Alpha Rail Net
Featured Picture
From time to time a railroad picture comes along that's fun, different, or even strange. 
February 26, 2001 Edition
This image was posted on's Western Railroading Discussion Board.  Over two dozen people offered humorous responses to the the question "What's Xingman Doing?"  Xingman is, of course, Central Oregon & Pacific Signal Maintainer Rick Perry.
What's Xingman Doing?
Xingman and trax (your web master) decided two responses tied for the best of the crop:
BobE: "Which rail is positive and which one is negative? Darn battery, always seems to die when you're in the middle of noplace!" 
brassjournal:  "In an arcane ceremony seldom seen by outsiders, and never before photographed, a new signal maintainer is initiated into the secret society known as Those Who Harness the Unseen. In this portion of the rite, the initiate chants the society's mantra, 'Ohm, ohm, ohm...', while symbolically entering himself into The Circuit of Universal Continuity."

Rick reports that what he was REALLY doing:

"For some reason the 12vdc bank of batteries for that signal went dead.  Those batteries do in fact power a converter that puts about 1.0 vdc on the track.  In this picture Xingman is charging the bank of batteries back to their appropriate level.  He has his meter on the rails checking to see if there is a short on the track circuit which could have drained the 12v system.  Turns out the trickle charge rectifier just couldn't keep up with the log train which was working on the track circuit to the north (behind the hyrail) throughout the entire day.  This location is at the north end of Merlin MP 482.6".

richmp412  came close with his analysis:  "It would appear to me xingman has a dead track battery and is charging it off of his pickup. He has a volt meter and is checking the voltage on the rails."

Also, roustabout was right on with his location (between Merlin and Hugo)

bladesfixer had the only response to another interesting point:  "I don't understand why it's an absolute signal."

It's not supposed to be an absolute signal but a vandal stole the number plate.

Thanks to all who entered a caption.
Check back from time to time as more pictures are featured
Alpha Rail Net Home Alpha Rail Net Special Pages Xingman's Web Page