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Diamond Jubilee


wayneburgess

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Well here's a thing, our Queen has just over 3 years to go before passing Queen Victoria as longest on the throne.

( just to ad a little fun)

In England "The throne" also refers to the thunder box, W.C or toilet.

So when I was reminded her Majesty had been on the throne for 60 years, I couldn't help but wonder, there must be one hell of a queue for their bathroom. :)

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LOL, we also make the throne reference on occasion. Sounds like prime material for a political cartoon. Elvis Presley died on his throne. Never heard the thunder box reference though. Shitter, crapper, john, but never thunder box. It was my understanding that the toilet was invented by a man named John Crapper.

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LOL Mr Crapper did not invent the toilet but he did invent the ballcock and was someone who help make it popular.

Funny thing the toilet it's a true statement of fact that the real inventor of the modern flushing toilet John Harrington, must have sat on his idea for a bit. LOL :lol:

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LOL. Believe it or not, many Locomotives weren't equipped with a toilet until just a few years ago. If we got one of these engines off the pit track for use outside the yard we got an extra 2 hour payment. The railroad got shitty about it as the railroad tends to do and started denying the payments. As a union representative I had to actually start including the definition of toilet to get the claims paid because the railroad took the position that a hole in the floor qualified as a toilet. :huh:

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I load coal trains and pull out loads and put back empties at plants and stuff mostly. I also switch cars into station order for mainline runs. for example I have to put all the cars bound for Cleveland on the front, Toledo's in the middle, Chicago's on the rear etc. I also have to do brake inspections/tests, make sure my train meets all the requirements to be road worthy, and secure the authority for the train to operate. There are days I sit on my ass all day, and days I walk 7 miles, all depends on the train.

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Yea, every trip. On a freight train the locomotive or engine as we call it is the only place to ride. Well, once in a blue moon you'll have a caboose for some reason, but 99 trips out of 100 your on the head end. The Engineer is on the right side of the engine and the Conductor is on the left. On passenger trains the Conductor rides in the coaches, but on freight trains your train consist mostly of coal and chemicals which don't make for a very comfortable ride.

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Interesting story. A few years ago a co-worker of mine was called for what we call a manifest train (which means it's a bunch mixed freight cars) operating from Russell, KY to Columbus, OH. Most of this run is pretty boring because with the exception of a few little towns it's most through corn or soy fields as far as you can see. In the middle of the night they go over a defect detector which is a device installed on the track that measures the temprature of the wheels, counts the axils, and alerts you if you have any hotboxes (overheated bearings) by sending a message over the radio. Any time you go over one of these, especially in the middle of the night, your praying it says "No defects" because if there is a defect your ass is walking a long way to check it out. Rain, sleet, or snow, your walking your ass 2 or 3 miles and it sucks. On this night my co-worker wasn't having much luck and the detector spouts off a defect way back in his train. It's way up in the night and he's practically in the middle of nowhere, and the whole scenario is like a scene from a bad horror movie. This isn't really all that out of the ordinary so you have to be a bit thick skinned but this particular night there was something very un-ordinary when he got back there. As he approached the potentially defective car he started seeing lights, red lights, like 2 sets of red eyes in the Ohio darkness. Needless to say it made him a little uneasy because he knew there were no lights that were normally there. As he got closer he realized these red lights were in fact tail lights on cars, which while he was relieved it wasn't aliens or something, still didn't ease his mind to much. Why would 2 cars be out in the middle of nowhere Ohio, in the middle of the night, along the railroad tracks? They weren't there when they went by 15 minutes before, so they must have pulled up since the train stopped? Sure enough, as he approached them they were parked right beside the car he was looking for. 4 men in suits step out of the cars and approach him. One of the men asks "what's the problem?" at a bit of a loss for words he proceeds to tell them about the potential defect and how if the bearing is in fact hot he'll have to set the car out at the next siding when the man interupts him "the car is fine. Go back to the engine and get going". The Conductor starts trying to tell him about his responsabilities when the guy sticks a Secret Service badge in his face and says "go now". He complied and hurried back to the engine as fast as possible and went on down the road. He looked up the car on his paperwork and though the car was showing in the train it had no information about the contents. After he arrived in Columbus he asked everyone he could find about the car but nobody knew shit. After a week or so the Trainmaster calls him in the office and shed a little light on the mystery. Come to find out it was a boxcar full of money! I don't know how many millions of dollars you can put in a 60' boxcar but I know it's more than I'll make in my lifetime. It was headed somewhere in Pennsylvania to be destroyed. Hard to tell what goes down the tracks in some of those cars.

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I would love to ride a train. Why don't they have cabooses any more? Sounds like a cool job. If I had to get out in the middle of the night in nowhere land, I would be crapping my pants. Can you carry a gun for protection?

That is a cool story with the money. Does make you wonder what is being transported all around the country.

I bet they have some very cool shows outside the palace. Would be cool to see one.

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There were a few factors that killed the caboose. Part of it was the railroad being cheap, but the main factor was technology. The real purpose of the caboose was to man the rear of the train to ensure that the air was being properly maintained all the way through, to signal to following trains if needed, and to serve as a marker to other trains that the entire train was intact and nothing was setting in the track the were about to enter. For this purpose federal law required a flashing red light on the rear which the caboose was equipped with. As time went on they developed a box that is placed on the back called an EOT (end of train device) or FRED if your out west (Flashing Rear End Device). It is operated by a battery pack or pneumaticly and has a flashing red light, and conveys the air pressure on the rear and whether or not it's moving, to a box on the engine. The advancement of portable radios made rear signaling unnessecary, so there really was no need for a caboose anymore. You will still see one every blue moon as they are still used on jobs that regularly require shoving backwards for long distances of over a mile. Riding the caboose has become somewhat of a treat, though a dirty task when it's on the ass end of a coal train.

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Up until the late 1960's each Conductor had his own caboose that nobody else was allowed to use. Every terminal had a cab track they used to store them and when a particular Conductor was called, a yard crew went and dug out the right caboose and put it on the train he was called for. They had them fixed up super nice. Many had curtains, carpet, pictures on the wall, etc. They were like luxury apartments on wheels. The railroad eventually got tired of the expense and the hassle and they pooled them meaning you got whatever caboose was first in line and they eventually did away with them altogether and put the conductor on the engine.

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Didn't know it was on TV.

Yeah I never thought how dirty it would be on the back end of a coal train. I still miss seeing the caboose when I see a freight train. This is cool. I love trains and learning about them. I think discovery or another network had a special on how they build the engines and the power. Not sure what it was called, but it was very cool. I do remember seeing a special about when they upgrade an engine. They use the same frame etc, but cut away the top. I remember seeing the guys using Sawzalls and beating the heck out of them. They had oil and all sorts of crap on the tools, but they were still running.

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