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When you think of train riding stories, creepy train conductor stories may not be the first thing that comes to mind. But when you start thinking of it, what do train conductors actually do? Well, for one, train conductors are often only with their railroad engineer all the time. Two: they spend long stretches of their job in the middle of the night, in the middle of nowhere. When you realize that’s a large part of the railroad engineer job, it’s no surprise that there are plenty of scary railroad engineer tales out there—and boy are they weird.
The Different Woman
“I am a freight conductor, we hit a young lady walking between the two main tracks at like five in the morning. That sucks 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 and heavy set and in her late 40s. She was walking toward the train leaning out in front of us.
But when myself and the brakeman walked back to find the woman, what we found did not match what I saw. She did not go under the train, so she was mostly in one piece. We found a Latina woman who was very thin, and—I later found out—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.” [Source]
There It Was
“My first time on a train I was traveling in Germany with my grandfather, and he noticed and pointed out to me that we were riding on the “wrong” tracks, we were northbound on the southern track. Our curiosity got the better of us when I pointed out that there were some guys in bright yellow vests doing some kind of maintenance. And then we noticed that there was blood and meat all shredded up on the tracks, we were going really slow cuz of the workers, and we watched intently and tried to figure out what kind of animal it had been, but no hooves or fur were discernible.
Then we went quite a distance without seeing many chunks, but the tracks were still bloody. Then there it was, a blue dress.” [Source]
“Working in a tunnel with two 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 gun: loud, hysterical screaming. Two 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 station’s 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. Still don’t know what it was to this day.” [Source]
“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.” [Source]
The Only One At The Funeral
“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 beer 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-90s 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 it 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 to the railing and kick in the door with a little force, it didn’t even have a lock anymore. I walk in and I immediately notice something very odd: the car 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 it’s 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.” [Source]
The Long Walk Home
“Not a train engineer, but once as a kid (13 or 14 years old) I was at a skating rink lock-in. About 8 AM, the owner said that she had to go, so I took off walking towards home. It was about twelve miles away. After about a mile, I knew I could get on the tracks and it would take me right in front of my house.
I was walking when I heard a train was coming in the distance. I moved off about 30 feet, as it approached, to the side away from the tracks. I witnessed a dog walk up to the tracks and lay its head flat on one of the tracks. As the train was getting closer I called for the dog. I was about 50 feet away. It did not respond.
I am sure the conductor did not see it but it severed the dogs head away from the body. I was totally freaked out. I cried for about an hour. Then I decided to bury the dog with the rocks beside the tracks. I still had about three hours before I would arrive home walking. I thought for a moment that this was this was a sign that I should do the same. As I walked, I came to the conclusion that I witnessed this so I would never take my own life.” [Source]
“I was on a standby crew at night during a storm with two other guys. I was put on a piece of equipment called a Cat Car, while the other two guys decided to hang out in the truck. With the Cat Car running to keep it warm, I decided to lock up and take a nap. I locked both doors with padlocks on the inside so there was no way anyone could get in without me letting them in.
A few hours later I awoke to some heavy wind and decided to check with the other guys to see if our supervisor had called with any trouble. When I got to the door, the lock was missing, but I couldn’t open the door. The same with the other door. I called the other guys to come help and when they got there they asked how I managed to lock the Cat Car from the outside.
If you’re not quite following that: the padlocks that were originally on the inside, locking the only two doors into the equipment, we’re now on the outside. The three of us couldn’t figure out what happened, and it creeped me out.” [Source]
“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, turn around, 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…” [Source]
“My uncle was a conductor on a train that hit a woman committing suicide that decided to take her dog with her. She lived, the dog didn’t.” [Source]
Walking The Rails
“My uncle was walking the rails (which you do to prevent derailments and such) and he had to pee. So he went into some woods. He said he walked up onto what he was sure was some kind of animal sacrifice. He called the other workers to see it and they were very creeped out. They just left and tried to make a joke of it.” [Source]
“When my dad was a kid, he and his friends were walking along the railroad tracks one day. They heard the train coming so they ran and hid in the bushes while it passed. Afterwards, the went back to what they were doing and about 5 minutes later came across what he says is by far the worst thing he has ever seen in his life. Someone tied up two dogs and left them on the tracks. They were both freshly decapitated.” [Source]
A Matter Of Seconds
“Probably the strangest, most messed up thing would be the time we hit a flock of sheep. At line speed (70 MPH). No idea how they got there, I guess the fence fell over or the gate was left open but the first I saw of them was what appeared to be long grass covering the tracks ahead. A second later, we realize they are sheep, so we start leaning on the whistle.
A matter of seconds after that and we’re on top of them. I can’t forget the awful, continuous noise it made, nor can I unsee the bits of wool and guts flicking up onto the windscreen. The smell itself was horrendous, especially once the heat of dead sheep started cooking itself on hot traction motors underneath.” [Source]
“This happened on the El train in Chicago.
I got on the orange line train heading north from Halsted. The train car was empty except for a passed out hobo in the corner. The next stop this weird looking old guy gets on, locks eyes with me as soon as he enters and, despite having a completely empty car’s worth of seats to choose from, sits down directly behind me. He never breaks eye contact as he does, and he had some of the most sunken blue eyes I had ever seen.
He rides behind me for a few stops while other people file in and out. The whole time I can feel him burning a hole in the back of my head. I get off at a transfer station, and I watch as the doors close behind me, Creepy Old Guy is still sitting in his seat, still gazing into my eyes as the train pulls away.
I ran through the station to my next train, and after riding it for several stops, I get out and look around for my friend who said she would meet me at the platform. As the people dissipated from the station and I looked for my friend, I realized the same guy from the train I had been on earlier, the same one that I saw pull away with him still on it, was at the end of the platform and still staring intensely at me. I froze, felt confusion slowly fade to horror and booked it out of there.” [Source]
“My uncle’s best friend was a conductor/engineer for a train years ago. He told me that one night he was going up through North Florida and saw some deer on the tracks, so he lays on the horn to scare them off. All but one ran off the tracks. The last one ran in front of the train, along the tracks. He had to slow the train slightly to keep from running the deer over, but couldn’t. The train caught up with the deer and he lost sight of it, believing he had just run it over.
When he got to the next city and slowed down for a turn, he noticed something on the side of the engine. He leaned out to see the deer laying on a set of steps just out of the view from his seat. It had jumped onto the train.
It ended up jumping off in the middle of the city, a few hundred miles from its home.” [Source]
“My dad works on the trains in Northern California. Quite a few years ago the foreman of the shop told him to check out the underside of the train and clear any debris. Wild dogs frequently get hit by the trains and can sometimes cause problems. A few minutes with a flash light and my dad sees part of a skull with long brown hair attached. Turns out the train had hit a drunk, from a nearby homeless camp, that had passed out on the tracks and the wild dogs kept getting hit because they were eating the poor bastard.” [Source]
“My buddy is a conductor and while he was driving his train, a girl ran out of a chapel in her wedding dress right onto the tracks.
Well, you know the ending. He was in therapy for quite a while.” [Source]
The Live Wire
“I work in the Electric Traction department of Amtrak in the northeast. One night we had a report of wire theft in a remote location along the Harrisburg run and we were sent out to investigate. Typically the work crews get there before the police, so we’ll usually hang back a bit until the men with guns get there in case the perpetrator is still there.
We show up and see some wire hanging and some guy laying on the ground. We assumed he hit a live wire, got fried, and is now dead. We walk up and shout to the guy, but we don’t get a response. After about 10 minutes, the police show up and start taking pictures of the scene. One cop grabbed a stick and poked the dead guy a few times just to make sure. No movement, definitely dead. The cop with the camera takes a picture of the dead guy. When the flash goes off, the dead guy jumps up, screams the loudest scream I’ve ever heard, and takes off running. The cop with the stick starts chasing after him with the stick above his head, while his partner and our crew just stand there trying to figure out what just happened.” [Source]