We added this page of railroad miscellany just for fun!


Worst Maintained Railroad


What Was Railway Surgery?

As the nineteenth century unfolded, few employers offered employee benefit packages.  Most workers had to secure medical care at their own expense.  Some large industrial companies, particularly in the mining, lumber and steel industries, began to provide health care to employees during the mid-nineteenth century.  The large number of injuries and the remote location of many work sites in the railroad industry led railroads to adopt similar plans.  One surgeon reported that in 1897, 1693 railroad workers were killed and 27,667 injured.  The opening of the transcontinental rail line and subsequent westward migration brought large numbers of people to remote areas devoid of doctors or hospitals, creating a crisis for those in need of medical attention.  The earliest recorded railway surgeon may have been an individual known as “the railroad doctor,” whose name is now lost, working for the Erie Railroad in 1849.  By the early twentieth century, every major railroad listed full-time doctors on its payroll.  Read More...


Brotherhood of Railroad Trainmen Documentary

"Railroad Man" from 1972


Angel Maturino Resendiz: The Railroad Killer

 

BY Joseph Geringer

One of the more romantic elements of American folklore has been the crisscrossing rail system of this country — steel rails carrying Americans to new territories across desert and mountain, through wheat fields and over great rivers. Carl Sandburg has flavored the mighty steam engine in elegant prose and Arlo Guthrie has made the roundhouse a sturdy emblem of America's commerce.

But, even the most colorful dreams have their dark sides. For nearly two years, a killer literally followed America's railroad tracks to slay unsuspecting victims before disappearing back into the pre-lit dawn. His modus operandi was always the same — he struck near the rail lines he illegally rode, then stowed away on the next freight train to come his way. Always ahead of the law. CLICK HERE to read the story.


The Life Train...


Oddball Railroad History: November 1, 1912

 

2nd Railroad Policeman Killed In Illinois - John W Kamphouse was a police officer with the Chicago and Northwestern Railroad Police Department. 6 months ago Kamphouse’s brother-in law officer Edward Spielman was shot and killed in the Proviso yards in Chicago, Illinois. On November 1, 1912 Kamphouse was preparing to make his final rounds before going home when he saw some suspicious looking men in the rail yard. He left a note for a fellow officer and went to investigate. He failed to report for work the following day. After Officer Kamphouse’s wife reported that he had never come home from work the previous evening, a search was begun. An hour later, a railroad employee found Officer Kamphouse dead of a single gunshot wound to the head on the north side of the yard. Kamphouse was shot and killed less than 200 feet away from the spot his brother-in-law was killed six months earlier.


Tracks & Wildflowers.jpg

February 11, 2012 - Springfield, MO

Arm found at rail yard...

The human arm traveled halfway across the country for nearly a month before finally falling from a train in Springfield on Monday. On Friday, police identified the man who lost the limb. READ the story.


September 21, 2010 - Great Falls, MT

Retired Railroad Worker is World’s Oldest Living Man

Walter Breuning is a retired railroad worker living in Great Falls, Montana and recently was given the title of “World’s Oldest Man” by the Guinness Book of World Records. Breuning was a clerk for the BNSF Railway Company (Burlington Northern Santa Fe).  READ the story.


Mexico's train of death


Logging & Transporting Monster Trees

Before chainsaws were invented, the logging industry in the United States & Canada was a seriously challenging occupation and we are only talking about 125 years ago. In the Pacific Northwest there were forests full of monster trees and cutting them down was done by hand.

Look at the length of the two-man hand saw and heavy duty axes they used to drop these tremendous trees. It is almost inconceivable to think of cutting a tree this size with a hand saw. 

Look at the length of the two-man hand saw and heavy duty axes they used to drop these tremendous trees. It is almost inconceivable to think of cutting a tree this size with a hand saw. 

The work required very strong men (and horses) working long days for minimal pay.

The work required very strong men (and horses) working long days for minimal pay.

After a tree was finally felled it took a week or more to cut it up into sections that could be managed (somehow) and transported by train to a lumber yard.  

After a tree was finally felled it took a week or more to cut it up into sections that could be managed (somehow) and transported by train to a lumber yard.

 

Maneuvering the logs down the mountain to the train was a complex job.

Maneuvering the logs down the mountain to the train was a complex job.

How did they get those logs onto the flatbeds of that train?  

How did they get those logs onto the flatbeds of that train?