.

Regards

Posted from iPhone



Date: 02/04/24 21:07
Re: It's what I wanted to do (part 2)
Author: JasonCNW

Drknow Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> I’ve seen private industry switch crews that
> wore tennis shoes to work and didn’t even know
> to sweep out switches when it snowed.
>
> Gave them crash courses in basic RR safety 101,
> what to wear for clothing, and gave them switch
> brooms.
>
> Thank God no injuries or bent iron.
>
> Regards
>
> Posted from iPhone

Crash course is right,,we got 1 day of rail related training and about an hours worth of that was actual hands on training how to lace air hoses and couple up cars. But to be fair the other industry railroad I worked for despite being staffed with people from diffrent class 1 and 2 railroads who should know better had a much shittier training program or culture then where I work now.



DR.K you probably remember the runaway they had at Jordan, it was caused by the operator who was pumping air in notch 4 then decided to leave the cab to go warm up in the office. Train took off while he was in there and plowed into the other engine shoved it out into thr highway.
JC

Posted from Android



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 02/04/24 21:10 by JasonCNW.



Date: 02/04/24 23:20
Re: It's what I wanted to do (part 2)
Author: Sunset150

  Safety was a major issue with the company I worked for.  Day 1: Was taught how to lace (after waiting an appropriate amount of time for slack to settle), proper way to mount and dismount equipment, proper use of hand signals, even though we had radios (but poor batteries) and given hazmat training for what I'd be working around.  Day 2: Orientation for the plant layout and in what order things were done.  Day 3:  Under supervision, I was on the ground.
  I came into the job with a little knowledge already, which made the days go easy.  No tennis shoes here - strictly steel-toed work boots and appropriate attire for the job.  Learned a lot more in the following months.  We were a low key outfit, had fun doing it - but did it safely!  The only time it got tense was when a resident on a bluff was shooting clay pigeons one afternoon and thought it'd be fun to pepper the switch crew.  The sheriff put a quick end to that!  All in all, it's an experience I wouldn't trade for anything.



Date: 02/05/24 05:56
Re: It's what I wanted to do (part 2)
Author: Drknow

Not to hijack this thread, but if someone decides to start shooting at people instead of Clays.

Did you testify at his attempted murder trial? How many years did he get?

Regards

Posted from iPhone



Date: 02/05/24 08:20
Re: It's what I wanted to do (part 2)
Author: offthebeatentrack

Drknow Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> Not to hijack this thread, but if someone decides
> to start shooting at people instead of Clays.
>
> Did you testify at his attempted murder trial? How
> many years did he get?
>
> Regards
>
> Posted from iPhone

I believe he meant that the person started shooting in the air so that the BBs were falling on them after losing velocity. From what I understand, those BBs won’t cause any serious injuries but might create a few small welts. Just the same, it’s a cruel trick to play on people and can cause serious injuries if one hits someone’s eye. Hope there was at least an assault with weapon charge.



Date: 02/05/24 10:33
Re: It's what I wanted to do (part 2)
Author: Sunset150

Just to clairify, we were a little over 100 yards away, and below the shooter's line of sight. They claimed they didn't know we were working below them.  Raining pellets was our only issue. Nobody was hurt but it a sure "wake up" not knowing if it was accidental or intentional.



Date: 02/05/24 14:47
Re: It's what I wanted to do (part 2)
Author: offthebeatentrack

Sunset150 Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> Just to clairify, we were a little over 100 yards
> away, and below the shooter's line of sight. They
> claimed they didn't know we were working below
> them.  Raining pellets was our only issue. Nobody
> was hurt but it a sure "wake up" not knowing if it
> was accidental or intentional.

Well this reminds me of a personal story involving some… shooting? When I was still a conductor trainee, some of the guys decided to introduce me to torpedos. We were slowly rolling through a yard when two sudden *bangs!* rang out. I hit the cab floor and yelled something about being shot at. The engineer was laughing was laughing with tears rolling down his cheeks. The conductor sat there not knowing how to react. I never was really allowed to live that one down.

Posted from iPhone



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