"Creepiest thing I ever saw was in West Philly. Someone cut a pit bull's head off and stuck it on sticks 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 messed up voodoo thing."
"A friend of our family is a freight train driver in New South Wales.
Back in the '90s he hit a woman who was on the tracks in the middle of the night. He braked as soon as he saw her, but trains just don't stop quickly. It's never been clear whether it was an accident or intentional.
Anyway, the poor guy had months off work. He got back on the horse though and started driving the same route again.
Then, exactly one year after the first incident, some jerk put a shop mannequin on the tracks in the exact spot where the original incident happened -
He almost quit for good after that."
"I work in Houston as an engineer, and we usually putt around town between 10-20 mph. Slow enough for a naked tweaker to jump out of a bush by a city park and start pleasuring herself in front of the engine. I guess she really likes trains.
I also had a kid play chicken with my train when I was going about 50mph, that was really scary. I haven't hit anybody yet, but everybody says it's only a matter of time."
"My dad, who is a no nonsense six-foot six-inch man, came home one night after a derailment and was as white as a sheet. He told my mom he met a man walking away from the derailment, which was in the middle of the woods. He didn't think it was too weird because some people check out wrecks and derailments. Anyway, my dad gets to the derailment and says hey to my uncle (they work together). Apparently, the cause of the derailment was a truck that had been hit and then pushed by the engine. Now, none of this is weird until my dad sees the man in the truck - it looked like a beat up version of the man he met on the way to the derailment. He got the man's driver's license when the sheriff's deputy showed up. The way my uncle put it was 'your dad almost passed out and had to sit down. He didn't say why because you don't do that around railroad men.'"
"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-'90s 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 it off since I had seen many bums at the various places I cleaned, they usually 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. 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 condition. 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 it's wearing a leather jacket and clutching a pill bottle in its bony hands, it was self-done.
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 deceased 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 laid 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."
"I was driving down a rural road in Wyoming, going from one drilling rig to another. This was in the Powder River Basin so there's coal mining going on too and many train tracks that carry all that coal away. So I'm driving a pickup with a guy named John.
There's a truck pulling a lowboy ahead of us. He's got a tractor on the lowboy. We come to the train crossing, which is pretty rough. The lowboy starts to crawl over the tracks, then stops. He got hung up on the tracks.
I stop for a minute and ask John, 'Hey, should we stop and help?'
John says, 'Heck no, he did it to his own dumb self.'
He's the boss, so I keep going.
We go down about a mile and the road curves around and then starts heading back the way we had come. We were pretty close to the rig, but not so close that the rig noise could drown out the sound of a train whistle.
I look back at the tracks and that lowboy is still sitting right where we left him.
'Holy crap John! There's a train coming and that guy is still on the tracks!' I stopped the truck.
'Quick! Drive up that hill so we can see better.' He's the boss so I go. As I am climbing the hill, unable to see anything, I hear a noise. Not sure if it's the rig or not, but something.
We get over the hill and can't see. So we do our thing on the rig and start heading back.
The train is stopped on the tracks.
I stop the pickup and start walking to get around the train. I was so scared that there was going to be mayhem on the other side, but if there was, I figured we were the last people to see that guy alive so we'd better go see.
Got around the train and it was all good. The train barely nicked the truck, knocking it askew, but the low boy and tractor were sitting there just fine and the driver was okay too.
I often wonder if we had stopped if we would have all been so engrossed in trying to get that lowboy off the tracks, if we would have even noticed the train coming. I'll never know, but it was still a weird experience for me."
"One time in the middle of the night in the middle of winter (10 degrees and a foot of snow on the ground) 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 of this town 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 the train while looking back very often. I get to the end, turn around and head back. I get back to the house where this guy is standing and he is still there in the same place in the same position. I don't even say anything this time, 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 even 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."
"Been a conductor for about 8 years now. The main thing I have noticed about human behavior since I started working for the railroad is that people seem to view a train as a machine instead of a vehicle being driven by people. Because of this, they are willing to do horrible/ridiculous/dangerous things that they probably wouldn't do if they thought another human being was going to be involved. Here's my list of stuff my coworkers and I have seen:
-More people hooking up (all ages) than you can shake a railroad lantern at.
-Substance abusers lost in the middle of nowhere, like MILES from anywhere.
-A coworker came across a train hopper that had his legs sheared off when he tried to jump in an intermodal car without a bottom, the guy lived too.
-Another coworker found a teenage victim whose pimp tried to cover up her death by dumping her body on a remote controlled locomotive track.
-My uncle was a conductor on a train that hit a woman trying to off herself that decided to take her dog with her. She lived, the dog didn't.
-I hit a man who took his own life. I was oblivious to what was going on until my engineer said, 'I think that guy is going to jump in front of us.' I could see the guy trying to time his jump. It was pretty disturbing because there was nothing you could do.
-A coworker came across $250,000 in counterfeit money in a gym bag.
-My uncle hit a cow once and managed to knock its butt hole out.
-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 and waiting. It was all fun and games until our 12 k ton train started crushing all the stones and sending shrapnel everywhere.
-A train one of my coworkers was on snagged a chain link fence that was being installed and rolled up the guys installing it inside the fencing. They don't think anyone got hurt, but itt was a pretty rough area though, so they didn't stop to find out."
"Working in a 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 body or a man with a gun, kind of 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. 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 that was creepy.
Have heard a colleague speak about walking alone in the tunnels, again away from all people close to him on the night, and hear someone whispering and another colleague hear chains at an abandoned station. I'm not a supernatural person but have no reason to doubt these guys stories as they were told to me one on one. It's very quiet when you're on your own underground so it could be your mind playing tricks, I guess, but still a creepy experience."
"My first time on a train I was traveling in Germany with my grandfather and he noticed and pointed out to me that we were riding on the 'wrong' tracks, we were northbound on the southern track. Our curiosity got the better of us when I pointed out that there were some guys in bright yellow vests doing some kind of maintenance. And then we noticed that there were blood and meat all shredded up on the tracks, we were going really slow because of the workers, and we watched intently and tried to figure out what kind of animal it had been, but no hooves or fur were discernible. Then we went quite a distance without seeing many chunks, but the tracks were still bloody. Then there it was: a blue dress."
"Once as a kid (13-14) I was forgotten at a skating rink lock-in. About 8 am the owner said that she had to go so I took off walking towards home. It was about twelve miles away. After about a mile, I knew I could get on the tracks and it would take me right in front of my house. I was walking when I heard a train was coming in the distance. I moved off about 30 ft to the side away from the tracks as it approached. I witnessed a dog walk up to the tracks and lay its head flat on one of the tracks. As the train was getting closer I called for the dog. I was about 50 ft away. It did not respond. I am sure the conductor did not see it but it severed the dog's head away from the body. I was totally freaked out. I cried for about an hour. Then I decided to bury the dog with the rocks beside the tracks. I still had about three hours before I would arrive home walking. I thought for a moment that this was a sign that I should do the same. As I walked, I came to the conclusion that I witnessed this so I would not ever take my own life, since it was very disturbing to those left to witness. I've told this story to others since and one time a veterinarian technician told me that the dog must have known it was sick. When I got home and the others woke up, I told them about what I had witnessed and they accused me of making it up since they forgot me. It stuck with me for a long time."
"I'm an automated rail track inspector, I have worked on inspection vehicles all around the world.
The weirdest for me was on a track in Philadelphia. I was riding with a coworker on the rear deck. He was a really cool and was pointing out all the landmarks next to the track.
We were driving up and down the same stretch of track all day. It was really run down, and it looked like we were driving through a landfill site with all the city rubbish just poured down the embankment. On this trip, he was watching out and was uncharacteristically quiet.
Out of the blue, he shouts to the driver to sound the horn, and out of nowhere all these people just appear. There were guys walking around spaced out, women with their breasts out, needles hanging out of arms - that type of scene. That sight really messed with my head, it was the lowest form of humanity.
I asked him what was going on. He said that around this time each day the dealer visits that area, so all the homeless guys living around there get their high on. Woman (and men) will do anything to get their hands on that crap. They sound the horn so that the people see them. If they didn't, they worry that a spaced out hobo will just walk out in front of them.
Now, here's the weird part. We entered a tunnel, and at the other end the land is cleared out and there are allotments up the embankment. For like 500 meters past the tunnel the land is all clean and organized and marked out with crops and plants growing. There are guys standing watching us pass holding pitchforks and other gardening equipment. He explained that these were pensioners from the same project. They cleaned up the land and used it to grow crops and food. They were standing by the tunnel to guard against the substance abusers on the other side!
Best and worst of humanity separated by a tunnel."
"I worked on the signaling for the light rail system in Pittsburgh. We would do all of our testings late at night after revenue hours. There is a lot 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 insides 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."
"While following a train through a block we came upon what looked like trash on the rail. It isn't uncommon for stuff to fall off the train or blow up against the rail, so we don't pay much attention to it. Except this pile of trash rolled over and looked at the oncoming train before we went over it. We were going slow enough that we were able to stop with just a motor having gone by. Conductor goes back and it's a dude that had been previously been run over by the preceding train. Turns out that this kid had been out partying for his 21st birthday in a downtown area near the rail. He tried to climb through the train when the train took off. He fell onto the rail and lost an arm above the elbow, 1 leg mid-thigh and the other leg just below the knee. He was so hammered that he didn't go into shock and didn't realize he had been cut up. This much pressure just seals the wounds so he wasn't in too much danger of bleeding out. Having a pile of trash roll over and look at you with vacant human eyes right before you roll over it will mess with you."
"I worked for a shortline in the '80s. A girl crashed into the middle of our train at a crossing. The Mustang was rolled several times and completely destroyed. She got out wearing only a wedding veil and nothing else. A boy got out wearing only tighty whities. She was crying saying her boyfriend was going to kill her, but he 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."
"My brother used to walk to work across several train tracks. One day, a train was stopped on one of the tracks and my brother saw a figure lying next to the train in a pool of red. It turns out the guy tried to crawl underneath the train while it was stopped only to have the train start moving while he was underneath it. The guy must have been about 60 years old. The train had crushed one of his legs. Having been a lifeguard, my brother made a tourniquet, called 911, etc. The man survived, but his leg had to be amputated. The paramedics said that he wouldn't have made it due to blood loss if my brother hadn't been there."
"I am a freight conductor, we hit a young lady walking between the two main tracks at like 5 in the morning. That sucks and deceased 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 myself and the Brakeman 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 Latina 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."
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 and we're on top of them. Can't forget the awful, continuous noise it made nor can I unsee the bits of wool and insides flicking up onto the windscreen. The smell itself was horrendous, especially once it started cooking itself on hot traction motors underneath."
"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 asleep 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 gone 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 crappy little railway provided lantern there she lay, twisted and such. He got closer and rolled her over and at that very moment hurled the contents of his stomach. He told me that he did not so much because her mangled body grossed him out but for the fact that she ended her life 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 Native woman 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."
"My dad works on the trains in Northern California. Quite a few years ago the foreman of the shop told him to check out the underside of the train and clear any debris, wild dogs frequently get hit by the trains and can sometimes cause problems. A few minutes with a flashlight and my dad sees part of a skull with long brown hair attached. Turns out the train had hit a wasted man from a nearby homeless camp that had passed out on the tracks, and the wild dogs kept getting hit because they were eating the poor guy."
"My friend's father is a train driver in New Zealand.
He told us about this time he was traveling along the main country road. There was a family driving alongside the train and the children were signaling for him to use the horn (pretending to pull the cable down). He was tooting away then looked up and saw a cow on the tracks ahead.
There was nothing he could do. He smashed straight into this cow with blood and pieces going everywhere. The looks on the poor kids' faces!
The family pulled over and he carried on his way."
"I work aboard a passenger rail train.
One day we had to slow down to go around a corner on a single track with a crossing just past the corner.
When we had just rounded the corner, the engineers slammed on the brakes, stopped and got out.
It had turned out that someone had tied a dog to the track, in the hopes that he got hit by a train!
There was a SPCA worker on board the train too. She made a couple of calls, the dog had a foster home within the hour!"