Jun 4, 2009

Railroad Man

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While stopped at a rail crossing on the east side of Toledo, I noticed the pictured man in overalls walking along the tracks. As the train slowed to a crawl, the man uncoupled two box cars, and the separated sections each began to travel in different directions.

I have long been fascinated by trains and the rail system, though I know little about the nomenclature. I am fairly certain that the worker in the picture is a brakeman, though I am sure that sharper-eyed visitors will correct me if I am mistaken.

Anyways, passing time at the railroad crossing was more interesting with the show put on by the man in overalls. He hopped between the rolling cars without hesitation, nimbly picked his way between tracks, and almost effortlessly unhitched the cars in a matter of seconds. He certainly seems to get enough exercise to have little use for a product like Liporexall, that's for sure.

6 comments:

Middle Aged Woman said...

He must have given that other car a good push to get it moving in the other direction.

microdot said...

Did you know that there is still a "fireman" in a train crew?
I worked for a railroad for almost 4 years and I could never quite figure out what the fireman did.
I always hitched rides on engines out to the middle of the Toledo Terminal Bridge at night when I was the operator and the fireman was always asleep.

Mad Jack said...

The fireman stokes the firebox under the boiler.

I think the man in the picture might be a switchman, as in 'asleep at the switch'.

historymike said...

M.A.W.:

Yes, I think he is Mighty Strong that way.

historymike said...

Microdot:

Do they have firemen on electric trains? Just curious.

historymike said...

MadJack:

Could be. I made the "brakeman" assumption after reaidng on a few websites that brakemen sometimes hook and unhook cars.