Interesting scanner stories

Discussion in 'Amtrak Rail Discussion' started by Steve4031, Sep 23, 2011.

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  1. Sep 23, 2011 #1

    Steve4031

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    Steve4031

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    My favorite was the first trip I used a scanner. I was on 1 between Biloxi and new Orleans. We were traveling through the swamps and the train went into emergency. I had the scanner on, and the engineer stated that the train had run over a "wild boar". Apparently an air hose had been knocked loose. And someone had to walk the train. After a few minutes a voice came over the scanner. " are there snakes out here?". A few seconds later, "yeyup" in a southern accent.
     
  2. Sep 23, 2011 #2

    Devil's Advocate

    Devil's Advocate

    Devil's Advocate

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    Here's the most interesting thing I've ever heard on a scanner during the year or so that I've owned one.

    Absolutely fascinating! :lol:
     
  3. Sep 23, 2011 #3

    Bob Dylan

    Bob Dylan

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    My favorite scanner story happened on the Texas Eagle between Austin and Taylor! (I dont have a scanner but listen to the Conductor's when Im doing point runs between AUS and TAY!)The Conductor was calling out the spot to the engineer as we rolled into Taylor, he stopped the Train next to the Bar-B-Q joint and the following happened!

    The Conductor called the Diner (CCC) and asked whoever was going to Taylor Cafe to pickup the Crew's Bar-B-Q order(it ended up being the cook! :lol: ),to come to the Coach where the "only door open" would be! I was getting off here for Lunch, and the Cashier from the joint came to the platform with the order, the Money changed hands,the Train was then respotted and a couple of pax boarded/deboarded (including me!), then #22 Highballed North for CHI!!!
     
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  4. Sep 23, 2011 #4

    Anderson

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    Anderson

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    Jim,

    Serious question: Are you actually on the train between those two places enough to know the conductor(s) that well? I know I'm starting to get there with the Silvers' dining car staff (and several of the attendants in the sleepers know me just because someone under 25 riding up there sticks out like a sore thumb).
     
  5. Sep 23, 2011 #5

    Bob Dylan

    Bob Dylan

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    Yes, this the only Train through Austin (Texas Eagles) so Ive ridden perhaps 300 times over the past few years, enough to know all the Conductors/some of the Engineers, and the various OBS Crews, TAs, SCAs and LSAs. They know me too, every time I get on they ask if Im going to Taylor for Bar-B-Q! :lol: They are slowly training new OBS and Conductors as the old timers retire out/bid other routes, but Id say I still know 90% of the staff!(It's a 450 Point run for $11 Senior, not bad!!)
     
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  6. Sep 23, 2011 #6

    Anderson

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    Anderson

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    Wow. Well, if you keep riding like that, I'm sure you'll get to know the new guys soon enough! :lol:

    Edit: I do hope to be there with the Silver crews in a few years...but I also expect, barring either a major schedule change or a major change in my arrangements, to be on that leg of that train at least once per month for the next few years...and I know I'll run into the same crews if I take the Star to Florida because of how the cycling works.
     
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  7. Sep 23, 2011 #7

    Ryan

    Ryan

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    A train with 31 axles would be pretty unusual! :p

    My favorite two:

    1. SWC headed east during the honeymoon trip last summer, slow orders all over the place due to high winds and dust storms. We had to stop and pick up the crews off of three dead BNSF freights and drop them at the crew base just before the Winslow, AZ station. The conversations to coordinate this between the dispatcher and then the crews that we were picking up were interesting, to say the least. The freight guys were VERY happy to get off of their trains and find a hot meal and a cup of coffee waiting for them.

    2. On the Silver Star, somewhere in Florida - we had just left a station (Orlando?), and a sewage truck (the kind that cleans out portable toilets) ran a gate and crossed right in front of the train. It must have broken something in the process, because the truck stopped just after making it across the tracks. Since we weren't going all that fast (30 MPH or so), the engineer was able to get the train stopped, and the conductor was able to walk to the part of the train sitting in the grade crossing to get the tag number/business name of the offending truck. The crewmembers were PISSED (understatement of the year), and the conductor ended up calling CSX (they snagged one of the crossing arms) and the actual company and tried to read them the riot act. Needless to say, the conversation between the engineer and conductor was priceless.
     
  8. Sep 23, 2011 #8

    OlympianHiawatha

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    OlympianHiawatha

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    I met one of the greatest and perhaps most classic Conductors a couple years ago on a FTW-SAS-FTW Eagle Points run. He is an older gentleman with white hair and beard and LOVES to tell war stories. When he saw my scanner, he was quick to track me down in the Lounge and sit down for a visit. I loved how he always wandered the train with a cold cigar in his mouth, anxious for a quick smoke when the smoke stops came.
     
  9. Sep 23, 2011 #9

    Bob Dylan

    Bob Dylan

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    Unfortunately he retired this year, Ive seen him riding a couple of times between AUS and FTW as a pax, guess you cant teach an old Firedog to stay away from the Firehouse!(hes been replaced by a really friendly/cool young dude, I had him Wed from AUS-TAY!)Makes me think of what one our members Jay Hadley, a retired engineer,says about when he retired, that he spent a lot of years dragging Trains around, now he wants to kick back in the Lounge with an adult beverage and leave the driving to someone else! :cool:
     
  10. Sep 23, 2011 #10

    AmtrakBlue

    AmtrakBlue

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    Many years ago, we saw a freight train stopped by the McDonad's we frequented with the kids (the kids loved to watch the trains go by while in the play area). We then saw someone (conductor or engineer) walk from McDonald's up the small hill to the train. I think I took a picture of the train stopped there, but alas, it must have been in the camera that I lost. :(
     
  11. Sep 23, 2011 #11

    Anderson

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    Anderson

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    I'm actually tempted to get a scanner and lock onto the CSX Peninsula Subdivision at some point (seeing as I live about two blocks from the tracks). The engineers are somewhat infamous for stopping at a McDonald's (or occasionally at a 7-11 about two blocks away) on Route 60 to grab some food, so I'd like to hear the chatter that goes on when that happens.

    That said...the scanners do seem to be the most fun when something goes just a little wrong. Nothing major, nobody hurt, but where things just wrong enough to get someone bent out of shape.
     
  12. Sep 23, 2011 #12

    Everydaymatters

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    Everydaymatters

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    I didn't actually hear this on the scanner. It was the conductor talking on his radio to the engineer telling him "Stop the train, the train is on fire". He repeated this a couple of times.

    The train kept going at a fast speed while the conductor repeatedly said to stop the train. The train finally stopped at a safe place where we wouldn't get hit by another train.

    That was on the way back from the 2009 Gathering in Boston. That was exciting!

    Something happened on the train going to that gathering as well. I'm hoping someone else can fill in the details. A problem with the train's computer???
     
  13. Sep 23, 2011 #13

    Devil's Advocate

    Devil's Advocate

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    Am I the only person who has ever heard a random defect detector give an odd number of axles?

    Maybe I should start recording my listening sessions! :lol:
     
  14. Sep 23, 2011 #14

    Acela150

    Acela150

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    I think one that got me worried sick was I was returning from RTE to PHL on 163 and HHP 650 was in the lead I was in BC had my earphones in no one noticed anything and then over the scanner the engineer screams out to the dispatcher that there was an explosion from the pan head and she lost all communications to the locomotive. After a five minute wait we resumed to the platform at NYP where the pan was checked for damage and non was found. Turned out it was just a really bad case of arcing and it effected the computers. How I have no idea. But it is an HHP. :lol:
     
  15. Sep 23, 2011 #15

    OlympianHiawatha

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    OlympianHiawatha

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    The Heartland Flyer wandered into Norman the other night with the MP 404.2 Detector indicating 21 axles for 3 Coaches and 2 Engines.
     
  16. Sep 23, 2011 #16

    tonys96

    tonys96

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    How do you get 450 points for this run??????
     
  17. Sep 23, 2011 #17

    Anderson

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    Anderson

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    200 point base, 25% bonus for Select, double up for the fall bonus...200+50+200=450.
     
  18. Sep 24, 2011 #18

    Steve4031

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    Steve4031

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    I've observed odd axle counts on more than one occasion. And my friends with scanners joke about it when we travel together.
     
  19. Sep 24, 2011 #19

    tonys96

    tonys96

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    Gracias, makes perfect sense...did not know the 25% applied to bonus points also. :blush:
     
  20. Sep 24, 2011 #20

    The Davy Crockett

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    The Davy Crockett

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    It doesn't. 25% of 200 is 50.
     
  21. Sep 24, 2011 #21

    Train2104

    Train2104

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    Don't remember the exact wording of this, but an M7 engineer seat broke and 2 trains had to swap engineers so they could see. An extra day's pay for both!

    "Stop anywhere there's concrete!!!" After a snowstorm, all trains made all stops.
     
  22. Sep 24, 2011 #22

    tonys96

    tonys96

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    Yeah, my girlfriend noticed this and called me a dunce.......................
     
  23. Sep 24, 2011 #23

    coachseats

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    A few funny stories I've hear over the scanner:

    On the Cascades between Vancouver and Seattle: We hit something and the train stopped, only to have the conductor get out and take a look at the front of the train and find a mangled grocery cart under the engine. A few choice words then came over the scanner. They were not happy as apparently this had been a fairly frequent happening and they thought local kids to be the culprits.

    On the Ann Rutledge in Missouri: Lots of police cars waiting when we pulled into one station, listening to the scanner I figured out they were there to look for a stowaway who ended up being a runaway teenage girl. They searched the train and found her hiding in a bathroom.

    On the Silver Star northbound nearing Alexandria, VA: Conductor to engineer- stop the train- we've got quite the flood back here! I looked out in the hallway of my Viewliner sleeper to see that he wasn't exaggerating- a water pipe had broken somewhere and there was water sloshing back and forth everywhere in the hallway! The conductor managed to get the water shut off and we were moved to a different car the rest of the way to Washington.
     
  24. Sep 26, 2011 #24

    fredevad

    fredevad

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    My favorite was last year on the Texas Eagle somewhere between San Antonio and Austin. We had orders that we were passing a work crew (don't quite understand the flags thing - but I'll save that question for someone at the Gathering). Anyway, as we approached the work site the conductor or engineer kept trying to call the work crew foreman to get clearance through the work site, but no answer. Finally we were close enough that we had to stop and we waited, the conductor escalated the issue to dispatch and dispatch starting trying to call out to the work crew foreman. After sitting there stopped for about 20 minutes, dispatch finally was able to get a response from someone at the work site, but it wasn't the foreman. Turns out the foreman didn't have his radio on because there was some confusion about what times the work order was valid to which dispatch replied:

    "You tell foreman <SoAndSo> to turn his radio on and clear Amtrak 22 if he wants to be employed tomorrow."
     
  25. Sep 27, 2011 #25

    Brandon V

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    Brandon V

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    One night while listening to the local frequency for St. Cloud Yard on the BNSF Staples Subdivision.. I was overhearing the conversation between a BNSF crew and the Dispatcher about talks of "Vagrants" or "hoodlam youths who were spotted placing graffiti on a Boxcar and various other things. Talks went back and forth a while and then the Dispatcher said he was on the phone with St Cloud police....and the BNSF crew that had a slight southern Accent cursed and said something (cant remember the exact wording but..) to the effect of .. DAGUM THOSE DARN HUDLAMS GONE AN RUINED 'nother BOX CAR DAMN F$#$king CHILDREN!!" after which the dispatcher said sure you're angry but save your words for off the air please.. then the train crew came back and started laughing and said .. yea.. ok whatever ..those damn kids.. im tellin ya
     

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