Thursday, February 16th, 2012

Modern diesel locomotives have working brass bells on them, same as steam engines from the old days. Nobody knows why – it’s probably because there’s an ancient federal law on the books that nobody’s bothered to delete, or it could be just because it’s an old railroad tradition. Instead of being mounted on the top of the loco it’s usually hidden away behind a fuel tank or inside a wheel well, but it’s still there and they still use it. You probably heard it the last time you were waiting for a train and you didn’t even realize where that sound was coming from.

Here’s what I wonder: Who makes bells? There are thousands of locomotives running around the countryside, maybe tens of thousands. If every one of them has a bell on it, somebody somewhere is working furiously to cast bells who otherwise would have shut down production decades ago, because who needs bells these days? Just railroads, that’s who.

bell | 8:49 pm CST
Category: daily drivel | Tags: ,
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