Railroad Jargon - A Boomer Brakeman's Accident Report

An Old Time Boomer Brakeman Accident Report

We just pulled the drag off the main stem onto the two streaks of rust but she hung over. The hoghead was down on the ground greasing the pig, and the tallowpot was up cracking diamonds. The con was in the doghouse flipping his tissues and the hind shack was cooling a red hub when he should have been trying to put 15 sticks between him and the drag. I was up ahead bending the rail when the streak of varnish and plate glass came around the bend. The eagle eye seen us and throwed her in the big hole and gave her two streams of seashore, but they had been pounding her on the back and they slid into us.

We had just pulled the local off of the main line onto a rarely used siding, but she had not cleared the main line. The engineer was down on the ground greasing the engine, the fireman was up in the tender breaking up coal. The conductor was in the caboose doing his paper work and the flagman was tending to a hot box when he should have been back at least 15 ties back on the main line with a flag. I was up ahead throwing a switch when here came this passenger train around the curve. The engineer saw us and put the emergency brake on and sanded the rail, but he was going very fast and they slid into us.

[This tounge-in-cheek accident report was given to me a very long time ago by my father, Harold Davis, Erie engineer, started 1918, retired 1963.]
- Jack Davis

Back to Erie Page