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Guest cracked ass

Yard Safety

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Well, crackedass, maybe ya just overall shouldn't be writing on other people's property to begin with even if you're even supposedly employed by them anyway. You're still not a fucking Canadian.

I'd highly suggest avoiding any and all advice from crackedass. This is a serious statement. Someone who is that high on themselves should be avoided.

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Yards and surrounding RR areas are full of nasty stuff you can get hurt on. I almost always wear some type of slip resistant, solid toe, puncture resistant work shoe. For some reason brought them the other day but did not put them on. Next morning I found this embedded in my sneaker, luckily it went up the side and missed my foot. Definitely had nails in my shoe before but the industrial style work shoes saved my feet.

 

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I said seeing a worker is no reason to run IF he can't know you're there to paint. If there's paint on you, on the car next to you, or he might have seen the cans, I'd get gone. If not though, be chill like I said. I have to stress again that the reaction you'll get could vary widely by yard and by individual worker. I'm only trying to show a little of the worker's point of view, how they are not always going to chase or hate on you for trespassing in the yard. You have to use your head and your instincts in any encounter, and if it looks bad just get the hell out of there. I'm relying on my experiences in yards from Anchorage to Chicago to Philly to Montreal to Newark NJ, Pittsburgh, Richmond, Seattle/Tacoma, Montana, Buffalo, and all of New England. I first check out a yard with nothing on me, and explore more thoroughly than I would if I had paint. In all my encounters with workers, and my half dozen or so encounters with bulls, none of them knew I was there to paint, and the worst case was being told to leave by a bull who appeared pissed off (Delaware), the others looked calm and bored while telling me I had to leave. One bull gave me a CSX calendar on my way out, thinking I was a straight railfan. (It helps to be able to talk intelligently about railroads; bulls will usually show just enough patience with railfans not to bust them, just tell them to leave; some workers think railfans are a little nutso, so don't lay it on too thick with workers about how much you like trains.) None of the straight workers ever gave me any trouble, and some were friendly and talkative; others (Newark) looked at me warily but said nothing. The few times I think I've been seen painting I've just gotten out of there without waiting around to make contact with anybody.

You said you were in Buffalo. I am looking to train hop from Buffalo to Austin Texas this for the formula 1 race this weekend. How should I go about leaving from buffalo every bit of advice and information you can provide would be greatly appreciated. Thanks in advance.

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On 4/17/2000 at 2:47 PM, Guest cracked ass said:

I said seeing a worker is no reason to run IF he can't know you're there to paint. If there's paint on you, on the car next to you, or he might have seen the cans, I'd get gone. If not though, be chill like I said. I have to stress again that the reaction you'll get could vary widely by yard and by individual worker. I'm only trying to show a little of the worker's point of view, how they are not always going to chase or hate on you for trespassing in the yard. You have to use your head and your instincts in any encounter, and if it looks bad just get the hell out of there. I'm relying on my experiences in yards from Anchorage to Chicago to Philly to Montreal to Newark NJ, Pittsburgh, Richmond, Seattle/Tacoma, Montana, Buffalo, and all of New England. I first check out a yard with nothing on me, and explore more thoroughly than I would if I had paint. In all my encounters with workers, and my half dozen or so encounters with bulls, none of them knew I was there to paint, and the worst case was being told to leave by a bull who appeared pissed off (Delaware), the others looked calm and bored while telling me I had to leave. One bull gave me a CSX calendar on my way out, thinking I was a straight railfan. (It helps to be able to talk intelligently about railroads; bulls will usually show just enough patience with railfans not to bust them, just tell them to leave; some workers think railfans are a little nutso, so don't lay it on too thick with workers about how much you like trains.) None of the straight workers ever gave me any trouble, and some were friendly and talkative; others (Newark) looked at me warily but said nothing. The few times I think I've been seen painting I've just gotten out of there without waiting around to make contact with anybody.

I used to spend so much time in my local yard that I told any worker that approached me that I was just taking pics of graf on the sides of the trains. I was making a music video and I needed 15,000 good pics. They would always ask me how it was coming along and if I was close to my goal and even tell me where a good piece was. They would always remind me to stay off the numbers but that was about it. Then I would go to this spot where they couldn't see me way down the line and paint. They don't give a fuck they just want to make sure they don't have to clean you off the tracks. Only one time did I told to leave by a Bull. In this yard you can see them coming a mile away so I would be gone by the time the truck made it close.

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On 12/8/2001 at 2:33 AM, Bevis said:

these fucks use to chase us in golf carts, haha, i like when your hiding behind a wheel and the worker is on the other side flashing lights at the numbers, you just wanna jump out and scare him, one time we where painting this yard in the middle where it's open and this engine pulled in and just sat there and it's main light started going in circles like there was a fuckin party goin on, anyone ever see those trains that clean the tracks, looks like the 4th of july in your layup, hella sparks flying everywhere and theres a worker on the back spraying the tracks with water as the train is rolling, anyways, ive seen and heard alot of crazy shit in yards from skunks trying to spray you to girls screaming, but there's no one there? i believe some yards to be haunted because some shit is just to fuked up to understand, but no matter what just be on your toes and ready to roll the fuck out(if you paint westcoast yards anyways)j/k

I've actually been on the train that grinds the tracks. The guys live on there for months at a time. I have pics but I'm limited I guess today.

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On 3/19/2002 at 7:21 PM, Cracked Ass said:

I'm glad this came up. Being in between two lines carries a number of hazards.

First of all, the amount of clearance you THINK you have can change if one line starts moving. If you're standing next to a tanker or other car that doesn't take up as much room as it could, you could be in for a nasty surprise when a much wider box, hopper or lumber rack rolls up and cuts your space in half. Make sure you know what the ABSOLUTE clearance is between the lines you're in between, which can be done by walking up the line far enough to see the width of the gap between the widest cars (boxcars, lumber racks and some hoppers, but don't be fooled by "kind" hoppers that allow a little extra breathing room down low).

Even "absolute" clearance is a problem for two reasons:

1.SNAGS. This is worker slang for anything hanging off of a car that could "snag" and drag a worker (or you) along between lines, which is a good way to get injured or killed on the railroad. These occur often enough to be worried about at all times between lines. There are lots of types of snags: metal strapping used to secure loads hanging loose, wood or trash sticking out of log cars or boxcar doors, cable tiedowns on lumber racks. You can easily get hung up on the ordinary projections sticking off of cars - plug door bars, door track ends, a ladder which has been dented or damaged so as to stick out a little. If you have ever walked between lines and gotten your jacket or backpack caught on anything, that's what can snag you if you're standing still and the line is moving.

2.JOINTED RAIL. I've been between lines (stupidly) in spots where the clearance was already narrow...and then it got WORSE when one line moved, because the cars leaned toward each other as they passed over low spots on the poorly maintained joints in the rails. I've seen cars almost touch at the tops due to this lean. It has less of an effect down near the ground. (Really, if this factor is enough to matter, you shouldn't get between those lines at all, it's too narrow to be safe.)

Here's another issue: VERTIGO. If for some reason you're between lines and BOTH of them start moving, your brain can fall prey to a strange phenomenon called "loss of horizon line". Your brain almost always relies on being able to tell what is moving and what is stationary by comparing it to what it knows to be solid ground, but it needs a few feet or more of open space to compute this. In between moving lines, your brain can get disoriented, resulting in dizziness and a tendency to fall over. If you're ever in this situation, GET ON THE GROUND in the exact middle of the space you have and look back and forth at both lines, watching for snags. When one line stops, climb across it USING THE LADDERS AND WALKWAYS, never at the coupler or underneath, and get the fuck out of there. Don't go back, either - you're obviously in too busy a part of the yard to be painting or walking if lines on both sides of you are moving. (This has happened to me twice over the years in places I didn't belong.)

In general, there is more room down on the ground when you're next to a moving line, but that's not reliable with some low-hanging intermodal cars, and the danger of snags is always present at any height.

Another reason not to make a habit of being in between active lines: workers will be PISSED to catch you alongside their moving line in the yard. They don't want to see fresh ground hamburger on their shift, and they have no idea how smart or dumb you are about train safety when they see you in that dangerous situation, and they'll assume dumb if you're anybody but a trained worker. In fact, they are obligated to find out what's up and get you the fuck out of there before they continue to move their train.

CLEARINGS. These are "holes" in the middle of a yard where there's a stretch of empty track, but trains surrounding you on three or four sides (both adjacent tracks, and short lines of cars further down one or both ends of the stretch of empty track). Nice to paint in, because you can stand back and look at your shit and get flicks, yet you're hard to see from any direction. But if shit starts moving around you could have problems. The biggest threat is that one of the lines will start moving toward you, shrinking the clearing and likely making it disappear. This brings up 2 rules of thumb: if you want to paint in a clearing, first check out what the clearance is going to be like if a line moves and the clearing closes up. Second - and this is a rule of mine at all times in any yard - DO NOT stand or walk within ten or fifteen feet of the END of the last car in a line, and don't paint any car in a clearing less than one FULL carlength from the end car in any line. If that line suddenly moves toward you, and clearance is poor between lines, you could be fucked. You never want to be in a situation where you have to run ahead of a moving line in order to reach the next gap between cars to climb up and out of the way.

BACKPACKS. Remember that if you're between lines wearing a backpack, you are wider when you turn sideways (the opposite of wearing no bag), and you can get stuck or snagged easily. Also if you're painting in between lines you don't want to have a whole lot of crap unloaded on the ground, you want to be ready for a fast exit if lines start moving. I have only one can at a time out of the bag, and the bag in easy reach at all times.

Basically, if you are between lines and one line starts to move, and you don't have a deathwish, you must stop whatever you're doing and either get out or at least pay close attention to what's going on. Move to the nearest end of the car you're next to of the stopped line, climb the ladder and either cross over and wait, or stand on the back walkway with a FIRM handgrip (in case that line also moves suddenly). DO NOT stand on the ground in between two stopped cars at the coupler waiting for the other line to stop. If that line also moves, you're fucked.

So I used to spend like 4-6 hours a day in the yards just benching...so I've had my fair share of these situations above. The backpack is a scary one. I was between two cars trying to get a flick of a Dark piece I think..lines started going and my backpack gets caught on this random piece of metal sticking  out of a tanker...It ripped me backwards and thankfully I'm a skinny dude so I was able wiggle out of it. RIP backpack. There have been way too many times where I've almost died between two lines...so now, I don't care if it's a fucking Seen Piece that has been burned by Ja. I'm not climbing shit for a pic.

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