funny RR stories

NW Mailing List nw-mailing-list at
Wed Aug 28 17:54:59 EDT 2019

Okay, here are a couple of my favorites, as told to me by my Granddad, Virginian engineer W.R. (Bill) Bloyd:
1. Granddad said that in the summer of 1924 (one of the hottest on record, as it turned out), he was firing on a work train headed east out of Victoria, when they came to a place where the heat had caused the rails to buckle outward, throwing the track out of gauge enough to derail the engine onto the ties between the rails. The train was doing about 30-35 MPH at the time the engine crunched down on the ties between the rails, at which time the engineer panicked and jumped off, leaving Granddad and the head-end brakeman on the engine. Granddad managed to get the train stopped, at which time he and the brakeman got off to assess the damage. The engineer was climbing back up the embankment some distance back, and was accosted by the irate conductor who grabbed him by the collar and loudly told him that "it's no damned wonder the damned Germans were so hard to whup, they musta had cowards like you fightin' 'em!"
2. Sometime back in the mid 1930's, a couple of the Virginian machine shop employees in Roanoke had gotten hold of a fairly large bobcat skin. They poked a very small hole in it, just enough to allow the end of a length of resin-coated rawhide to be passed through it, then tied a knot in each end. They stretched the skin across one end of a piece of terracotta pipe as tight as they could, and tied it off tight. Then they pulled the resin-coated rawhide through the hole,which produced a loud roar through the open end of the pipe. For several late nights, they drove around residential areas of Roanoke making that piece of pipe 'roar', which prompted a number of calls to the police about mountain lions and bears on the loose. As far as Granddad knew, they never got caught doing it.

Greg Harrod===================================================================================================

-----Original Message-----
From: NW Mailing List <nw-mailing-list at>
To: nw-mailing-list <nw-mailing-list at>
Sent: Wed, Aug 28, 2019 11:17 am
Subject: funny RR stories

I find amusing and funny RR stories a part of the lexicon of railroad history and, as such a part of "stuff." Accordingly, I for one would like to read what you have for sharing it is how it gets passed down.
In such personal recollections I have accumulated from people, among them are some ventriloquist stories, which one can guess the types of stunts were pulled, broken brakes and subsequent runaway cars, which thankfully stopped rolling before doing any damage or derailing, a nudist family joke in a house near a depot and the new crewman on the passing passenger train, and more. I have also heard of rubber snake type tales, of such paraphernalia placed inside switch and related junction boxes and resultant get-even events. Hey, I even did such a thing before public hours of placing a rubber snake near a trolley museum platform and watched in amusement as the the unenlightened got a snow shovel and killed my rubber snake.
They are part of the life and times of railroad and its history and as such on the N&W, even more so appropriate for here.
So, I would suggest and ask, please share so all can smile. I don't think you'll get boo-ed off the list.
Bob Cohen

Subject: Snapp's Siding Harry Bundy Oh yes, that copperhead-infested mountain is known as Walker Mountain, named for Thomas Walker, an early explorer of these parts.That five degree curve you mention may have been the site of a funny railroad event in the 1950s.
Not sure this list is the proper venue for the telling of it.
May later tell it.
If I am booed off the list I will dust myself off and come crawling back while promising to never?tell funny railroad stories again. 
George Kelley  
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