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Admiral Biscuit


he/him

T
Source

This story is a sequel to Interview with a Cab Driver


While Spuds doesn’t always enjoy travel for the sake of it, the ponies he meets along the way often make it worth it, and this trip is no exception. The trip up the hill is in a creaky superannuated combine with the entire car to himself, but at the summit one of the railroaders from the helper climbs aboard the coach, and she’s got a story to tell.

Chapters (1)
Comments ( 42 )

Buttons on her butt. Nice.

Man, if someone named "Stumpy", told me to slow down and be careful, I'd like to think that I'd give a moment's thought to how they learned that lesson themselves...

Is it a story telling? Spuds, buddy, you could write an entire book of short stories from the train yard.Granted, at some point you'd cross the line from journalist to folklorist, and possibly into hippopology.

Georg #5 · 1 week ago · · ·

10974498 Back before the coupler standardization, there used to be 'pins' that went through the link-and-pin couplers to hold the cars together. Since there were so many different kinds of couplers, there were all kinds of weird pins that developed (see here for a quick lesson). When a railroad manager would look for an experienced brakeman, he looked for missing fingers because the longer you worked as a brakeman, the more likely you were to have one or more amputated. Smart brakemen when asked if they wanted to work XYZ train headed out would raise their hands with one or two fingers tucked down. (Ye gads, I read that in a comic more than 40 years ago.)

Absolutely fascinating. I didn't catch half the lingo either, but I've always loved how certain professions have their own dialects.

iisaw #7 · 1 week ago · · ·

Great story! I hope we hear more from Spuds in the future.

I miss crummies. Damned EOT units got no soul to 'em. :ajbemused:

This was a great story. I’ve been a rail fan since childhood and read so many railroad stories in books and magazines that I new exactly what Button was talking about.

You always bring such terrific detail to your stories and it makes them interesting and delightful to enjoy!

10974932
I saw the very end of the caboose era and I miss them. EOTs , for all their functionality, just aren’t as nice as seeing the lights of a crummy on the end of a long freight train.

Definitely her not so cutie mark,but as a transit worker, it's true.

Blood, or thousands of volts, or sometimes a big burnt spot. Rules are writ, and on the paper back of a thousand incident reports and newspaper accounts.

Buttons yawned and covered her hoof with a belated hoof.

I assume that first “hoof” is supposed to be “mouth” or “muzzle”?

Quite a fun read, though like Spuds all that lingo went over my head. Had to keep that vocab list handy!

"long enough to learn everything I thought I needed enough to know."
"long enough to learn everything I thought I needed to know."?

"and a lighting—a telegraph operator"
"and a lightning—a telegraph operator"?

"Buttons yawned and covered her hoof with a belated hoof"
"Buttons yawned and covered her mouth with a belated hoof"?

10974428
It’s a proper medical repair :heart:

10974498

Man, if someone named "Stumpy", told me to slow down and be careful, I'd like to think that I'd give a moment's thought to how they learned that lesson themselves...

I know, right? Sadly, lots of rookies have to learn the lessons for themselves rather than trust somepony who’s been there and done that.

Is it a story telling? Spuds, buddy, you could write an entire book of short stories from the train yard.Granted, at some point you'd cross the line from journalist to folklorist, and possibly into hippopology.

He really could—he really should, although perhaps that’s unfair to the other ponies who work in other industries.

10974707
And some of the slang from those days still holds on, like pinning on a car.

Obviously, for non-industrial railroads, it became apparent reasonably quickly that being able to interchange the cars (and therefore wanting a standard wheel gauge and coupler) was a good thing. The current design is based on the Janney coupler, first patented in 1873. They’re commonly called ‘knuckle couplers.’

I think that there may still be some industrial railroads using link and pin for specialty operations, although I’m not entirely sure of that.

Some quick wikipediaing showed me a picture of a knuckle coupler which had a provision for a link to be attached, if you were coupling older equipment which hadn’t been converted yet.
upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/d/df/Early_Janney-type_AAR_coupler.JPG

10974919

Absolutely fascinating.

Thank you! :heart:

I didn't catch half the lingo either, but I've always loved how certain professions have their own dialects.

Sometimes it’s best to learn that type of thing from immersion, I think. And yeah, it is interesting how professions have their own dialects and lingo, probably more than you’d think. Sometimes it’s just little stuff and other times it’s all sorts of terminology.

10974932

Great story! I hope we hear more from Spuds in the future.

Hopefully we will, there’s lots of working mares and stallions out there who have stories to tell, and he’s always got ears to listen.

I miss crummies. Damned EOT units got no soul to 'em. :ajbemused:

I know, right?

10975112

This was a great story. I’ve been a rail fan since childhood and read so many railroad stories in books and magazines that I new exactly what Button was talking about.

I don’t have the full vocab, unfortunately, although I’ve picked up a thing or two in my years. :heart: When I was a kid, we had a shortline that ran practically in our backyard, and I’ve been interested in trains since then, and you can never go wrong with a good railroad story.

You always bring such terrific detail to your stories and it makes them interesting and delightful to enjoy!

Thank you! :heart:

I saw the very end of the caboose era and I miss them. EOTs , for all their functionality, just aren’t as nice as seeing the lights of a crummy on the end of a long freight train.

I think I only saw a couple cabooses ‘live’ in my lifetime. Pretty sure they were Chessie cabooses—the local shortline didn’t come along until 1986, and we lived in that house starting in 1982, and I think that those lines were ex-C&O . . . I’d have to look up the history, TBH. Probably originally Pere Marquette tracks, if I had to guess.

10975215

Definitely her not so cutie mark,but as a transit worker, it's true.

One of the risks of the trade, even now.

Blood, or thousands of volts, or sometimes a big burnt spot. Rules are writ, and on the paper back of a thousand incident reports and newspaper accounts.

Yeah, and even now those rules are still being writ, unfortunately. Switching’s a dangerous enough job even if you don’t take shortcuts.

10975374

I assume that first “hoof” is supposed to be “mouth” or “muzzle”?

Yes . . . correction made, thank you!

Quite a fun read, though like Spuds all that lingo went over my head. Had to keep keep that vocab list handy!

He needs to spend more time with railroaders, then he’ll learn it all.

I’ll be honest, I had to keep the list handy, too. I knew some of the slang, but certainly not all of it.

10975473
corrections made, thank you! :heart:

10975488
...and then he moved to Innocence to avoid copyright infringement and everything went to Tartarus.

"or worse run through a switch so the yard goat had to pin on again"

.. and that works if it's an actual goat or not.

10975494
in 2005 there was ONE railroad left in the US that used link and pins, and it was an industrial line for a brickworks. It ran from their clay pit to the factory. I forget where exactly, but Trains Magazine did an article on them. I would imagine they have shut down since, but I'm not sure

10975496
Can confirm. Between me (the astrophysicist), my sister (the neuroscientist), and my two brothers (computer geeks), my dad likes to joke that he's not qualified to sit at his own dinner table. And he has a degree in aerospace, i.e., he is literally a rocket scientist. At least he makes a good audience for practicing science communication.

10975573

...and then he moved to Innocence to avoid copyright infringement and everything went to Tartarus.

Just looking at the story description and whatnot, I’m thinking of the Adult Conspiracy from the Xanth novels . . .

Also not entirely sure it’s okay to link that, due to rating. . .

10975579

.. and that works if it's an actual goat or not.

It does!

10975688

in 2005 there was ONE railroad left in the US that used link and pins, and it was an industrial line for a brickworks. It ran from their clay pit to the factory. I forget where exactly, but Trains Magazine did an article on them. I would imagine they have shut down since, but I'm not sure

Huh, that’s interesting. I would have actually expected more, TBH, although I guess there aren’t all that many small industrial railroads any more (I presume most of them use off-the-shelf tech, since that’d be cheaper than having your own equipment).

I don’t remember coming across that article, but then that was sixteen years ago . . . if my back issues were in order, I could probably find it easily enough, but they aren’t.

10975730

Can confirm. Between me (the astrophysicist), my sister (the neuroscientist), and my two brothers (computer geeks), my dad likes to joke that he's not qualified to sit at his own dinner table. And he has a degree in aerospace, i.e., he is literally a rocket scientist. At least he makes a good audience for practicing science communication.

We also have a rather diverse collection of knowledge in my family, although also enough common ground that things can mostly be explained without getting too much in the vernacular/trade language. Although I will admit, my brother (who is also a rocket scientist/aerodynamic engineer) does stuff I don’t fully understand. He’s good at it, though.

10976130
IIRC, it was in the issue with the article about 844 titled "Never Retired". either that or the issue with the railroads of Route 66

10976182
Didn’t find the article, but did find it on the web: Palmetto Brick. Some quick googling suggests that the rail operations are shut down, but that’s not for sure.

Here’s a vid of operations from 2008:

10976127
I have no idea what that is, but if it's not okay to think it, it's probably that.

For years I had that story listed at T. I only recently changed it to M after realizing no sane person would consider it T and the ratings are mostly for sane people. I guess I never considered a sane person might try to read my most disturbing stories, at least if they expected to stay that way.

Aw, that was lovely! Really like Buttons.

First time they told me to get orders from the lightning slinger, I looked up for a pegasus.

Now I'm wondering if everything that relies on electricity in Equestria has some pegasus-sounding name ;)
Anyway. Took me long enough to get around to read this, but you always manage to pull me into the story after a few paragraphs.

10976351

I have no idea what that is, but if it's not okay to think it, it's probably that.

The basic gist is the ‘adult conspiracy’ is sexual stuff which non-adults don’t know but learn when they become adults. In Xanth (IIRC) because it’s a magical, punny ‘verse, children can’t see/hear anything involved in it. I think seeing something they shouldn’t just was sorta blurred out in their vision, although it’s been a long time since I’ve read any of those stories so I don’t remember for sure.

10982934

Now I'm wondering if everything that relies on electricity in Equestria has some pegasus-sounding name ;)

It honestly would make sense if it did, wouldn’t it?

Anyway. Took me long enough to get around to read this, but you always manage to pull me into the story after a few paragraphs.

:heart:

Stay tuned, I’ve got another story with trains in the near-future.

10983276
Ah, I see. That actually describes another story I have posted here that is currently on hiatus, but I don't think it has the Sex tag.

You should write something where somepony thinks they're meeting a trans pony but they're actually meeting a trains pony and madcap hijinx occur.

...or vice versa. I suppose asking somepony about whether or not they have a tunnel might seem rude. :trollestia:

10986939
something something "Transpotting"

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