25 Railroad Workers Reveal The Most Brutal Scene They’ve Ever Come Across

You have no idea how much blood and guts railroad workers have seen. According to Ask Reddit, death is just part of the job.
Unsplash, Samuel Zeller
Unsplash, Samuel Zeller

1. I found pieces of a skull on the rails

“I’m a railway engineer in the UK, this time of year is the worst for suicides, with 2 in the last two days on the route I work on. I’ve been track inspecting before and from the clean-up of a suicide the night before they’ve missed a few bits, so what appears to be a bit of skull or kneecap can be seen. The worst bit is the smell. You become aware of the drug spots across the route too with the number of needles under bridges. I’ve seen bongs made out of all sorts, blow-up dolls, vibrators and worst to this day – half a used fleshlight.

My gut wrenches the most when I see pets. Cats and dogs are frequently found.

Some aresholes in certain spots are taping or gluing used needles to our access gates too – total sickos.” — magicmike87

2. We heard ghosts in the tunnels

“Working in a tunnel with 2 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 kinda loud hysterical screaming. 2 of us start sprinting towards the noise and after 5-10 minutes we realise there is nothing there at all, no noise or sign of people. We are so sure we heard screaming we go to the next stations 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 that was creepy

Have heard a colleague speak about walking alone in the tunnels, again away from all people close to him on the night, and hear someone whispering and another colleague hear chains at an abandoned station. I’m not a supernatural person but have no reason to doubt these guys stories as they were told to me 1 on 1 when I asked a similar question to OP. Very quiet when you’re on your own underground so could be mind playing tricks I guess but still a creepy experience

Also, to lighten up the spookiness, there are a few women who actively flash train drivers from their houses that back on to the train lines. Never seen any of them but been in a cab with different drivers talking about it happening.” — joedude20

3. I found a skeleton that was a decade old

“I work as a backup janitor when the normal one isn’t availible, I’ve seen some very weird things at the places I’ve cleaned. There’s the usaul 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 90’s 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 off since I had seen many bums at the various places I cleaned, they usally 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 the railing and kick in the door with little force, it didn’t even have a lock anymore, I walk in and I immediately notice something very odd, it is in near mint conditon. 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 its 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 layed 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, sad and creepy!” — kitterpup

4. We watched scavengers pick apart a pony

“I’m a Conductor so I’m the guy that sits directly to the left of the engineer. I haven’t been doing it for too long yet so I probably haven’t seen the amount of stuff a qualified engineer has. My first week as a trainee on the job we came across a dead pony next to the tracks that must have been hit only a few hours earlier. The next morning going back the other way we passed by it again and it looked like what you would expect to see on a Discovery Channel show. Scavengers had gotten to it that night and it was maybe half a pony at this point. Nature is pretty rad.” — GrootTheLivingTree

5. We saw chunks of a woman’s body

“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.” — Millwalky

6. We watched a man butcher a carcass

“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 Lechter, and gives the milepost. I look at him sideways but he doesn’t explain. We continue our run into the city, turnaround, 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 camoflage 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…” — JloveG

7. People died slowly when they committed suicide

“Dads a RR guy in a bigger city yard. He’s seen so much death, sooooo much death. Mostly suicides, people jumping in front of trains or laying down on the tracks. He says if you don’t lay the right way it can actually take you a few minutes to die because the weight of the cars seals off anything broken. So even if you’re ripped in half it takes a few minutes to bleed out.

Unless you really want to die horribly and slowly, don’t lay on the tracks to die. Jump in front of the train. Or you know get fucking help and don’t traumatize the people who end up killing up you. No really Get Help: USANational Suicide Prevention Lifeline 1-800-273-TALK(8255).” — SlutSarahLance

8. A man had his legs sheared off

“Been a conductor for about 8 years now. The main thing I have noticed about human behavior since I started working for the RR is that people seem to view a train as a machine instead of a vehicle being driven by people. Because of this, they are willing to do horrible/ridiculous/dangerous things that they probably wouldn’t do if they thought another human being was going to be involved. Here’s my list of shit my coworkers and I have seen:

  1. More teenagers fucking than you can shake a railroad lantern at.
  2. Drunks and druggies lost in the middle of nowhere… like MILES from anywhere.
  3. A coworker came across a train hopper that had his legs sheared off when he tried to jump in an intermodal car without a bottom. The guy lived too.
  4. Another coworker found a teenage murder victim whose pimp tried to cover up her murder by dumping her body on a remote controlled locomotive track.
  5. 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.
  6. I hit a man committing suicide. I was oblivious to what was going on until my engineer said “I think that guy is going to jump in front of us”. I could see guy trying to time his jump. It was pretty disturbing because there was nothing you could do.
  7. A coworker came across $250,000 in counterfeit money in a gym bag.
  8. My uncle hit a cow once and managed to knock its asshole out.
  9. Some guys laid a bunch of landscaping stones and tie plates on top of the tracks for about 100 yards in front of their trailer park. We could see them all standing back from the tracks drinking beers and waiting. It was all fun and games until our 12k ton train started crushing all the stones and sending shrapnel everywhere.
  10. A train one of my coworkers was on snagged a chain link fence that was being installed and rolled up the guys installing it inside the fencing. They don’t think anyone got hurt. It was a pretty rough area though, so they didn’t stop to find out.” — superking01

9. The dog’s head was severed

“Not a train engineer, but once as a kid (13-14)I was forgotten 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 ft, 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 ft 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 not ever take my own life. Since it was very disturbing to those left to witness. I’ve told this story to others since and onetime a vet tech told me that the dog must have known it was sick. When I got home and the others woke up, I told them about what I had witnessed and they accused me of making it up since they forgot me. It stuck with me for a long time.” — cabronoso

10. An ammunition train exploded

“Friend of the family is a now retired rail road man. He was in a caboose during WWII on an ammunition train when it exploded and he some how got out alive. Another time very close to the same place of the explosion they had to stop the train one night. Engineer called back saying they were going to be there awhile so he could get off and stretch his legs. He did jus that and stepped off a bridge and fell about 20 feet and broke a leg.

I was volunteer fireman. One 10 below zero day we were called to a body on the tracks. I expected a body in five or more pieces. He was rolled up in a ball instead. He had been there all night, wonder how long it took to thaw him out.

Second body on track, he was in at least five pieces. Thought it was an accident but, letter was found in his home saying he was going to kill himself.” — zephyer19

11. A crying woman commited suicide

“My dad was one for a while. He was working at a station one day and there was a woman crying on one of the benches. A few of the staff asked if she was okay or needed help, but she completely ignored them.

Next thing they knew, she threw herself in front of one of the express trains. They were finding pieces of her as far as the next station along.” — a_jill_sandwich

12. An old man was caught underneath the train

“My brother was a lifeguard and used to walk to work across several train tracks. One day, a train was stopped on one of the tracks and my brother saw a figure lying prostrate next to the train in a pool of blood. It turns out the guy had tried to crawl underneath the train while it was stopped only to have the train start moving while he was underneath it. The guy must have been about 60 years old. The train had crushed one of his legs. Being a lifeguard, my brother made a tourniquet, called 911, etc. The man survived, but his leg had to be amputated. The paramedics said that he would have died within the hour from blood loss if my brother hadn’t been there.” — jokerblues

13. I caught a sketchy man at an abandoned house

“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.” — greenlantern33

14. I’ve hit a few people with the train

“Locomotive engineer from the northeast US here with 15 years service.

Aside from the dead animals I think finding a body that was hit by a previous train might have been the creepiest. I’ve hit a few cars and people before but I never had to go back and look (that’s the conductor’s job). The person we found wasn’t really identifiable as a human being, just a pile of meat. What gave it away were the scraps of clothing mixed into the pile.

As far as weird things, there are a few people out there that are really ‘in love’ with trains. You can use your imagination as to what these grown men do in the middle of nowhere at 2am.” — 5ptBRO

15. People play chicken with the trains

“Freight train conductor here, wanna know what’s creepy or weird? When people try to get across the tracks last second or play chicken with my 30 million pound train. You’re not playing chicken with an inanimate object you’re playing with me and my engineer. When you lose, and it happen far too often, I get to see your exploded carcass flipping at 150 RPMs off the track and deal with the overwhelming feeling of guilt. Please don’t try to beat a train.” — THESALTEDPEANUT

16. She pleasured herself in front of us all

“I work in Houston, as an engineer, and we usually putt around town between 10-20 mph. Slow enough for a naked crack head to jump out of a bush by a city park and start pleasuring herself in front of the engine. I guess she really likes trains.

I also had a kid play chicken with my train when I was going about 50mph, but that was more scary than weird. I haven’t hit anybody yet, but everybody says it’s only a matter of time.” — rolemodel38

17. We hit a bunch of sheep

“Probably the strangest/most messed up thing would be the time we hit a flock of sheep. At line speed (110kph or about 70mph). No idea how they got there, 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 realise they are sheep so start leaning on the whistle.

A matter of seconds after that and we’re on top of them. Can’t forget the awful, continuous noise it made nor can I unsee the bits of wool and guts on 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.

We pulled up at the next crossing loop to cross another train so we got out and viewed the damage. I used to have photos but that phone has since died.” — TheBeerMonkey

18. My uncle struck a pedestrian

“My railroad runs parallel with another company’s railroad that my uncle is an engineer for. A few years ago my train was held up at a spot we normally stop at when there’s congestion ahead (you can fit a 7000-foot train there without blocking any public roads).

After a short time, we began to see several emergency vehicles at the next crossing up (about 1000 yards away). We were northbound and there was a southbound train at the site of the commotion.

I used to work at the same railroad as my uncle and I made some phone calls to see who was on that particular train and come to find out it was him. He had struck a pedestrian and killed him with his train. It was his third fatality as an engineer.

Our trains sat facing each other for over an hour before I found out it was him. Maybe this story doesn’t fit exactly, but I thought it was a little weird and wanted to share.” — zwade01

19. He witnessed an animal sacrifice

“A large part of my family works for the railroad and hear is what I’ve heard (not all creepy but scary):

1) My dad, who is a no nonsense six-foot six-inch man, came home one night after a derailment and was white as a sheet. He told my mom he met a man walking away from the derailment, which was in the middle of the woods. He didn’t think it was too weird because some people check out wrecks and derailments. Anyway, my dad gets to the derailment and says hey to my uncle. The cause of the derailment was a truck that had been hit and then pushed by the engine. Now, none of this is weird until my dad sees the man in the truck… It looked like a beat up version of the man he met on the way to the derailment. He got the man’s driver’s license when the sheriff’s deputy showed up. The way my uncle put it was ‘your dad almost passed out and had to sit down. He didn’t say why because you don’t do that around railroad men.’

2) 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 weird shit. 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.

3) The number of drunk hobos/homeless people who pass out on the rails is oddly high.

4) Also, a hobo was found dead in a hooper car (the kind that are open and typically hold grain). They figured since it was the summer he wanted more air circulation and hopped in that one. Well, the car was filled and no one really looks in it. It wasn’t figured out until the car was unloaded.” — AwayWeThrow504

20. He had to grab a human head

“My brother in law oversees the maintenance of all kinds of trains. I asked him this very question a while ago. He said that all sorts of weird shit ends up on the front of trains. Most notably he once had to remove a human head embedded in the front. Where the rest of the body is, we’ll probably never know.” — br0nc0_luc_picard

21. Wild dogs were eating his body

“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 near by homeless camp, that had passed out on the tracks and the wild dogs kept getting hit because they were eating the poor bastard.” — nawniemaria

22. I found a dead kangaroo

“Somewhat relevant, I am a station attendant I have a few stories.

Found a dead kangaroo on a train so I had to lock of the carriage to the train.

Had to stop a lady from been on the tracks who was attempting to commit suicide, (I think it was a bad break up) trains where cancelled so she wouldn’t be hit managed to calm her down and convinced her to get up and call a friend to meet her.

Had to stand in the way of a deranged woman who threatened to jump in front of a train in till the police arrived.

Had a homeless person steal an artificial plant after I stopped him from breaking into one of the station shops.

A lady’s handbag managed to pull an escalator step out she wanted her handbag damages to be paid by the rail company, we said only if she paid for the repair of the escalator…

Lots of sex and sex toys in strange places…

There are others but I think that is enough…” — boblikesbeer

23. I thought I found a dead child

“I thought I found a dead baby under a bridge. I was stopped waiting for my signal and I noticed a bundle of clothes and what looked like the body of a small child underneath the bridge. My heart was pounding like crazy as I approached it. Turned out is was a doll, some used needles, and some discarded clothes. I was relieved.” — 3riversfantasy

24. I came across a nudist colony

“Went by a few movie shoots. Biggest one was the first Transformers movie. The scene where Bumblebee gets caught. A lot of movies are shot in that area by the 1st street bridge in LA. Pretty sure there is a porn studio not far from there too.

There is a nudist colony on one run where an old guy would always come out and wave at the trains. Knew we were coming since there were road crossings that we had to whistle for.

Got mooned by some guys on a golf course. Not pretty…” — Whippedkreme

25. People were crushed by machines

“Up in the coal mines of Wyoming they have what railcrews call the golden arches. It’s just a yellow painted framework that has speakers on it that the empty coal trains pass through. A warning is played on repeat saying in Spanish and English: ‘Danger! Get out! This car is about to be loaded!’ Loaded coal cars get dumped at power plant pits where huge augers break it up. I guess more than a few poor souls have been augered up accidentally after being cover up with coal.” — AdishBestServed_Cold Thought Catalog Logo Mark

Holly is the author of Severe(d): A Creepy Poetry Collection.

Keep up with Holly on Instagram, Twitter and Amazon

More From Thought Catalog