Large Scale Central

Unusual things on tracks

During the drought we lost a spaight of camels who were licking moisture off the rails and, well, kangaroos are just suicidal. (Herself and I have taken out 32 by our last count with the car).

You could imagine my surprise when I came across a story about emus being “retired” by the Queensland railway.


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When I worked for BNSF my “favorite” thing to hit on the tracks was possums. They’d like up on both sides of the rail in one big family and you’d hear them go pop, pop, pop , pop like popcorn. :joy:

The other fun animal was the big fat overweight geese and seagulls at the grain elevators. They got so fat they couldn’t fly so they’d waddle down the tracks trying to put run the train. Then splat.

Deer and elk were also really common to nail.

Many years ago BNSF had a big grain train derail up around Glacier National Park in the Rockies. They buried all the grain and come spring the bears all came out of hibernation and found the buried grain that had been slowly fermenting… The BNSF got in big trouble with that one. Try explaining how drunk bears got run over by a train.

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Hobo camp meat courtesy of the Railroad.


I’m just imagining you with some big game hunters trading hunting stories and them not understanding you toted an SD-45 or a GP-9 and that you never had had to aim. :cowboy_hat_face:

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Idaho changed its laws awhile back making it legal to take home road kill without any permits or tags. I wonder if that applies to track kill.

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maybe that depends of the name. if it was a railway or a railroad…

hat, coat, door…

I was in Kamiah, at deer time(dusk) saw three fresh kills, and a poor soul stopped a bit further down examining his truck…. Ran into Dale’s (local gas station / convenience store / firearms) grabbed whatever and came back down 12…. All three lonnnnng gone. Probably already hung up.

There’s an ever moving line separating the bush (the outback) from the city. It’s where you tell someone you’ve hit a roo.
City folk: how’s the roo?
Country folk: how’s the car?

Sort of like the latitude in America where on one side of the line, when you order tea, you get tea… and on the other you get iced tea.

I was riding eastbound on the Indian Pacific and asked a train attendant why i wasn’t seeing any kangaroos. He said… get close to the glass and look down at the track. And he was correct, i saw kangaroos…. But they were sleeping………

A little background on the law and why I find it amusing. I used to be a part time meat cutter during the hunting season and my job was exclusively to cut wild game. Back in the day, road kill was picked up by the highway department and the shop I worked for had the contract to process it into burger that was then fed to the local jail. Well of course someone somewhere decided this was a liability because the meat wasn’t USDA inspected meat, so that ended that. Now what to do with the road kill? They started hauling it to the land fill, nope, this was deemed an environmental hazard for some stupid reason. So what to do with the road kill? They decided to donate it to “zoos” with a very loose definition of what a zoo was. In Southern Idaho a wolf/dog hybrid breeder decided he was a zoo/wolf preserve even though he was clearly a dog breeder. This caused a hassle when some of the other “zoos” started to complain. So they canned that idea. So now what do we do with the road kill. . .Basically the answer was “to heck with it leave it and let it rot on the road”. This led to good old boys like me saying “that’s a stupid waste” so people started taking it home. After all on most larger animals its not like its road pizza it just banged up, broken, and bruised and then only where the direct hit is. Well then the Fish and Game got involved because now people were in possession of wild game without a license or tag, and most of the time out of season. So in frustration all the powers that be got together, and if I am not mistaken actually passed legislation, that made it officially legal to posses road kill at anytime without fees or permits.

Flash forward about 2 years and my daughter was on her way home late at night and calls me at some ungodly hour and asks me if I want a moose. One had been hit on the highway and the person who hit it went for a ride in an ambulance (so they didn’t want it). The highway patrolman directing traffic around the scene was asking each driver as they went by if they wanted it. Now in my fog of being suddenly woken I said no. What a dummy, moose meat is my favorite game meat and there is a heck of a lot of it. An hour or so beside the road and I could have had myself 500 pounds or so of meat. I regret that night’s decision.

My most recent funny encounter with it was on my way to work at 5:30 AM. I see the blue lights flashing up ahead in the center median of the freeway. As I got closer I saw a very banged up pickup truck and a cop car. As I drive by, I see the Highway Patrolman holding the leg of an elk so the guy whom I presume hit it could gut it.

I love being a being a good old boy from one of the last good old places left in the country.


My Granddaughter and family moved to the Twin Falls area from Northern California about a year or so ago for job related reasons.
My Grandson-in-law, an avid hunter/fisherman, was coming home from work one day and the car in front of him hit a deer, looked and left, my G-S-in L, stopped and called fish and game and a Warden showed up within a few minutes, asked the GS-in-L if he wanted the deer and loaned him a knife to dress the carcass.
Great program, I think we have a similar one in effect in Oregon.

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On the C&T the biggest issue is free range cows… Cows are stupid… just stupid. They think the level space between the rails is the best place to run in… and a fat cow kinda waddles. whistle blowing and chuffs scares them out of the way usually at the last minute. It’s a hell of a mess on the underside of a steam loco after a cow goes tumbling around under there for 50 yards or so…

Ground Beef with extra steam oil. Yum!

Wait, that rooster isn’t unusual, I keep seeing it on many model railroads in this forum. :grinning_face_with_smiling_eyes: