Friday, December 14, 2012

"Along the Black and Blue.."

Darel Leedy has been posting some interesting historical newspaper articles on his blog: 

that describe, sometimes in gruesome detail, events and accidents that occurred in Dickey CO during the time frame he's modeling.  Some of the more recent posts have talked about brakeman who were killed and mangled while working.  

These stories brought back horrible memories of a series of incidents that all happened one day on Perry Squier's Pittsburg, Shawmut & Northern RR.  I had always admired Perry's layout and this day was to be the first time I ever had to chance to operate on it.  All was going well, and the layout ran as smoothly as everyone told me it would.  That was until about two thirds of the way through the session when I heard a loud uproar of guys yelling "OHHHH NOOOO!" and then hysterical laughter ensued.  I went around the other side of the peninsula from where I was working on a local, and spotted what all the commotion was about.  It was awful!  The engineer of the train working that area had run over a brakeman flagging another train which was just up ahead!  All you could see was the poor brakeman's arm (still holding onto the flag BTW) sticking out from underneath the front pilot truck of the engine!  The engineer (who will remain nameless, but he does get excited over feeders for some reason) was fifty shades of red and all the witnesses were making comments like "OH MY GOD YOU KILLED HIM!" and "OHHH the humanity!"  Luckily I had the presence of mind to take pictures for.. um.. let's just say evidence, just in case the superintendent ever wanted to blackmail him. ;)

Poor fella.. Still holding onto his flag.  Doing his job till the bitter end..

Amazingly, after the superintendent conducted his inquiry, he allowed the engineer to stay on the job!  Tragically, the same engineer was involved in another accident later in the session, which resulted in livestock being killed.  While working a stockyard, the engineer was backing his train into the siding and for reasons unknown to anyone, part of the stockyard pen fencing was snagged by a moving boxcar.  This caused the cattle inside the pen to panic resulting in several of them being hit and killed by the train with one actually being run over!

Ground beef...

A very eventful and tragic day on the Shawmut.  Luckily, I've attended several more sessions since then and I'm happy to report I haven't witnessed any more deadly accidents. :)


  1. Thanks for posting this disturbing information Ted. I don't know which is worse; reading about the gory details of such accidents, or actually viewing the photographic evidence. Is this particular engineer still employed? Maybe he should be working in the fast food industry with Dewey?

  2. Haven't seen him the past two sessions so... ;)

  3. Oh this is Hilarious! But I don't know if the Fast Food industry would be a good idea what with (rail)road kill, ground beef, and all...