• Self defense and the RR

  • General discussion about railroad operations, related facilities, maps, and other resources.
General discussion about railroad operations, related facilities, maps, and other resources.

Moderator: Robert Paniagua

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  by kevikens
 
When my father-in-law worked on the rail postal car and carried a .38 there did not seem to be any concern over liability or anything else.
  by 3rdrail
 
Were the armed employees on the RPO's Federal P.O. employees or RR employees ?
  by kevikens
 
He worked for the post office and worked on the Reading and PRR. He took the gun to work concealed and strapped it on in the RPO and that included when he got off the car to attend to any postal business at a station or when he took a break at a stop (where he once attracted the attention of the Secret Service-FDR was on board). Nobody else ever took notice or raised objections or seemed to be concerned about liability. Funny story. He once forget to take the revolver with him when he left for work and called home and told his teen age sister to bring it to 30th St Station. She did. In a paper bag and she rode the El in from 69th St. I never did find out if the thing was loaded.
  by 3rdrail
 
A small group of hand-picked federal postal workers is a big leap from arming railroad men who work outside.
  by scharnhorst
 
There was a time when Postal Employees were armed with a shot gun or a pistol when working on an RPO Car but that was in the old west back in the day before the railroads hired out to the Pinkerton Agency.
  by Desertdweller
 
I worked with a conductor who told me his father had been a postal clerk on a RPO. He was a Post Office employee. They carried handguns as standard procedure.

Les
  by kevikens
 
Scharhorst; My father-in- law worked on the RPO cars in the 1930's and 1940's until he went into the army. He, and the other postal workers, carried holstered.38 Smith and Wesson's, hardly the wild West days and I doubt that Pinkertons would have worked Federal postal cars. Perhaps Pinkertons worked the express agencies like Wells Fargo or Adams and they may have had shotguns but I doubt that the RPO employees did. At least my father-in-law never mentioned shotguns
  by scharnhorst
 
kevikens wrote:Scharhorst; My father-in- law worked on the RPO cars in the 1930's and 1940's until he went into the army. He, and the other postal workers, carried holstered.38 Smith and Wesson's, hardly the wild West days and I doubt that Pinkertons would have worked Federal postal cars. Perhaps Pinkertons worked the express agencies like Wells Fargo or Adams and they may have had shotguns but I doubt that the RPO employees did. At least my father-in-law never mentioned shotguns

The Pinkerton's or a U.S. Marshal would have been in the cars right up till maybe 1900 if I remember correctly to protect gold or Silver when it was being transported in the RPO Cars West of Chicago on the UP, ATSF and other Western Railroads where they still had issues with train robbers.
  by Gadfly
 
While not meant as a weapon, I know of fellow workers who used a hanlan lantern for great effect! One night many years ago, a conductor was stopped, fouling a crossing shy of Hayne Yard, Spartanburg, SC. A loud-mouth (and slightly drunk) punk began yelling and cussin' the conductor. The conductor came out of his cab and climbed down to try to explain to the guy, and the obnoxious guy brandished a switchblade at him! My colleague used his lantern and smacked him upside his head! It laid him O U T, man! He had a knot beside his eye the size of an Irish potato! :) They didn't do anything to him, especially with the switchblade laying there beside the cold-cocked attacker! It was the attacker, not the conductor, that was charged with assault with a deadly weapon!

GF
  by kevikens
 
In South Carolina one can defend oneself quite readily. In some Northeastern states I am not so sure the conductor would have been held harmless. In some places one is required to retreat and when he got out of the cab to confront that individual he could have opened himself up to charges, particularly if that "punk"'s injury had turned out to be fatal. The headline in Boston or NYC or Newark would have been: YOUTH SLAIN BY ROGUE RAILROAD EMPLOYEE" Parents to sue conductor,railroad, city, lantern manufacturer and papacy (the conductor was an alatar boy).
  by scharnhorst
 
I knew a few guys that worked for a Railroad contractors that often had large cans of pepper spray which could shoot up to 15 or 20 feet which was always nice to have and on occasion would come in handy when running into critters along the tracks like moose or bears in Canada. I had a crew chief on one of the Sperry Cars that I worked on had two cattle prod's which worked nice for moving cattle off the tracks and the occasional Mexican trying to jump on the car when we would be making a run to get out of Mexico. Even small pocket tazers came in handy with problem people trying to hitch a ride.
  by Gadfly
 
Here's an idea that I use in my personal vehicle. Keep a can of Wasp/Hornet spray nearby.
It will temporily blind an assailant. it will shoot up to 20 feet. It is not classified as a "weapon" except in the most idiotic of states, and it is cheaper than pepper spray. The cops cannot "ding" you for having it, and should you be questioned, all you gotta say is, "well, I had it in my grocery bag and it fell out". When accosted by a would-be assailant, you can then tell the cop that I had to find something quick to defend myself and that was the first thing I could find! Even personal defense people tell their clients to do this--it was even broadcast on local TV, so it is not "hearsay". I was once accosted by a drunk neighbor, and I grabbed my can of wasp spray. He was advancing on me (because I shooed his dog away about to sh-t in my yard) and I quickly grabbed my Hornet spray. He backed off!

I don't know about you, but I am not about to stand still and be beaten to death by some filthy punk and stupid, el pinko, snot-nosed laws and lefist legislators that, due to their bleeding hearts and idiocy, cause the perpetrators to become the "victims" and the victims to be at fault!!!! :( That is a crock of crap!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I walked many a spooky yard at 2 AM, and I would not have hesitated to knock the sh-t out of some scumbag if it had become necessary!!!!!!!!! Those old metal lanterns, of which I still have one, make real good, skull-busters!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

GF
  by Gadfly
 
And BTW, that's one of the reasons I have NO desire to ever visit NYC, Noo Joisey, or ANY of the "rust belt"! Common sense laws are scarce up there! LOL!

GF
  by Desertdweller
 
GF,

Well stated!
Was it a Star or a Handlan? Be sure it has a battery in it (for the weight).

I once worked with a conductor who was flagging a crossing at night while I shoved a cut of tank cars across it. Some idiot drove right around him, into my path. The conductor threw his lantern into the car's windshield. It got the driver's attention, all right.

Good improvised self-defense weapons in the cab: the fire extinguisher and the air hose wrench.

Les
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