A Heady Railroad Tale

When I was a young brakeman on the Railroad I was with my good buddy Kenny C. the engineer. We were out of Glasgow, Montana heading West toward home when the Train Dispatcher called and said to stop the train and inspect the 4 Locomotives that we had on the train that day. He was very specific to look very carefully underneath the engines/locomotives. He did not explain why we were stopped out in the middle of nowhere looking for what we didn’t know. We did as we were told and called him back on the radio and told him we had inspected the locomotives and found nothing. He told us it was OK to proceed and still no explanation.

Needless to say we wondered what the hay was going on and discussed all the possibilities all the way to Havre. When we pulled into Havre down the Main Line down to the West end of the yard we were greeted by a sight I had never seen before or since. There must have been every cop car from the city of Havre, plus maybe most of the Hill County Sheriff’s 4 Wheel Drive Pickups, with 2 or 3 Border Patrol outfits thrown in. I asked Kenny if he had done anything to deserve this and I searched my soul for a bad transgression to warrant all of this. Nothing recently came to mind.

We gathered up our grips and dismounted the lead Locomotive. I asked the first deputy in earshot what the heck was going on. Apparently back East this train had hit a pedestrian and they had a body but no head. I turned to Kenny C. and said if either he or I had found what they were looking for out in the middle of the prairie the headline in the Havre Daily News the next day would have been, “RAILROAD WORKER DIES OF HEART ATTACK AFTER FINDING HEAD.”

No they didn’t find the poor dudes head. Just another day on the ol’ Railroad.

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