Train conductors witness some of the most gruesome injuries, but sometimes they experience more uniquely eerie things when they're behind the controls of a locomotive.
“He didn’t think it was too weird because…”
“My dad, who is a no nonsense six-foot six-inch man, came home one night after a derailment and was 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. 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.’"
“Then all of a sudden I look over and I see…”
“I was driving the train and by this beautiful lake at night. Then all of a sudden I look over and I see a group of people that went skinny dipping standing next to the track undressed the train went by. It was full moon so I would see everything and let me tell you it wasn’t a pleasant sight to see hahaha"
“I’m not a supernatural person but…”
“Working in a tunnel with 2 other colleagues one time and we all heard a woman screaming down the tunnel. Like in the films when a woman sees a dead body or a man with a loaded weapon kinda loud hysterical screaming. 2 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 stations 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 1 on 1 when i asked a similar question to OP. Very quiet when you’re on your own underground so could be mind playing tricks I guess but still a creepy experience. Also, to lighten up the spookiness, there are a few women who actively flash train drivers from their houses that back on to the train lines. Never seen any of them but been in a cab with different drivers talking about it happening."
“We usually putt around town between 10-20 mph…”
“I work in Houston, as an engineer, and we usually putt around town between 10-20 mph. Slow enough for a naked crackhead 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."
“He and I were convinced that this young girl was possessed…”
“I am a freight conductor. We hit a young lady walking between the two main tracks at like five in the morning. That s**ks and dead 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 40s 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 had seen. She did not go under the train, so she was mostly in one piece. We found a Latina woman who was very thin. I later found out she was in her early 20s. Now I thought I was crazy, but the brakeman started asking me if we had hit two people, and described the woman in her 40s 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."
“But one day under a particularly dangerous car…”
“Well…Everyday I climb under a railcar and pray to the based chemical cloud that hovers over the area, that all of the safety valves are going to hold true and keep my skin firmly rooted to my body. But one day under a particularly dangerous car, I felt a giant ‘shift’ and a small ‘trickle’ of liquid came down on my safety suit. Now, not wanting to die I began to run for the showers while frantically stripping off this large plastic suit. It turns out I forgot there was snow on the car and got a little freaked out over melted snow. 20 minutes under the safety shower and a change of britches, but I didn’t tell a soul because honestly nobody cares."
“They stuffed fruit and flowers in the body…”
“Creepiest thing I ever saw was in West Philly. Someone cut a pitbull’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 f*ked up voodoo sht."
“This caused the train to apply its emergency brakes…”
“It’s been awhile since I’ve heard the story but my uncle was on a through-freight train heading home when they passed a pasture. Apparently, a cow had escaped the fenced in pasture and made its way onto the tracks. Now, a lot of animals, for some reason, if they are running from a train will run directly down the middle of the tracks instead of stepping off. This cow took off in a sprint from the train as the engineer blew the horn and tried his best to slow the train. It was a losing battle though as the train gradually overcame the cow. The coupler on the front of the engine lifted the cow by its a and rolled it under the engine. As the now dead cow tumbled under the engine and the following cars some part of it caused an air hose separation. This caused the train to apply its emergency brakes. Once the emergency brakes are applied a conductor has to walk the whole train to inspect it. So, my uncle being the conductor, hopped down to inspect the now gore covered train to find the air hose separation. About 4 cars back he found the separation and coupled the hoses back together. As he looked up from the hoses he noticed the tail of the cow hanging down from one of the knuckles. My uncle, being a kind of a gross a, thought it would be funny to bring the tail up to show his engineer. So, he grabbed the tail and pulled a little to dislodge it from the knuckle and attached to the tail comes what he calls a “meat doughnut” which of course was the cow’s a**hole."
“Tells central control to call Hannibal Lecter…”
“I worked on the signaling for the light rail system in Pittsburgh, USA. We would do all of our testing late at night after revenue hours. Lots 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, turnaround, 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 guts 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…"
“Turns out the train hit a stalled fiberglass trailer filled with…”
“I was working at a BNSF railway in Stockton, CA maintaining the cranes that pull cars off the tracks when a freight engine rolled in with the front end a little caved in, covered in red. The entire front end was covered in what appeared to be red bloody chunks a paste leftover from rolling through maybe a herd of cattle, or a hoard of zombies. I didn’t know what to think. I felt my stomach churn, and my coworker turned green and heaved a bit. I asked the foreman what happened, he told me some teenager jumped out in front of it. Later, I grew a pair and walked up to it as these folks were cleaning it without any signs of being affected by the sight. Turns out the train hit a stalled fiberglass trailer filled with tomatoes that was headed to the Hunts cannery in Oakdale."
“The guy ran back to his car and drove out of there…”
“I’ve got a relative who was an engineer. This would have been in the late 80s early 90s. He ran a freight line that went though the middle of nowhere. On this really pretty stretch they had to slow down to a crawl for 30 miles or so. They had a guy who stopped them completely by parking his car on a road crossing. He did this 3 times taking pictures. They chewed his a. He wanted photos. He’d drive at least a couple hundred miles to do this (out of state license plates). Note, this truly is the middle of nowhere. If you call the sheriff it takes about an hour. I don’t know the protocol back then for trains. One of the guys on the train was weeks from retirement and basically didn’t give a fk. On their next trip he took a gun and just started shooting that guys car. The guy ran back to his car and drove out of there like a bat out of hell after he shot it a couple times. They never saw him again. I’m sure you guys dream about doing something like that. Justice."
“As far as weird things, there are a few people out there…”
“Locomotive engineer from the northeast US here with 15 years service. Aside from the dead animals I think finding a body that was hit by a previous train might have been the creepiest. I’ve hit a few cars and people before but I never had to go back and look (that’s the conductor’s job). The person we found wasn’t really identifiable as a human being, just a pile of meat. What gave it away were the scraps of clothing mixed into the pile. As far as weird things, there are a few people out there that are really ‘in love’ with trains. You can use your imagination as to what these grown men do in the middle of nowhere at 2am."
“There is nothing there. The drive isn’t shoveled…”
“Conductor here. 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 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."
“The next morning going back the other way we passed by…”
“I’m a Conductor so I’m the guy that sits directly to the left of the engineer. I haven’t been doing it for too long yet so I probably haven’t seen the amount of stuff a qualified engineer has. My first week as a trainee on the job we came across a dead pony next to the tracks that must have been hit only a few hours earlier. The next morning going back the other way we passed by it again and it looked like what you would expect to see on a Discovery Channel show. Scavengers had gotten to it that night and it was maybe half a pony at this point. Nature is pretty rad."
“It was all fun and games until…”
“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 beers and waiting. It was all fun and games until our 12,000 ton train started crushing all the stones and sending shrapnel everywhere."
“The paramedics said that he would have died…”
“My brother was a lifeguard and 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 prostrate next to the train in a pool of blood. It turns out the guy had 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. Being 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 would have died within the hour from blood loss if my brother hadn’t been there."
“He brings it up to me and we open it and…”
“I’m a conductor on train and I love it, but I’ve witnessed some interesting things while working. One night my coworker was going through the train after we were stopped. He gets to this one compartment and he notices something weird, a random duffle bag. He brings it up to me and we open it and there was $250,000 in counterfeit money. He didn’t keep it, we gave it to the police :("
“He then trotted away acting pissed off and…”
“20 year engineer here. Once I was going 40 mph and saw what I believe was a bighorn sheep. As we got closer to him he ran right at us and rammed the engine right in the plow. He then trotted away acting pissed off and shaking his head. I’ve hit more large animals than I can count at 70 mph, but nothing ever came anywhere close to the impact I felt when we were rammed."
“About five minutes later a cop car pulls up and an off duty cop steps out and…”
“I work as a backup janitor when the normal one isn’t available, I’ve seen some very weird things at the places I’ve cleaned. There’s the usual needles and cans, not that shocking after a while, but 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 90’s 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 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, routine janitorial duties. 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 its wearing a leather jacket and clutching a pill bottle in its bony hands, it was a suicide. 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 dead 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, sad and creepy!"