W+H Herald W+H Main Yards Herald

W&H MAIN YARDS: Railroad Jokes

Compiled by Christopher D. Coleman
Tips for mailing me
Last updated 9-8-01

Why is the railroad angry?

Because people are always crossing it!

Why can't the engineer be electrocuted?

Because he's not a conductor!

What is a lawyer's favorite railroad?

the SOO Line.

Why is the track gauge 4' 8 1/2" ?

Because its the mean distance between the neck and ankles of damsels in distress.

Why can't a steam locomotive sit down?

Because it has a tender behind (or because it's caboose is red).

Response to passenger complaint about increased sleeping car fares:

"The berth rate has gone up since your last trip."

Why don't elephants like to ride on railways?

They hate leaving their trunks in the baggage car.

How many conductors does it take to change a light bulb?

Only one, but to no avail. He first punches a hole in the new bulb.

How many foamers does it take to change a lightbulb?

No, NO!!! Not until I get a picture of the old one!!!

How many 600-volt DC subway workers does it take to change a lightbulb?


Guy running to catch a train: "Can I take this train to Altoona?"

Guy standing under placard that reads 'Train to Altoona': "You can't _take_ this train anywhere--it belongs to the railroad."

(or "Why would you want to--it's going there anyway.")

What is the difference between a school teacher and a steam locomotive?

The school teacher tells you to spit out your gum, while the locomotive says "Choo Choo Choo!"

A rookie brakeman is out, late one night, on his first trip. The head brakeman tells him to set the brakes on a car, so he puts his lantern on the ground and climbs to the top of the car.

"Hey," yells the head brakie, "what's the matter with you! You don't ever leave your lamp sitting on the ground," and he tosses the lantern up to the rookie.

Meanwhile, the engineer and the fireman are sitting in the nice, warm engine cab 30 cars away. The fireman calls the hogger over.

"You'll never believe what I just saw," he says. "That brakeman stood flat footed on the ground and jumped to the top of that car there, and he had his lantern with him!"

A time freight rear-ended a local peddler freight one night, and the ensuing investigation centered on whether or not the crew of the first train had flagged the second train sufficiently.

"Now, then," said the superintendent to the peddler's rear brakeman, "were you flagging your train that night?"

"Yes, sir," he said.

"And were you at least a half-mile from your train?" asked the super.

"Yes, sir," said the brakie.

"And did you attempt to flag the express down?" asked the super.

"Yes, sir, and they went right on past me," the brakie said.

"And did you use a red lantern?" the super asked.

"Yes, sir," the man said. "Of course."

Well, the railroad couldn't decide who was at fault, so the investigation was closed.

"You did just what I asked you to," said the conductor of the local freight to the rear brakeman after the hearing. "You told the truth. But were you nervous at all?"

"You bet!" replied the brakeman. "I was hopin' that guy wouldn't ask me if the lantern was lit!"

There was the time that the president of the Maryland and Pennsylvania (short-line) Railroad demanded to get a free pass to ride the Pennsylvania Railroad. In exchange, he said, he'd give the president of the Pennsy a pass over the Ma & Pa.

"What good is that?" asked the PRR's president. "Your railroad is a hundred times shorter than ours!"

"Ah," said the president of the Ma & Pa, "but it's just as wide!"

A couple of announcements that were supposed to have been heard over the Public Address system in a British railway station:

"Will the passengers who took the 3:15 to Ipswich please bring it back? It's needed."

"The 4:00 to Brighton is now standing on Platform 9: but we hope, in the due course of time, to have it back on the tracks again."

"The train now arriving on tracks 3, 4, 5, and 6... is coming in sideways!"

[About the 'Ghan train, a somewhat famous train running to Alice Springs, and having quite a reputation for slow service due to very bad track - 20mph max for 800 miles!] Worried and very pregnant woman catches the attention of the conductor on the 'Ghan one fine day:

"Mr conductor, I am very worried that if we do not get to Alice Springs on time, I just might be into labor right here on the train."

"Madam, you should have thought about that when you boarded, being that you are in this condition."

"But sir, when I boarded this train, I wasn't in this condition!"

In the early 20th century, there were many coal mines in the Canadian Rockies, including some in what is now Banff National Park.

On Saturday nights, many miners would ride into Banff and have a cup of tea or glass of lemonade, or just possibly, something stronger.

One Saturday, an inebriated miner missed the last train home. He wandered across to the yard, found an engine in steam, backed it out onto the main line, and drove it to his mine, stopped it, went to the bunk-house, and fell asleep.

He was charged with "theft of a locomotive" by the Canadian Pacific Rly., but he couldn't remember a thing about it.

The trial went like this:

Defense counsel: Was the engine on CPR property before my client moved it?

CPR: Yes.

Def: Was it on CPR tracks when he left it?

CPR: Yes.

Def: Did it at any time leave CPR tracks?

CPR: No.

Def: Then where is the theft?

Magistrate: Case dismissed.

I once heard a story about a railroad crew that befriended a monkey named Bobo. The railroaders would play with Bobo and feed him and really treat him nice. In fact, they taught the monkey to give hand signals and run the engine and to even read a switch list and switch out the cars. Soon Bobo got to be so good at it that the guys would let the monkey do their work while they went fishing. One day the Trainmaster caught the guys fishing while Bobo was doing the work. All of the railroaders got fired on the spot. A couple of months later the railroaders got a letter from the company. It was a great flowery piece and reinstated all of the railroaders to their former positions with all back pay. It was signed by Trainmaster Bobo.
One night the superintendent caught one of his engineers using a fusee instead of a lantern while oiling around. "Are you aware those things cost this company fifty cents apiece" roared the super? "Well no" replied the engineer, "but they're worth every penny of it!"
At a station stop, the railroad's president walked up to the locomotive and spoke to the engineer. "You were going 65 mph and the speed limit is only 60 mph, I saw it myself on the speedometer in the business car!" After a heated exchange, the engineer finally said "you couldn't possibly have been going 65, my speedometer said 60 mph and we never saw you go by us!"
(one for the Urban Legend Department)

Scientists at NASA have developed a gun built specifically to launch dead chickens at the windshields of airliners, military jets and the space shuttle, all traveling at maximum velocity. The idea is to simulate the frequent incidents of collisions with airborne fowl to test the strength of the windshields.

British engineers heard about the gun and were eager to test it on the windshields of their new high speed trains. Arrrangements were made. But when the gun was fired, the engineers stood shocked as the chicken hurtled out of the barrel, crashed into the shatterproof shield, smashed it to smithereens, crashed through the control console, snapped the engineer's backrest in two and embedded itself in the back wall of the cab.

Horrified Brittons sent NASA the disastrous results of the experiment, along with the designs of the windshield, and begged the US scientists for suggestions.

NASA's response was just three words, "Thaw the chicken".

Coal Tower
Back to the Main Yards
W&H Herlad
Back to the W&H RR Co.