It's been 5 months since i posted this and im back to answer any questions!!!

Comments: 1632 • Responses: 65  • Date: 

InTheHandOfHades341 karma

What's the best part about your job and why is it using the train whistle?

Texasfury263 karma

Because the train whistle makes you feel like a little kid :)

bugd240 karma

On average, how many times per day do you say "Choo Choo Mother Fuckers!!!"

Texasfury366 karma

Like 12 lol i also tell people i drive trains bitch when describing my job

CheesingMyBallsOff73 karma

I personally liked saying I run trains, although I'm a conductor so I was lying. Do you still work with conductors?

Texasfury122 karma

I run trains while i run trains. And yes you always work with a conductor

PzzDuh182 karma

Have there ever been any mother fucking snakes on your mother fucking train?

Texasfury508 karma

Yes during the winter they crawl up the step ladders and shit to get close to the engine where its warm. Im tired of those mother fucking snakes on my mother fucking train

PrimativeJoe137 karma

How realistic is train simulator 3?

Texasfury221 karma

About as realistic as call of duty. Our simulators cost 500k-millons of dollars to make.

rubrix61 karma

What about them costs so much money?

Texasfury144 karma

They are huge and simulate all actions of a train. It looks like a super computer. I dont know much about the specs of them though

PSU19420137 karma

If When you strike a pedestrian and kill them is it true that you get that date off for the rest of you career (friends father works for the Long Island railroad and this is supposedly true)?

Texasfury227 karma

No that is not true for where i work. You only get 2 days off after it happends and if you need more you must see a therapist. It happends alot due to no fault to any railroad employee its due to impatient people that try to run railroad crossing gates.

kent_eh44 karma

How long were you on the job before your first ""suicide by train"?

I haven't met an engineer (or conductor) who hasn't had to deal with that shit at some point in their career.

Texasfury95 karma

7 months and it happend to the train right infront of me. It was a college student. His head was removed.

evanbrown231 karma

metal as fuck.

Texasfury37 karma


L0coM0tive122 karma

Why do you ride me so hard?

Texasfury168 karma

Your so perty

Aboot_40 karma

I like you.

Texasfury69 karma

I like you

PickDontGetSick110 karma

I've been on hundreds of your trains, super illegally (if you want to call it that) but I have great etiquette and don't vandalize, steal, or leave my trash everywhere like a lot of other trainhoppers do. Do you have problems with rail kids, or do they usually stick to themselves?

Texasfury176 karma

Me personally iv never had a problem and iv never told on one

hlbobw103 karma

My three year old son desperately wants to be a train engineer. What qualifications are necessary?

Texasfury137 karma

There are 5 class 1 railroads the three major ones are union pacific, burlington northen sante fe and csxt. kcs and ns can be thrown in there too. But i can only speak for union pacific. You start out as a conductor which requires 6 months of training and they qualify you. So you really dont need anything if you apply for UP. I hired on from the army with no knowledge. They taught me everything

hoss942445 karma

You totally forgot Norfolk Southern....

procedure is about the same though.

Texasfury60 karma

Oh sorry lol northfolk is rather small where im at sorry about that

godwillkillusall76 karma

Hey John, I've been getting into amateur blacksmithing and have been told that for a cheap anvil, I can use a section of railroad track as its been hardened for the trains. My question for you is, do you know where I might be able to buy a section of track?

Texasfury130 karma

You have to look for a licensed railroad metal seller. If they are not licensed it is stolen metal and is very illegal to purchase. Try google or call your local train yard.

xScreamo72 karma

when i was in high school, my band teacher left in the middle of the schoolyear- was there on tuesday, didnt come on wednesday- to become a locomotive engineer..... is it really THAT much better than a band teacher?

Texasfury148 karma

Going from 30k a year to around 100k a year. Lol

mfdj72 karma

I was told by another engineer that they run over suicidal people at least once per year but usually more. Is this true in your experience?

Texasfury134 karma

Alot more then once per year. We had 3 incidents in the same month in the same town.

DjGrandflow71 karma

how many mooses have you run into through your career so far ?

Texasfury178 karma

Well im in texas so none lol

RicsFlair69 karma

What do you do with the squatters?

Texasfury162 karma

Depends on the sqautter, friendly or non friendly. i dont mess with riders unless they mess with me. We have our own police aka railroad police or rmcc we call them gum shoes because they take forever to respond but they are all grade A badasses. Most are former military and are highly trained due to terroristic reasons

PickDontGetSick67 karma

Well, I know I've had great luck with it. I've only been thrown off once. One time a conductor even knew we were there, then came back and asked for toilet paper cause he had run out. Traded us a bunch of cool train shit.

Texasfury68 karma

Most people wont bother you as long as you are friendly and dont touch anything. Some people are assholes and will call the cops on you. You can get in alot of trouble if you are caught

spyt68 karma

Do you go crazy with the horn like some guys do?

Texasfury207 karma

Only when i see women or little kids they get a kick out of it. I really go crazy when women flash us. Makes the trip awesome

huxrules22 karma

I've heard that engineer have their own personal "honk" if you will. Is this true? I have lived by some tracks and it seemed that the "honks" were not random.

Texasfury52 karma

We have a specific cadience we have to blow for crossings. 2 long one short one long, repated until the crossing is covered


Haha, how often does that happen? The flashing that is.

Texasfury97 karma

Its only happend twice but the second time she put on a show for us. I almost stopped the train

tastybabysoup62 karma

At the end of Speed starring Keanu Reeves and Dennis Hopper, Howard Payne shoots up the train control panel with his machine gun rendering the train an unstoppable killing machine. How fucked were Jack and Annie in that train? Is there anywhere else on the train they could have activated an emergency stop?

Texasfury170 karma

Lol shooting up the controll panel would automatically put the train into emergancy stopping the train immediatly.

shadyoaks54 karma

My stepdad drives trains for CSX. When I was a kid, I would always hear him say to my mom, "well, I'm second out' before he went to sleep a bit before going to work. I understand that it means he got called in but can you break down exactly what that means? Thanks!

Texasfury82 karma

We work on a board. So lets say there are 10 people on a specific board that covers specific trains. If he was second out that means one person was ahead of him to get called for the first ready train on the line up. So he would get called for the next ready train.

thegreatgazoo53 karma

How do you stay sane out in West Texas when there is nothing around but scrub and the rails are all straight?

Texasfury82 karma

Sunflower seeds. But mostly its having to pay attention where my train is at all times

thegreatgazoo42 karma

Do they allow radios in the cab?

Texasfury51 karma

Nope lol

MarcelineMiss47 karma

Is there anything you dislike about your job? Like something you didn't realize was apart of it?

Texasfury71 karma

I love the job and the pay. There are a lot of rules and bad managers that try to fire people for bs reasons. But im on call 24\7 with no scheduled off days. So thats what i dislike but you get use to it and can lay off sick alot more then if you worked a regular 9 to 5 job

xrtpatriot38 karma

Assuming OP delivers on proof. I had met a gentleman in a game who was a locomotive engineer. He described to me one time he was in a particularly long train and it started to go down a slight hill. I forget what he called it but all the cars behind him "caught up" and surged the engine forward throwing him out of his seat. What is this actually called? If it has happened to you, what was the worst time and how would you describe it in relation to something else, is it like a mild car crash?

Texasfury76 karma

Thats called buff forces its when your pulling hill then start on a downhill slope. You have to throttle up or increase speed so the locomotive out runs the cars. And the only way to creat that high of a buff force is to be a complete moron. Iv never heard of someone being thrown from buff forces

sidekick6234 karma

For those long-distance trips, where do you sleep? Are there cots in the cab, or is there a separate care behind the engine?

Texasfury67 karma

The longest we can work is 12 hours because its regulated by the goverment. But we sleep in the chairs.

PSU1942077 karma

Wasn't aware Texas regulated anything.

Texasfury82 karma

Its regulated by the FRA not by texas

1new_username32 karma

I live near a RR track that I have to cross each day to and from work. There are several streets that cross the tracks with lots of homes on one side and lots of businesses on the others, so tons of commuters going back and forth each day.

At least once a week I have to wait for a train, but that is expected so whatever. What gets me is this (here is the question):

Why do you sometimes stop on the tracks? And as a followup, why do you stop on the tracks and block the crossing?

That really kills me. I kid you not, I once saw an engineer stop on the tracks, block a super busy crossing during rush hour, hop out of the train and run across the street to 7-11 and grab a sandwich and a coke. He had this grin the whole time looking at everyone like "what are you going to do, I'm in a train bitches"

I'm from Texas as well (D/FW area), so you might be responsible for this :)

TL;DR: Why do you have to stop on crossings?

Texasfury30 karma

We cant stop the train and get food like that. Thats called delaying a train and we cant block crossings for more then 10mins at a time unless we dont have a choice. We have signals and authority to be on the track. Its up to the dispatchers when and how far we can go. Most of the time it is there fault we block crossings. But crossings are blocked by us if we have to switch out cars or do work in that area

Sanityisoverrated131 karma

What do you think about those that commit suicide by jumping in front of trains?

Texasfury87 karma

I think it takes alot of balls or drugs to watch a train come at you and not jump out of the way. Also its very selfish because iv known people who had to quit after someone jumped infront of their train. Because they couldnt handle it

UglyKids31 karma


Texasfury75 karma

Iv seen some of the most beautiful art on trains. I love it as im very into tattoos, i have a half sleeve and working on the other arm

Handicapreader26 karma


Texasfury71 karma

An owl. It was chilling on the rail and turned too look way too late

herbimgeschmack23 karma

Short tracks or long trips? Edit; Why isn't John in the sidebar?

Texasfury37 karma

I work the road. So long trips, there is yard work where you are home every night or road trips where you go out of town and stay at a hotel

dubmachine23 karma

1 - In your experience, do you believe safety standards are up to par in the North American rail industry today?

2 - Have you ever encountered engineers or employees that overlooked SOP's or violated safety standards in any way?

(in reference to the recent tragedy in Lac Megantic, QC)

Texasfury50 karma

We have strict rules and regulations that safeguard and protect from things like that from happening. The rail road i work for is 150 year old. If you look at how many accidents that have harmed the public youd be suprised that it has only happend a few times. We haul very dangerous chemicals like chlorine gas. Id say we have been doing a great job keeping the public safe. The roll out in canada was caused by an idiot not following his rules. It was a securment error he didnt tie enough hand breaks because he didnt know the proper ammount or was lazy.

zonda9523 karma

What is the most beautiful place you have seen while on the rails

Texasfury63 karma

Utah, i was there for two weeks in training and you go through the mountains its amazing

wjames8822 karma

Do you transport freight, or do you work for a passenger line? Does someone in your position flip between the two, or strictly drive one or the other?

Texasfury32 karma

Frieght. Im in texas and we dont have a big amtrak setup. But in places like chicago you choose when you first hire out and i dont think you can change

eyeoed21 karma

I work on a rail gang maintaining the tracks. I see you fellas drive by me everyday. What's the hardest part of your work day?

Texasfury49 karma

dealing with managers whose only job is to try and fire you lol

Krum_god_of_steel20 karma

Do often pass through conjunction junction and if so what's its function?

Texasfury13 karma


JHof19 karma

You mentioned your work day being regulated to 12 hours. Can you comment a little more on that? I ask because I'm a pilot. My work day can go longer than 14 hours, and airline pilots up to 16. Not fair!

Texasfury29 karma

We can only do labor for 12 hours, we can sit on the train for days. One tank car of toxic chemicals can take out an entire town.

thundermachine17 karma


Texasfury29 karma

Look for openings and apply if your really serious there is a railroad college that costs like 5k that will get you certified as a conductor

cumdump_ster17 karma

Why you gotta lay on the horn through alpine?

Texasfury107 karma

Because i know where you live sucka

someguy86616 karma

Do you play Train Simulator 2013 in your free time?

Texasfury42 karma

No. I am a computer gamer, i currently play apb, war z, day z, and just finished the walking dead game

Dr_Fishman16 karma

My dad, granddad, great-granddad, great-great-granddad, and now brother are railroaders. Are you a member of a rail family? Are there many rail families left, in your opinion?

Texasfury30 karma

Yes my dad has been a railroader for twenty years now. There are alot of families because at one point you had to know or be related to someone to get a job

flyingturdmonster15 karma

Can you provide a locomotive engineer's perspective on positive train control (PTC) systems and the FRA 2015 mandate of the same? Are you guys, as a whole, really as resistant to PTC as I've been led to believe?

Texasfury31 karma

Every time they come out with something like this it is to cut a mans job.

Texasfury3 karma

Every time they come out with something like this it is to cut a mans job.

killerkandi13 karma

I am super afraid of trains. I came here to try and get over it. I think i'm probably more afraid of trains now.

Texasfury79 karma

Good you should be. We are coming for you.

AllThatYouTouch12 karma

Hey John,

I hear there are a lot more people getting run over by trains then one would think, have you ever hit anyone?

Also, it would be cool to see some picture of your "Office" so we can see what it looks like in the pilots seat.


Texasfury23 karma

Iv almost hit alot of cars, but thankfully iv never hit anyone. And yes there are alot of people getting killed due to stupidity, i mean we only drive down 15 feet of track and can only go one way. We cant swerve to get people. There is no steering wheel the train goes forward or backwards.

TheFreshOne10 karma

Have you ever fallen asleep while driving a train? Do you shovel the coal into the furnace or do you have another person that does this? How do you control the speed, just shovel less coal in or...?

Thanks for the AMA.

Texasfury20 karma

We only have one working steam train and its just for show. Our trains have diesel engines and burn fuel. And iv never fallen asleep while running

imMatt199 karma

Have you ever hit anything that wasn't quick enough to get out of your way? Like a deer? I've heard some story's.

Texasfury26 karma

Never hit a deer they are too smart and have great hearing

UnicornPanties4 karma

They seem to have a problem avoiding cars. :(

Texasfury27 karma

Car have a problem avoiding 15ft of rail that only goes one direction

thisishowiredditt7 karma

Hi! Thanks for doing an AMA :) Let's start with some get-to-know-yous: 1) Were you a train nut as a kid? 2) What type of schooling did you go through? 3) What is the funniest memory you have of an event that happened on the job?

Texasfury21 karma

My funniest expereince is when my dad who happends to be a manager where i work red flag tested me and my crew didnt know he was my father so we had a fake arguement and they almost shit their pants like we were about to fight.

Texasfury2 karma

Nope still not a train nut. I went through 12 months of training with multiple tests that if i did not pass with two tries i would of been fired on the spot and have 3 licenses, conductors license, engineers and hostlers license.

mooomba6 karma

Is it true that you have to touch a control/make an adjustment every like 10 seconds or a buzzer goes to prevent you from falling asleep?

Texasfury7 karma

Yes its called the alerter and its loud and annoying

--lolwutroflwaffle--4 karma

In the event that you are about to run over an animal/group of animals (cows especially) that you could never stop in time for, what is the proper procedure? Do you just hit the brakes or keep going? Does it depend on your speed?

Texasfury20 karma

there is no animal big enough to cause any damage to a train that would be next to tracks. You just glide right over them like they are not even there. So you just keep going

Texasfury4 karma

Going to bed for the night will try to catch up in the morning

Zombie_Rosencrantz3 karma

Do you think being a locomotive engineer has made you less or more patient when you're in a car, stuck on the road because of a train?

Texasfury7 karma

More patient. I have never gone through gates and i always look both ways. Too many people die that shouldnt have

packtloss2 karma

Mind providing some thoughts on what happened in Quebec? (I havent seen ANY engineer/conductor input)

First and foremost, i thought a train's brakes needed pressure to stay open, and that if air pressure is cut, the brakes lock on.

If you were parking a train on a siding with 5 engines and 75 loaded cars, how many brakes would you manually turn on the cars?

Texasfury4 karma

if you look up i commented on it. It was human error someone was too stupid or lazy. There is always that one guy that shouldnt have that one job

skibbityboo2 karma

Show the mods your RR I.D., or eRailsafe.

Texasfury5 karma

Emailed them my railroad license

Texasfury2 karma

I am i just sent them a message im on my phone and cant figure how to send them the picture i took lol

johnnymetoo2 karma

Is Casey Jones still the hero of today's train operators?

Texasfury4 karma

I have no idea who that is

jameselectronbond1 karma

Have you ever had anyone lay across the tracks that wanted to kill themselves or just cause a delay?

Texasfury2 karma

The guy i work with had a college student lay across the tracks. His head was removed.