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Ed-Koski
  1. Eds Tales (Click To Jump)
  2. The Helper In The Cupboard
  3. How To Scare Hoboes
  4. Teaching Basu To Drive
  5. How To Get A Reporters Attention
  6. Pulling A prank ON "Spic"
  7. Snow Slides At Rogers Pass
  8. The Lost Coupler
  9. Vacant Spot

"Ed Koski Railroad Tales"

C.P.R., Carman & Crane Operator,





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Disclaimer:,
Ed wants to catagorically stress that any photo's or written submissions are solely to illistrate his job tasks during his career as a carman, he absolutely in no way will ever place blame or suspected cause related to any mishap or accident toward his employer Canadian Pacific Railway, or any involved 3rd party.


The Helper in the Cupbord

By Ed Koski,    9-04-2008

Hi Walter
I will try to send my stories as they occurred , one at a time, ( the best ones were when I was working nights in the train yard at Revelstoke B.C. ( a divisional point ). There were 5 guy's to a shift on night's we were all around 19 to 25 years old and I can attest to the fact that I looked forward to going to work to see what would happen tonight !!!!!! My first recollection was a helper we had on nights named Glen Durand ( about 4' 3" tall ) nice comical guy, but he worked 2400-0800 and we all worked 2300-0700, anyhow there was a derailment somewhere so no trains, the foreman called over on the hand crank phone from the rip track and said " I don't care what you guy's do , but there better be at least 1 light on in that shack all night so when the general car Forman comes on in the morning he see's your all up " we all instantly grabbed our favorite chair and pillow and settled in for the night, ( firstly removing a bulb from a flashlight and sticking it between the coils of a lantern battery in the window of the ground level carknockers shack ) so when Glen came in an hour later there was nothing for him to sleep in or on, so we took him over beside the coffee pot and opened up the cupboards and slid him into the top shelve, he sort of had to sleep coffin style with his hands crossed over his chest flat on his back, it worked ! About 5.30 in the morning in stomps Bill Kovach general car Forman, hollering and yelling get up, clean up this pig sty, he starts cleaning off the tables and sorting out newspapers and the like, we are all sitting up , rubbing the sleep out of our eyes trying to look somewhat like we are ok, we think we have it handled, THEN he pours a cup of coffee and looks for the sugar, he opens the cupboard-##$#@# there is glen laying there --- eye to eye, GOOD MORNING BILL ! the coffee went flying through the air, Bill stomps out " I CAN" T TAKE THIS SHIT ANYMORE !!! " I loved being a carknocker in the old days of Revelstoke, ( its not the same anymore )      Ed




How to Scare Hoboes

By Ed Koski,    9-02-2008

I wanted to share my hobo story, I didn't actually witness this but a good friend pulled it off, I worked night shift and the way freight would be built on nights but would be sent out on the day shift. Its the spring of 1976, I coupled up the way freight, only 3 cars and a caboose and I heard some guy's talking in the middle boxcar, I am on the station side of the train and the doors are all closed so I never seen these guy's anyhow I talked to the day shift carman and mentioned there were hobo's in the middle car, they said ya ok. What took place next was incredible ! Greg Banks did the brake test on the way freight, he hears the hobo's inside and knows the door is open facing straight up main street in Revelstoke, so Greg grabs 3 or 4 track torpedoes from the caboose and places them a couple feet apart under the boxcar the hobo's were in and then calls the head end and gives him the ok on the brake test, then he waits until the wayfreight starts to pull and then bangs his bar on the side of the boxcar and yells "CP POLICE " "GET OUT OR I"LL SHOOT " then the wheel hits the torpedoes BANG--BANG--BANG-BANG well these three guys bail out of that boxcar and are doing the 100 yd dash and never looked back !!




Teaching Basu To Drive In The Snow

By Ed Koski,    9-07-2008

Night shift winter of 1976, a east Indian fellow named Bazu has hired on ( about 20 years older than any of us ) just immigrated to Canada, apparently had servants and worked for the Indian railway, we quickly realized we could bullshit him with about anything we talked about, one night he shows up to work with this about 1962 Chevy impala pile of junk with four bald tires , we get our first snowfall of the winter that night, so of course he has a million question about driving in snow, he has never done it, well it was quite a chore for all of us to keep straight faces all the while explaining in detail how to do this, little things like if your car starts to slide simply put the gas pedal right to the floor and keep it there, it will straighten out no problem, so here is the scene, 7 am were all in the parking lot to watch Bazu pull away, there is barely a grade and he can't move, so I back my truck up in front of him , pass him the end of a 3/8 chain and tell him to hook it on something strong, he's on his knees looking underneath his car he pulls on everything he can reach but cannot decide what is strong enough, next we hear this rap-rap-rap he jumps up holding his fingers that somehow found the fan %#$@@ he yells, but he's ok, so I attach the chain and pull him out, we tell him to go first , he has this nervous smile but away he goes, when you leave the train yard , you cross the tracks and go down a small incline onto the main street of Revelstoke, beside that is the large parking lot of CO-OP grocery store, Basu must turn right after he goes down the incline , well as soon as he turns thats is he is into the most beautiful donut I have ever seen, all we can see are his arms cranking that steering wheel for all he is worth and a roar of black smoke straight out the back for 20 or so feet as the car goes around and around finally coming to stop up against the plate glass windows, that thankfully didn't break. loved that one !!!!!           Ed




How To Get A Reporters Attention

By Ed Koski,    Nov.-2008

Ok, enough stories when I was young and dumb, here's one from a propane derailment in the yard at Kamloops B.C. ( about 300 miles east of Vancouver ) approx summer of 1980, there is a derrick ( auxiliary crew ) stationed in Kamloops but need our assistance. We arrive at about daybreak, to find 7 loaded tanks of propane all on their side in the yard, still coupled together. Our carforeman calls us together to pull straws as to who gets to cut the the drawbars, naturally me being the junior man that trip got the stortest straw. The rail yard is two blocks from city centre ( 120,000 ) fair big city, anyhow the fire dept is on site and is going to apply foam directly to the area where I will cut, so I pull the torch down out of the cranes boom where the reel is mounted and start pulling the gun end to the first coupler, I hear a loud commotion of people yelling, but pay no attention until WHAM !!!! I am tackled to the ground like a bad quarter back, laying there in the dirt trying figure out what just happened, when I here our carforeman and several other rail officials pulling this newspaper reporter off my back and tell him if he doesn't feel safe please leave the area as we are here to do our job, so they dusted me off and as they backed off , assured me all was ok, with a smile and a wink said carry on Ed. The remainder of the derailment was without incident, all was good.      Ed




Pulling A Prank On "Spic"

By Ed Koski,    Nov.-2008

Summer of 1978-- I show up for work at 22:45 in the train yard at Revelstoke, as I am walking from the parking lot to the carknockers shack , I can hear a very loud motorcycle comming up the platform from the station, I know in a instant it is Dave Loving ( has the nickname spic,but has long blond hair like a surfer from california ), it is raining dark and miserable anyhow beside the carknockers shack is a large tin building with only lockers inside around the outer walls with a totally bare smooth cement floor about 30 feet by 60 feet long, Dave would park his bike in there when it rained. I held the door open for Dave and he drove right in, as he stopped I asked him " so what will this thing do ?" Dave says " watch this ! " and does about 3 burnouts with rubber marks 20 feet long, cool I said ( knowing someone in the car shack had to hear this ) as we walk in the afternoon carforman is holding a mop and bucket and presents them to Dave and says " befor you leave in the morning clean all that rubber up ", a few hours later after Dave is out in the yard the rest of us are talking about how we could now make this better, out we go with Glen Durrand, myself and Gord Hollingsworth, we put Glen up on the motorcycle and because we have no key tell Glen " when we getter going fast you hammer on the rear brake " well if you have ever seen a snakes and ladder game with all the snakes this way and that way the whole floor was black lines ,I wish I had a camera when Dave opened that door and the rest of us standing there hooting and hollering,,,,,,,,,, I loved night shift !!!




Snow Slides At Rogers Pass

By Ed Koski,    12-28-2008

Hi Walter,

Our main line passes through the famed Rogers Pass, since the late 1800's snow and snow slides have been a problem with countless deaths, there are 5 avalanche zones that the army shoots to bring down the slides , last winter was nothing different than this one but myself and grant bell ( # 2 crane operator ) were traveling back from a small derailment at ross peak near the middle of the pass. We hear Barb ( rail traffic controller in Calgary ) anounce over the radio that a RED form is in place and all personell from zones 1,2,3,4,5, immediately go to their call in area's and check in as shooting will comence in zone 1 in one hour we are just inside zone 4 , as me and grant are in the caboose we are actually west of the sign for zone 4 , the train crew are in front of the bunkhouse some 1/4 mile ahead of us, where they call in that they are clear of zone 4, me and grant kinda smile at each other , were not really clear, but assure each other were close enough " right" !! We hear section crews all calling in that their clear one at a time, till all are clear and then Barb asks one more time is everyone out !! 3 times, all, is quiet ( we still have that stupid reassuring smile ) THEN down the valley we can hear the howitsers BOOM BOOM and about 10 minutes later BOOM BOOM ( a tad louder ) and ten minutes later BOOM BOOM holy shit louder then all is quiet for a bit then we hear a loud ( PIK NOISE ) behind us and look back behind us and then a big really loud BOOM, and watch a slide come down about 300 yards behind the caboose, some people need drugs for a high , we somehow are able to find it without drugs ( our cranes and tool-cable car were put on the end of a work train to come home hence the 1/4 mile train ) OH TO BE WORKING ON THE RAILROAD !!      Ed




If You Could Capture That Aroma

By Ed Koski,    12-31-2008

Hi Walter,

It was the winter of I think 1981 and a small slide knocked two loads of lumber and a caboose on their side with the Illicillewaet river below about 20 feet down, so the crane is blocked and the groundmen are trying to get sill hooks onto the first car. and we hear this rumbling noise comming from somewhere , and we hear people yelling SLIDE SLIDE RUN RUN !!, well I see even the fat guys doing a pretty good job of haulling ass out of there , I step back into the crane and pull the door shut and watch, accross the river there is a narow stand of tree's and the # 1 highway and the slide is up the mountain accross the highway, I seen some snow go over the highway but it did not reach the trees, so when I see this I step back out on the deck of the crane just as the wind from the slide came up, it wasn't strong enough to blow me off the deck, BUT if you could capture that aroma, my god, the best smell you could ever imagine , the fresh smell of falling snow mixed with how the bush smells while loggers are falling and skidding trees , if you could make a cologne from that smell you would never have to work again !!!      Ed




The Lost Coupler

By Ed Koski,    Mar 1, 2009

This story took place about 1977 in Revelstoke , when I was a helper on the Rip Track. A carman from the rip and myself were sent to replace a broken coupler on a coal car that was set off near Sicamous, so we loaded up the new coupler on the road repair truck, and off we went. When we get close to where the siding is, we pull over get out of the truck and look down this 150 foot embankment, there is the car at the wrong end of the siding ! When you drive down to the tracks, the crossing is a mile away from the car, so we decide lets unload the coupler here on the side of the highway, and give it a big shove over the bank and then just walk down from the crossing with what tools we think we'll need, good idea ! over it goes, and we drive off to the crossing. We then grab a hammer,wreches,split key puller and new bolts and start walking, when we arrive at the car you can see where the coupler bounced down the bank, but at the bottom there is a POND you couldn't see from the top, about 300 yds long and about 20 yds wide, OH OH we start laughing now what, Ray the carman I am with, takes off his boots and rolls up his pant legs, and with a long stick gingerly goes in probing for this coupler, it's not long before he says forget it, we will never find it, so back to Revelstoke we go ( about 50 miles ) to get another coupler, we arent going to tell anyone, but as luck would have it while we are loading up another coupler, carforeman Bill Kovach can see us from his office window, busted, a little hard explaining we LOST the coupler.     Ed




Note To Visitors To This Web Page,:

By Walter -- (Web Host)

In reading and posting some of Ed's stories it occured to me that, I might get a better understanding of his stories, if I "Googled" around a bit. I will include a few links to other sites at this point that do just that. Its worth looking at the Sites just to get a look at the photos posted on those Sites, thereby getting a much better mental picture of what he talks about in his stories. The Canadian Pacific's Topography, is extremely differant, than anyhing, I ever had to encounter in my years of being a Railroader. Here are a few links I felt worth looking at:

  1. cdnrail.railfan.net Photos at Glacier B.C.
  2. Wikipedia File
  3. Parks Canada-Rogers Pass
  4. Scan Web (Live Cameras)

January 21, 2009 New Page Added
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