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Railroad Terms

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  • Member since
    October, 2001
  • From: OH
  • 16,923 posts
Railroad Terms
Posted by BRAKIE on Sunday, May 19, 2019 3:03 PM

These are some of the terms that I picked up while braking on the PRR.

1. Wabashed not sure what the root of this term is but,it simply means shoving more cars into a yard track then the track can hold thus fouling the clearance points or fouling the switch its self. 

2.Junker A Alco of any type.

3.Man: Another train. Example: After the Logansport man clears us we will switch out Williams.

4. Jug head.. A crew member that tips the bottle thus breaking Rule G.

5.Lunanic Any official including a yardmaster and the Division Superintendent.

6. Trackside bozos with cameras. A group of railfans.

7.Overtime engine Any Alco or FM.

8.Gravy Boys. Any crew that has a easy run.

9.Early quit. That means we are working faster then normal in order to have a short day. 

10. Grave seeker.. A careless brakeman, hump rider or carman.

11.Dragging our heels. Going for overtime.

12.Drag 'em out. That means to pull the all the cars on a yard track.

13. Roll 'em. Means to kick the car(s).

14. Collecting dust.. Waiting at a red block.

15. Pulling the pin. Quitting.

16. Gold watch day. Retirement day.
----------------------------------------------------------------------------

On the Chessie (C&O) in Russell Ky..These may have been local since Kentuckians seem to speak  their own railroad language .

1.Peeking Tommy. A hidden safety man looking for operation and safety rule infractions.

2.Railroader wanna be: A railfan/ Railroader wanna bes a group of railfans.

3. Leaner: A leaning load.

4. A easy day.. A short run.

5. High cars. Any boxcar with a extended roof or autorack.

6. Gravy train. A run without any enroute switching.

7. Old timer-The 765.

8.Junk. Any GE and GP15s.

9. God's gift to the railroad man. A GP7 or GP9.

10.Dragons. C&O's RSD7.

11. Old Goldie- B&O GM 50.

12. Cathouse.. The roundhouse. Why? Chessie's head in the Chessie C. 

13. Grease Palace. The Russell RR YMCA. Actually the food was quite good there and not to greasy.

14. Car hoppers. Brakeman.

15. Old woman's day. Pay day.

I suppose some railroaders wives may have raised their eyebrows or perhaps their ire at the mentioning of the Cathouse.  

Larry

SSRy

Conductor

“Shut one’s eyes tight or open one’s arms wide, either way, one’s a fool.” Flemeth-the witch of the Wilds.
  • Member since
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  • From: Southern Florida Gulf Coast
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Posted by SeeYou190 on Monday, May 20, 2019 11:07 AM

Good list, thank you Larry.

.

Believe it or not, I have heard many of the same terms around truck shops/depots.

.

-Kevin

.

Wink Happily modeling my STRATTON & GILLETTE RAILROAD. A Class A line located in a personal fantasy world of semi-plausible nonsense on Tuesday, August 3rd, 1954.

  • Member since
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  • From: Pacific Northwest
  • 570 posts
Posted by SPSOT fan on Monday, May 20, 2019 11:24 AM

BRAKIE may not of heard this as he was a breakman and no one would ever say this to a brakeman, but some retired railroaders who worked on the BN and later BNSF refer to brakeman as the somewhat derogatory “Donk”, short for donkey. Naturally never said to their face!

Ex railroaders are always fun to hang around. I heard from one ex WP fellow that he got in trouble with a “Peeking Tommy” to use BRAKIE’s terminology who got mad at him for flying a pair of white flags on his trains in an era when such a system was no longer used and all trains where extras anyway. (FYI don’t talk about anything UP to those ex WP guys, definitely the most hated railroad around such company!)

Regards, Isaac

I model my railroad and you model yours! I model my way and you model yours!

  • Member since
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  • From: Canada, eh?
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Posted by doctorwayne on Tuesday, May 21, 2019 12:07 AM

I enjoyed reading your lists, Larry.  Thanks for sharing them. Thumbs UpThumbs Up

Wayne

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  • From: Canada
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Posted by cv_acr on Tuesday, May 21, 2019 2:13 PM

BRAKIE

1. Wabashed not sure what the root of this term is but,it simply means shoving more cars into a yard track then the track can hold thus fouling the clearance points or fouling the switch its self. 

Guessing some particular incident on the Wabash RR made it into the local memory, and then just the local slang after the original memory was long forgotten.

  • Member since
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  • From: Omaha, NE
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Posted by dehusman on Tuesday, May 21, 2019 3:31 PM

I've heard the term "Wabashed" to mean something screwed up.  There's also the term "Arkansas'd" (when a truck is derail and one set of wheels is south of the rail and the other is north of the rail) or the "haywire" for the KCS (meaning held together with baling or "hay" wire).

Dave H. Painted side goes up. My website : wnbranch.com

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Posted by mbinsewi on Tuesday, May 21, 2019 4:04 PM

Things going "haywire" is a pretty common term up here in the WI. farming community.  Of course it's not just farmers that say that, it's a common term for anything that goes wrong, machinery or otherwise.

Mike.

  • Member since
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  • From: Central Iowa
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Posted by jeffhergert on Wednesday, May 22, 2019 10:06 AM

cv_acr

 

 
BRAKIE

1. Wabashed not sure what the root of this term is but,it simply means shoving more cars into a yard track then the track can hold thus fouling the clearance points or fouling the switch its self. 

 

 

Guessing some particular incident on the Wabash RR made it into the local memory, and then just the local slang after the original memory was long forgotten.

 

The Treasury of Railroad Folklore has a story on how Wabashing came to be. According to it (short version) the CB&Q was going to be shutdown by a strike.  At midnight on a certain date an embargo was to take effect.  A Wabash yard engine was trying to make an interchange delivery before the embargo took effect.  The engine foreman told his engineer to watch for his signal and then shove everything onto the track.  This they did.  While doing this cars got derailed because the track wouldn't hold them all.  

When the Q discovered what had happened, they said it was some kind of Wabash stunt, and complained to the Wabash.  The engine foreman was called on the carpet for it, being told he 'Wabashed' the interchange track.

You'll need to see the book for the full (and better) story.

Jeff

  • Member since
    October, 2001
  • From: OH
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Posted by BRAKIE on Wednesday, May 22, 2019 1:28 PM

Thanks Jeff!  I first heard the term when a conductor complain about  a outlaying yard track being Wabash and we'll need to clean up that mess before we can get our train back in some type of working order.. 

Larry,said he,pull 'em and make your cut at the tenth car and place 'em on Westinghouse storage two since that's the Westinghouse empties anyway..

 

Larry

SSRy

Conductor

“Shut one’s eyes tight or open one’s arms wide, either way, one’s a fool.” Flemeth-the witch of the Wilds.

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