Friday, March 2, 2012

"You can hear the hobos call as they ride the rods and the brake beams..."

Click for

 Hobo's Lullaby

Full screen - speakers up

The Romance and Dangers 

of Train Hopping

Click to hear train whistle
EX-UP6930A.wav: A Leslie S5T 
on a Union Pacific freight

<em>To All Trains </em>sign

 RR Crossing 6x6 Tin Sign

Click for video

Big Rock Candy Mountain

Original footage, 


Click to hear train horn
Penn Central freight.

The Notting Hillbillies - Railroad Worksong5:32Click for video
The Notting Hillbillies - Railroad Worksong

ACL Logo 6x6 Tin Sign

Conductors standard hat without braid, company bottons or badge

Click to hear whistles
F Berry K-5LA, S-5a dual.mp3 
at Bloom's crossing, Manassas, Va.

Interior of Pullman-built Southern Railway passenger coach #1663, 1926

Click to hear train horn

<em>Stairway to Northbound Trains</em>

Excursion train on the Cheat River Viaduct, 1858

Southern Railway conductor C. Frank Marshall and engineer David J. Fant compare watches, Greenville, South Carolina, 2:48 p.m., January 4, 1929.

Hamilton model 950 watch

Watch, Railroad Model Pocket Watch
Railroad conductor's watch, Hamilton Model 950, 23 jewels. Size: 1 7/8" diameter - 1/2" higher at top. 16 Size. 23 Jewels, adjusted 5 positions. Motor barrel 1634902. Nickel finish with gilt lettering, gold train and jewel settings. Open face, stem wind and lever set. Double sunk dial reads Hamilton, every minute numbered. Case marked: Keystone Watch Case Co. (the 'Co.' inside a keystone) scales, J. Boss, 10 k filled, Patented 9761406

Inspector's torch
Kerosene torch used by a steam locomotive inspector

Click for video

Wabash Cannonball Hank Snow

with Lyrics

Alaska Logo 6x6 Tin Sign

Wreck of the Old 97 Johnny Cash2:06Click for video
Wreck of the Old 97 Johnny Cash

Kids Music-Workin on the Railroad1:12Click for videoKids Music-Workin on the Railroad

Algoma Logo 6x6 Tin Sign
Dining car on the B&O Railroad's Capitol Limited, June 12, 1925

Diesel locomotive (right) brings the Southern Railway's 'Tennessean' passenger train into Harrisonburg, Va., 1947

Ticket punch

Ticket punch
A railroad conductor on a passenger train was the supervising officer of the train and supervisor of the entire train crew. In addition to this supervisory role, the passenger-train conductor serves as the pursar, in charge of seeing to it that all fares are collected, either by himself personally or by his assistants, the uniformed trainmen on board. After fares are collected, the conductor does the accounting. A passenger-carrying railroad company was (and is) thus dependent on responsible and diligent conductors for its income.
A conductor's punch cancelled the passenger's ticket stub and also cancelled the main portion of the ticket retained by the conductor. Each conductor had his own punch, which made a specifically shaped hole; the hole shape differed from punch to punch. In this way, if a passenger presented a stub and claimed his ticket had already been taken, a conductor could verify who in fact cancelled the ticket.

Oil can used on the Southern Railway

Train-actuated crossing signal designed by Charles Adler, Glen Arm, Maryland, 1921

Johnny Cash-Hey Hey Train2:41Click for video
Johnny Cash-Hey Hey Train

Dues button, Brotherhood of Railway Clerks, 1920.

Dues button, Brotherhood of Railway Clerks, 1920.

AAR standard railroad crossing signal

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Johnny Cash - "Orange Blossom Special"

Train hopping (also known as freighthopping) is “the act of surreptitiousy hitching a ride on a railroad freight car.”(1)  It is a practice that began right after the American Civil War and has grown popularity during the Great Depression when migrant workers, also known as Hobos, would hitch-hike on the rails in search of work.
Suprisingly, hobos were not just men, but women as well. In a book I’m currently reading called Sister of the Road, an anonymous American woman who called herself Box-Car Bertha, wrote about her railroad exploits in the 1930s.

“Girls and women of every variety seemed to keep Chicago as their hobo center. They came in bronzed from hitch-hiking, in khaki. They came in ragged in men’s overalls, having ridden freights, decking mail trains, riding the reefers, or riding the blinds on passenger trains… The bulk of these women, and most all women on the road, I should say, traveled in pairs, either with a man to whom by feeling or by chance they had attached themselves, or with another woman.

"The City of New Orleans" - A Train Slideshow5:12Click for video
"The City of New Orleans" - A Train Slideshow

Dues button, United Brotherhood of Maintenance-of-Way Employees

Dues button, United Brotherhood of Maintenance-of-Way Employees

Main erecting hall, Spencer Shops, with steam locomotives in various stages of tear-down or reassembly

Casey Jones2:40Click for video
Casey Jones

B&O 13 States Logo 6x6 Tin Sign

Click for video

Duke Ellington - Take the A Train 

(Ella Fitzgerald)

Belfast Moosehead Logo 6x6 Tin Sign

Mountain Railroad (Song of Hope)2:49Click for video
Mountain Railroad

Boston Albany Logo 6x6 Tin Sign

Click for video

Joseph & DJ Cormier - Railroad Song

T-Shirt Women In Railroading

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VA Classic Railroad Songs from Smithsonian Folkways

Locomotive Horn Signals

Ever wondered why the UP locomotives running on the track just down the block from your house always sound their horns four times when approaching your street? Or heard a whole series of short whistle blasts and wondered what they meant?
Basically, horns are sounded for safety reasons – to warn of approaching trains. The following list "translates" some of the horn signals you might hear. The "o" indicates short sounds and "=" is for longer sounds.
The General Code of Operating Rules (GCOR) contains information on horn use. These rules are frequently updated, and for the most up to date information, the sources of record are the GCOR, General Orders, Subdivision General Orders and Superintendent Bulletins.
Succession of short soundsThe whistle is sounded in an attempt to attract attention to the train. It is used when persons or livestock are on the track at other-than-road crossings at grade.
=When train is stopped. The air brakes are applied and pressure is equalized.
= =Train releases brakes and proceeds.
o oAcknowledgment of any signal not otherwise provided for.
o o oWhen train is stopped: means backing up, or acknowledgment of a hand signal to back up.
o o o oA request for a signal to be given or repeated if not understood.
= o o oInstruction for flagman to protect rear of train.
= = = =The flagman may return from west or south.
= = = = =The flagman may return from east or north.
= = o =
Train is approaching public crossings at grade with engine in front. Signal starts not less than 15 seconds but not more than 20 seconds before reaching the crossing. If movement is 45 mph or greater, signal starts at or about the crossing sign, but not more than 1/4 mile before the crossing if there is no sign. Signal is prolonged or repeated until the engine completely occupies the crossing(s).
In addition, this signal is used when approaching private crossings if pedestrians or motor vehicles are at or near the crossing. (In the states of California, Idaho and Montana, the whistle is sounded at all crossings, public and private.)
o =Inspect the brake system for leaks or sticking brakes.
= o
Train is approaching men or equipment on or near the track, regardless of any whistle prohibitions.
After this initial warning, "o o" sounds intermittently until the head end of train has passed the men or equipment.

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