Train Conductors Share The Unreal Things They've Seen On The Railroad

Train Conductors Share The Unreal Things They've Seen On The Railroad

Conductors, engineers, and other people who keep our trains running as efficiently as possible have a hard, long, and sometimes strange job. There's a lot to keep them busy on the train and the tracks, not to mention stopping at stations, switching yards, and other places!

When you're traveling back and forth across the entire country for years on end, you're bound to have at least a few odd experiences. Maybe one of the cars you pulled was haunted by a spirit, someone placed a creepy statue on the tracks that needed to be moved, or maybe the strangest thing they encountered on the tracks was a crazed passenger.

Whatever they've encountered, these are the stories that railroad engineers and other train workers have chosen to come online and share with all of us. I hope you don't have a trip by train planned any time soon!

18662-1548705373029.jpgAnalise Zocher/Flickr

49. Weird Daredevils

Freight train conductor here. Wanna know what's creepy or weird? When people try to get across the tracks at the last second or play chicken with my 30 million pound train. You're not playing chicken with an inanimate object, you're playing with me and my engineer. When you lose, and it happens far too often, I get to see your exploded carcass flipping at 150 RPMs off the track and deal with the overwhelming feeling of guilt. Please don't try to beat a train.

18663-1548705480188.jpgBob Mical/Flickr

48. Repetition Stinks

A friend of our family drove freight trains around Australia for about 30 years.

He hit someone on a quiet stretch of track between country towns in Victoria. Really scarred him. He spent a long time off work and even considered a career change, but eventually, he started driving trains again.

Exactly one year later, he was on the same stretch of track, at the same time of night, and some jerk had put a mannequin in the same spot where the accident happened. He said he could tell it wasn't really a person before he hit it, but he was still angry that someone could be so cruel.


47. Buried And Drilled

Up in the coal mines of Wyoming, they have what rail crews call the golden arches. It's just a yellow painted framework that has speakers on it that the empty coal trains pass through. A warning is played on repeat saying in Spanish and English, "Danger! Get out! This car is about to be loaded!" Loaded coal cars get dumped at power plant pits where huge augers break it up. I guess more than a few poor souls have been augured up accidentally after being covered up with coal.

18666-1548706042908.jpgAl HikesAZ/Flickr

46. Railkill

Locomotive engineer from the northeast US here with 15 years service.

Aside from the dead animals, I think finding a body that was hit by a previous train might have been the creepiest. I've hit a few cars and people before, but I never had to go back and look (that's the conductor's job). The person we found wasn't really identifiable as a human being, just a pile of meat. What gave it away were the scraps of clothing mixed into the pile.

18667-1548706200665.jpgTroy Tolley/Flickr


45. Crushing Stones

Some guys laid a bunch of landscaping stones and tie plates on top of the tracks for about 100 yards in front of their trailer park. We could see them all standing back from the tracks drinking beers and waiting. It was all fun and games until our 12,ooo ton train started crushing all the stones and sending shrapnel everywhere.


44. Like Dominos

The engineer I trained with hit five cows in a row. They had gotten out and were on the tracks eating grain that had spilled out from grain cars. He was doing 60 mph when he saw them. He said he hit them at about 40 mph.


42. Dyed-Red Wool

Probably the strangest/most messed up thing would be the time we hit a flock of sheep at line speed (110kph or about 70mph). No idea how they got there, guess the fence fell over or the gate was left open, but the first I saw of them was what appeared to be long grass covering the tracks ahead. A second later we realize they are sheep so start leaning on the whistle.

A matter of seconds after that, we're on top of them. I'll never forget the awful, continuous noise it made, nor can I unsee the bits of wool and guts flicking up onto the windscreen. The smell itself was horrendous, especially once the heat of dead sheep started cooking itself on hot traction motors underneath.

We pulled up at the next crossing loop to cross another train so we got out and viewed the damage.

18672-1548706817550.jpgBEV Norton/Flickr

41. Dirty Bomb

My father-in-law was a train engineer for the US Army during the Korean War. His best story was the time he was coming down the tracks with a full load. Orders were not to stop. EVER! If it's in front of you, lay on the horn but don't stop. Plow through it.

He's coming down the tracks and a papasan in a cart attached to a water buffalo is sitting on the tracks. He starts laying on the horn. Guy just sits there. Looking straight ahead. Father-in-law is just looking at this guy wondering, "What the...?"

As he gets closer he realizes what's in the wagon. Piled to the top with crap. The guy on the wagon doesn't move. C.V. says, "I knew I was going to hit it. So I just laid on the horn and kinda ducked down as that cart exploded all over the engine."


40. Dark Work And Screams

I was working on the rails in a train tunnel with two other colleagues one time and we all heard a woman screaming down the tunnel. Like in the films, when a woman sees a dead body or a man with a gun -- loud hysterical screaming. Two of us start sprinting towards the noise and after 5-10 minutes we realize there is nothing there at all, no noise or sign of people. But we are so sure we heard screaming we go to the next station's supervisor, who informs us there is absolutely no one working around that was close enough for us to hear. We were in the deep underground section and we all heard that same noise. Pretty creepy.

18674-1548706989811.jpgThomas Hawk/Flickr

39. Terrible Story

I was working at a BNSF railway in Stockton, CA, maintaining the cranes that pull cars off the tracks when a freight engine rolled in with the front end a little caved in, covered in red.

The entire front end was covered in what appeared to be red bloody chunks, a paste leftover from rolling through maybe a herd of cattle, or a hoard of zombies, I didn't know what to think. I felt my stomach churn, and my coworker turned green and heaved a bit.

I asked the foreman what happened. He told me some teenager jumped out in front of it. Later, I grew a pair and walked up to it as these folks were cleaning it without any signs of being affected by the sight. Turns out the train hit a stalled fiberglass trailer filled with tomatoes that was headed to the Hunts cannery in Oakdale.

18675-1548707044819.jpgCaleb Maclellan/Flickr


38. Home, Home On The Rails

Well, my grandfather used to work on the railroad as an engineer. He always tells me the story about how he almost hit a house... And it wasn't a dad joke.

They were moving this double-wide across the tracks and they were being particularly slow about it, considering a giant freight train was barreling down the tracks at them, blowing its horn. About 10 yards out, they finally got all the way across the tracks. My grandfather said he almost crapped himself.

18676-1548707111859.jpgGlenn Euloth/Flickr

37. Lock Switch

I was on a standby crew at night during a storm with two other guys. I was put on a piece of equipment called a Cat Car, while the other two guys decided to hang out in the truck. With the Cat Car running to keep it warm, I decided to lock up and take a nap. I locked both doors with padlocks on the inside so there was no way anyone could get in without me letting them in.

A few hours later, I awoke to some heavy wind and decided to check with the other guys to see if our supervisor had called with any trouble. When I got to the door, the lock was missing, but I couldn't open the door. The same with the other door. I called the other guys to come help and when they got there they asked how I managed to lock the Cat Car from the outside.

18677-1548707216940.jpgMichael Coghlan/Flickr

36. Poof, Feathers Everywhere

In my short career of 6 years working in Australia, the only thing that amounts to anything remotely funny was when I hit an emu in the outback. It's not strange to hit a few kangaroos or goats but this day an emu stepped in front and it exploded into feathers. I mean they went everywhere. Around the door frames and stuck in the windscreen wipers.

18678-1548707375246.jpgnadja robot/Flickr

35. Black Bull

The weirdest was when we almost hit a cow or bull. It's night time and we're going along and a stretch of woods comes up and we turn off our lights to see the signal better and there is a big black spot on the rails up ahead (you can see light off the rails for a long time). It is starting to shift a bit so engineer hits the lights and you not was a massive black cow/bull walking across the rails. It was weird, I've seen tons of deer coyote and other small Ohio animals. We didn't hit it but pretty close


34. Just The Jawbone

The creepiest thing we found was probably a jawbone. Yes, it was human. Been there for a while, likely from a suicide. Oh and also a dead cat that had got caught in the cable run. Working on London Underground you don't really find much creepy stuff. It's mostly just stories people spread around about ghosts and stuff.

18680-1548707626742.jpgMatt S/Flickr

33. Six Hours, Five Miles

The best story was working the overnight shift. The train came in and was parked. A few hours later, I see a disheveled man walking around looking lost. I had heard stories that we occasionally still get "hobos" riding the rails, and this gentleman was my first. Official railroad policy is to call the cops and have them arrested for trespassing. But the unwritten rule was if it appeared they were not trying to steal or vandalize anything to just escort them off the property.

I asked the guy if he's looking for the exit, and he said he was. I pointed it out to him and he thanked me. He turns and says, "Hey man. Where am I? I've been riding the rails all day, fell asleep. I had to get out of Baltimore." I looked at him and said, "Baltimore." He looked confused. Apparently, he got on the train at the rail yard across town. Rode over to a classification yard. Fell asleep, and woke up in our yard across town. Six hours and he had gone about five miles. He was mad. I was trying not to laugh as he was muttering his way out the gate.



32. Cheating And Crashing

I worked for a short line in the '80s. A girl crashed into the middle of our train at a crossing. The Mustang rolled several times and was completely destroyed. She got out wearing only a wedding veil, nothing else. A boy got out wearing only tighty whities. She was crying, saying her boyfriend was gonna kill her. But the guy she was with seemed calm. We didn't understand until the owner of the car got there... her boyfriend! The kid who was bleeding ran away through the woods with the car owner in hot pursuit. What a day!


31. Unwilling Traveler

One day we get a call saying there was a man trapped in a train car that was locked in there for two days. We thought they were kidding until our manager called us to go have a look. We get out there and found out the guy was a hobo from the other side of the state. Some kids forced him on the train and locked him in.


30. Burning Up The Rails

There is some pretty weird stuff out there depending on what cities you run through. Mostly bodies, human or animal.

One derailment I was called to was because someone had lit about 100 feet of track on fire and damaged the ties. When the train passed over, it pulled the spikes right out and the rails flopped over.

18685-1548711431325.jpgKaibab National Forest/Flickr

29. Riding Blind

The only thing that still makes me uncomfortable (other then trespasser strikes that are kids or non-suicides) is when it's super foggy out. It's not fun when visibility is limited and you're still going 70+ into a wall of fog. I have to leave the head end. It's something about the speed and not knowing what's 100 ft ahead of you and having full faith in the signals and equipment.


28. Voodoo Pitbull

Creepiest thing I ever saw was in west Philly. Someone cut a pitbull's head off and stuck it on a stick in the shape of a cross beside the track. They stuffed fruit and flowers in the body where the head was and spread flowers around it. There was an unlit candle at the base of the cross. Looked like some crazy voodoo stuff.


27. Fist Pump

Pulling into town on an approach, I see an emo kid walking toward the tracks off in the distance. I start to get worried, but he kept on going, then turned back, climbed up the ballast, and stood in the middle of the track. He paused, and threw his fist in the air like Judd Nelson. Then he resumed walking away.



26. Zombadgers

Dead Badgers. Every other animal corpse on the line quickly decomposes and gets dragged away by foxes. But not the badger. They become zombadgers. Instead of rotting, they swell up, ooze gooey tar, and stay there for months.


25. Manhole Danger

We've hit school chairs, trolleys etc. Our nearest major incident was when my engineer saw a kid dragging a manhole cover onto the tracks. Called TC for an all trains stop. It's not funny, a manhole cover could easily take a train off the tracks, and this was on a bridge over water.

18690-1548711951443.jpgDavid Goehring/Flickr

24. Cucumber Does Work

I see plenty of adult toy stories here. I see plenty of those around the tracks too for some reason.

What's uncommon is the huge English cucumber we saw with a red prophylactic over it.


23. Nature's Recycling

I'm a conductor, so I'm the guy that sits directly to the left of the engineer. I haven't been doing it for too long yet so I probably haven't seen the amount of stuff a qualified engineer has. My first week as a trainee on the job, we came across a dead pony next to the tracks that must have been hit only a few hours earlier. The next morning, going back the other way, we passed by it again and it looked like what you would expect to see on a Discovery Channel show. Scavengers had gotten to it that night and it was maybe half a pony at this point. Nature is pretty rad.


12. Foggy Doll

Early one morning, I was coming around a bend in the fog at about 40 MPH. Someone had taken a stick and propped up a doll with it right in the middle of the track. Looked just like a little 3-year-old girl standing there. Scared the crap out of me.


21. Not Like The Movies

I used to conduct. I was riding the rails once when a guy hopped off an overpass we were going under and attempted to land in one of the wood chip cars on our train. He bounced a few times, broke a few bones. Weirdest thing for me, to date.

18694-1548712510218.jpgPatrick Feller/Flickr

20. Binging Imagination

I had just discovered Walking Dead. Typically, I don't do scary stuff but this was just below my threshold for watching. So I binge watched 2 seasons.

Cue call to go get on an all-nighter, dog of a train into the mountains west of Denver. At about 3 am, my train is stretched out along a steep hill through a couple of tunnels when it goes into emergency. I replace the knuckle but still need to inspect my train to make sure it's all on the rail. As I'm walking back, I see a game trail crossing the rail and notice a large cat track. The hairs on the back of my neck rise.

My mind starts racing, but I have a job to do. I had been walking in deep snow until I get to the first tunnel where I am back on ballast. I make it halfway through the tunnel when I think I hear something kick ballast behind me. So I turn off my silly little lantern, kill my headlamp, and pull my knife, getting ready for the zombie onslaught when I hear it: a slow rhythmic moaning coming from the end of the tunnel I was headed towards.

For five minutes, I wonder if this is a horrible dream, if someone was with me, or if I was crazy. I flip back on my light illuminating the pitch-black, no zombies, just the moaning. Eventually, I make it to the source of the noise. An elevated-temp tanker had chosen this point in my life to vent, the rhythm came from the liquid sloshing back and forth.

18695-1548712582805.jpgMetropolitan Transportation Authority of the State of New York/Flickr

19. Giant Toddler

I'm a railroad engineer working freight from western PA to northwest Ohio. About 55 miles northwest of Pittsburgh, we had a guy who would regularly come out to watch the trains wearing nothing but a diaper. On the lucky days, you would see him with a giant baby bottle. There were even a few times he had a playpen set up in a field on the north side of the tracks.

18696-1548712683179.jpgErwin Schoonderwaldt/Flickr

18. Hauntings On The Rails

The railroad I work on is particularly haunted. I've seen a multitude of different shadowy figures in my rail yard. I've even had a ghost pull the cut lever on my train when I was working an industry located next to an abandoned quarry. Tons of ghost stories and legends surrounding the rail industry. My yard office has a ghost of an old yardmaster in it. We've come into our storehouse, after locking it all night, to find papers and office supplies thrown all over the room and the security cameras outside don't show anyone entering or leaving the building.


17. Kicking The Ceiling

This was a few years ago. We were called to a station that just had a jumper in front of the train. Normally we have nothing to do with this, but on this occasion, the canopy glass had been broken and was dangling dangerously. His foot had traveled about 30 meters and hit the glass that's 4 meters up, smashing it to pieces.

18699-1548713122982.jpgMatthew Scott/Flickr

16. Railway Offerings

I have seen dead chickens/roosters with candles. Apparently, in some parts of Newark, they practice Santeria and part of the altar is fowl sacrifice. I dunno if they let the trains run over the rooster's neck or if they behead it before throwing it on the tracks, but you will find headless roosters along the tracks.

18700-1548713272754.jpgLisa G/Flickr

15. Can't Surf The Rails

In southern California, surfers often walk or stand too close to the coastal train tracks with their boards under their arms. When the Southern Cal passenger train comes by pretty fast, it creates tremendous suction on the board. If it's on the side of the train the board gets sucked out from under their arms. If they happen to be carrying the surfboard on the side of their body OPPOSITE the train -- their whole body gets sucked into the train.

Happens a lot on the Los Angeles to San Diego beach line.

18701-1548713400283.jpgDuncan Toms/Flickr

14. The Dark Man

I saw this random guy dressed in all black in the middle of nowhere -- we're talking nothing around for ten or fifteen miles. He was just standing next to the tracks, watching. It made every hair on my neck stand up. Don't know why I get this feeling, but I'm pretty sure he was there to kill me. It made sense at the time.


13. Our Own Hannibal

I worked on signalling for the light rail system in Pittsburgh. We would do all of our testings late at night, after revenue hours. Lots of wildlife around the tracks.

As we were moving along at about 50 mph, a whitetail deer jumps out onto the tracks and we clobber the poor thing. The engineer doesn't hesitate, gets on the radio and tells central control to call 'Hannibal Lecter,' and gives the milepost. I look at him sideways, but he doesn't explain.

We continue our run into the city, turn around, and head back out the same way. As we come up on the site where we hit the deer, there is a guy in full camouflage on the side of the railroad butchering the carcass, with a big pile of steaming deer guts next to the track (did I mention it was about 15 degrees F and snowing?). Engineer gives a toot on the horn and we continue with our run.

18704-1548713690793.jpgTee La Rosa/Flickr

12. Determined Delivery Man

My grandfather used to work as a conductor for the majority of his career, and recently he shared a few stories with me. Once, a pizza delivery driver tried to beat the train. His car ended up turning into a scrap heap, and since it took about a quarter mile or more to actually stop, my grandfather had no idea if the guy survived. They ended up finding him wandering down the tracks, still trying to get to his delivery.

Another driver came and brought the jacked up pizza to the people who ordered and told them what had happened. They tipped him extra to give to the guy in the crash.

18708-1548713963103.jpgsteve lyon/Flickr


11. Minefield Tracks

My brother is an engineer with U.P. He was telling us one time that there's a section of track here in St. Louis, by Jefferson Barracks National Cemetery, that has a 'watch out for explosives' sign posting. This is due to unearthed grenades and mines still possibly buried in the area.

18710-1548714210839.jpgVIncent Chen

10. Shot To The Striped Butt

Skunks often try to spray the train to scare it off. Each engine has a fridge/freezer in it for lunches and the like, and water used to come in small plastic cups with foil tops, like the old McDonald's juices used to. Well, one got left in the freezer, so my dad pops it out to let it thaw so it can be of use. They stop at a siding to let a train pass in the opposite direction, and this skunk pops out and starts moving around.

The train passes them and they are given the go-ahead. But the skunk already surprised pops, and his train is now moving toward it. Skunk scurries off the tracks and then turns around and raises its tail. Dad saw this happening and grabbed the frozen water cup, stepped outside and rifled it right at the skunk. He hit it square in the butt and it took off running.

18711-1548714332144.jpgTJU Gehling/Flickr

9. The Doll's Luggage

I saw a bunch of old luggage laying along the tracks in Newport News, VA. Grass and shrubs were growing through it. What was creepy was the dozen or so dolls laying around the luggage rotting away. We were working nights so that added to the creep factor. I really don't want to know where they came from.

18714-1548714477418.jpgEyesplash - Summer was a blast for 6 million view

8. Unlikely Passenger

My uncle's best friend was a conductor/engineer years ago. He told me that one night he was going up through North Florida and saw some deer on the tracks, so he lays on the horn to scare them off. All but one ran off the tracks. The last one ran in front of the train, along the tracks. He had to try to slow the train slightly to keep from running the deer over, but couldn't. The train caught up with the deer and he lost sight of it, believing he had just run it over.

When he got to the next city and slowed down for a turn, he noticed something on the side of the engine. He leaned out to see the deer laying on a set of steps just out of the view from his seat. It ended up jumping off in the middle of the city, a few hundred miles from its home.

18673-1548706922155.jpgTimothy Vogel/Flickr

7. Possession On Rails

We hit a young lady walking between the two main tracks at like five in the morning. That sucks, and dead bodies are creepy on their own, but the craziest part was that I thought we hit two different people. The woman that I saw was white, heavy-set, and in her late 40's. She was walking toward the train leaning out in front of us.

When the brakeman and I walked back to find the woman, what we found did not match what I saw. She did not go under the train, so she was mostly in one piece. We found a Latin woman who was very thin and I later found out in her early 20's. Now I thought I was crazy, but the brakeman started asking me if we had hit two people and described the woman in her 40's, the same as I had seen her. Needless to say, we only hit one person. He and I were convinced that this young girl was possessed by some evil entity. The face I saw before we hit her still pops into my mind occasionally. It was evil, twisted and full of pain.


6. Almost Smushed

Friend of mine inspects railcars for leasing. He was down in Texas in the middle of huge outdoor railcar storage lot. There are rows and rows of railcars. He was inspecting the wheel bearings of each of the cars by getting under them and taking a look around. As he was inspecting one of the cars he starts hearing "clink,clink,clink,clink,...". When rail cars are parked they settle close to each other and their couplers are compressed. Some engineer had started moving the cars that he was under. He said it was terrifying because slow trains don't make any noise, and the only thing that kept him alive was the sound of the couplers expanding and jerking the previous cars along with it.

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5. Less Than The Sum Of His Parts

This is not my story, but my grandad worked his way up from a station cleaner to a signal operator. At one stage in his career, he was responsible for cleaning up after suicides.

Now if somebody jumps in front of a train moving at speed, two things can happen. You can fall in front of the train and get crushed by its wheels. This is nice and clean because the heat of the wheels, caused by friction against the tracks, cauterises the wound, and all the clean-up crew needs to do is scrape you off. Lovely jubbly.

This story concerns a fellow who hit the train at height, and was splattered across the windscreen. Grandad and his boys were sent to find all the bits and put them in a bag. They looked all day, and couldn't find the head. Eventually it grew dark, and they postponed the search.

The next morning, they didn't have to look long. The crows had done the job for them. This guy's head had been launched two storeys up onto an old water tower, where it had somehow come to rest.

Now, my grandad may have been messing with me, but what creeped me out the most about his story was how much it amused him.

old-man-1208210-300x200.jpgImage by

4. Ghost In A Trenchcoat

One time, in the middle of the night, in the middle of winter, my train went into emergency. I had to walk the length of the train to see what the problem was.

The train was right in the middle of a very small town. As I'm walking by one of the houses on the outskirts, I see a guy standing in the driveway about 50 feet from me wearing a trench coat and a sock hat type thing. The first thing that struck me as odd is that it was way too cold to be wearing just a trench coat. I shine my lantern on the guy, wave, and say, "Hi." Nothing. The guy doesn't even move.

I continue walking past the guy to the end of the train while looking back very often. When I get to the end, I turn around and head back. I return to the house where this guy is standing and he is still there in the same place in the same position. This time, I don't even say anything. I just speed walk back to the head of the train.

The next day I'm taking a train back home during the day. I'm paying special attention to this house as we go by it. There is nothing there. The drive isn't shoveled. Nothing is there that could have been mistaken for a guy in a trench coat. I have since been by this house dozens of times and I have never seen a car parked there, or a light on or anything at all.

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3. Going Too Fast To Stop

A friend of mine was a Conductor at the time with the CPR and they were going about 50 MPH at night, him and the Hoghead half a sleep on a long trip up in Alberta.

All of a sudden out of the dark a women walked right in front of the train. My buddy said it happened so fast but he saw her body fly off to the side. The Hoghead plugged the train and it took over a mile to stop, my buddy reported it as they were slowing down.

He jumps off the train after it stopped and started running back with his lantern, he said he really never thought it through but perhaps she wasn't dead yet and he should at least check it out.

He said it seemed like he ran forever and then out of the darkness again with his dinky little railway provided lantern there she lay, an arm twisted backwards over her head and a leg obviously separated at the hip. He got closer and rolled her over and at that very moment hurled the contents of his stomach. He told me not so much that her mangled body grossed him out but the fact that she died so sudden and so violently.

The investigation took several weeks but the CPR Police determined she had been drinking heavily that day, she was a 19 year old women who had an argument with her boyfriend and made several errors in judgment that particular day.

My friend will never be the same, something this personal is not easy to forget, I give my friend a big Kudos for thinking and trying to save someone that had no chance saving.

woman-3478437-300x199.jpgImage by

2. Long Gone

I work as a backup janitor when the normal one isn't available and I've seen some very weird things at the places I've cleaned. There's the usual needles and beer cans, not that shocking after a while, but the weirdest thing I have ever seen was when I was called out to a train yard to clean out some disused engines. These things hadn't been used since the mid 90's and were going to be sold for scrap as they were too battered to be refurbished. I was warned beforehand that there might be a bum in one of them, but I brushed off since I had seen many bums at the various places I cleaned, they usally just ran off when they saw me coming. So I picked up my bucket and got in the company truck to go out to the disused part of the yard where the trains were, routine janitorial duties. As I am driving out there I notice that I left the keys to the trains back at the office, oh well I figure, these things are so old that the door might not even be there anymore.

So I drive out to the engines and park my truck and get out, nothing is creepy at this point, just some rotting diesel engines, I had seen much more creepy things before. I walk up the railing and kick in the door with little force, it didn't even have a lock anymore, I walk in and I immediately notice something very odd, it is in near mint conditon. Great I think, one less room to clean, but then I notice something very very disturbing, a skeleton perched against a wall. Then I notice that its wearing a leather jacket and clutching a pill bottle in its bony hands, it was a suicide.

I walk a bit closer and grab the pill bottle from its hand, the prescription date was 10/9/96, over ten years ago, this guy had been rotting in a train for ten years and nobody noticed his absence. I pressed the button on my radio and told the guard to call the cops, there's a dead guy in here and he's been here for a decade. About five minutes later a cop car pulls up and an off duty cop steps out and walks up to the train, turns out that this man had been missing since 1997 and nobody cared enough to look for him. He was an elderly man who lost his wife and offed himself in a train, he layed there for 11 years and was never disturbed. When they buried him a few days later I was the only one to come, all of his family was dead or didn't care enough to come, sad and creepy!

skeleton-778069-300x200.jpgImage by

1. Not What It's Meant For

I operate a HyRail truck with train wheels on it that zips down the railroad tracks doing all kinds of tests and maintenance and whatnot.

I was working in the port of Metro Vancouver, and had to measure out 2500 feet from where we were working to do a certain regulatory test, so I jumped in my truck and reset my counter and went on my way. I arrived at my 2500 foot stop and jumped out to spray paint the railroad tie, to mark that spot for the rest of the crew. I then realized I had no spray paint, nothing in the whole truck. I searched for a little flag I could put up but had none of those either. I ended up searching the ground for something like a stick or garbage that I could just leave there in the middle of the tracks for the time being.

Now, down in the part of Vancouver, the tracks basically run parallel to Hastings Street, and for those of you who have never heard of it, it's basically the world's biggest confined substance problem. Anyway, you always find crazy stuff along the tracks there, if it's not a body, it's 500 hypodermic needles.

So in this giant pile of garbage, I find an old bbq, complete with a set of bbq tools like tongs and brush etc. I thought it would be pretty funny if I just set up a bbq in the middle of the tracks (we were working there so no chance of a train hitting it) so I went to move the bbq and found, no joke, the biggest, longest, girthiest adult toy I have ever seen in my life, even to this day. It was at least 3 feet long and had to have been almost a foot in circumference. Who is buying this type of thing..

I decided this would be the best thing to mark the location with. I ended up finding a couple old random shoes in that pile and, armed with my tongs I found earlier and a pair of gloves, I managed to jam the toy, balls first obviously, into one of the shoes and got it to stand upright all by itself. I really wish I was able to have my phone at work, I would have had a good picture.

Anyway, with that spot marked for the next guy, I put my truck into reverse and headed back to the crossing we were working at. I arrived and the foreman at the time was asking how I marked the footage without taking the paint, I told him that he would eventually find out when we got there.

We packed everything up and were waiting for a train on the opposite track to go by us when the trains brakes hammered on and started screeching. Scared the crap out of all of us. Now when a train goes into emergency, everything stops and the traffic controller is on the radio immediately. We were all told to stay where we were as there had been a person struck by a train just half a mile from our jobsite. We took our truck off the tracks and headed down the parallel road to see what had happened.

When we arrived we found a CP police officer and 3 port authority vehicles there, all parked right beside where I had left my uh.. "marker"

With the way that it had looked, how thick it was and the fact that the top of it was red, I guess one of the port authority officers thought it was a severed leg and called it in to stop all trains in the area and call the police force as well.

The look on my foreman's face was priceless when he looked back at me, after looking at the 4 grown men standing around a 3 foot high adult toy stuffed into a dirty reebok... We didn't say a word to anybody about it as I'm sure we would all be in trouble.

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