Railroad legislation, lore, and laughs



I am passionate about the importance of infrastructure and economic development. Railroads are an important component of our continued growth! SB 93 passed out of Senate Transportation Committee February 5th and will move onto Joint Appropriations Thursday, February 18th. Find out more about the specifics of this bill here.


Having nothing to do with the importance of the railroad legislation above, let's pause a moment in such a time of seriousness for some bizarre railroad legislation and even a few railroad jokes...


Railroad Prohibitions: At one time, these were (and sometimes still are) actual laws or railroad rules.

West Virginia law required that if a railroad passed within one mile of a community with 100 or more people, then it was required to build a station and stop their regularly to pick-up and drop-off passengers.

A Chicago, Illinois law once prohibited eating in a place that was on fire. After much discussion, a 1912 amendment exempted dining cars on steam trains.

Texas law once said: When two trains meet each other at arailroad crossing: each train shall come to a full stop and neither train shall proceed until the other has gone. Huh??

A New York City Ordinance prohibited the shooting of rabbits from the rear of a Third Avenue street car if it was in motion.

Believe it or not, putting salt on a railroad track in Alabama was once punishable by death.

It is considered a misdemeanor offense to throw pickle juice at a trolley in Rhode Island..

In Seattle, Washington, women who sit on men’s laps on trains without placing a pillow between them would face an automatic six-month jail term.

It is against the law for a railroad to remove itself from a town of more than five hundred people in South Carolina.

In Washington state, a dog must have accompanied the cowcatcher to scare livestock from the tracks.

In West Virginia, it was once illegal to sleep on a train.

If you attack a train in Indiana, you’re gonna be jailed!

In South Dakota, it is illegal to place firecrackers on railroad track. The fine doubles if they are lit.

In Rhode Island, it is illegal to operate a passenger car between a locomotive and a load of dirt.

The state of Minnesota enacted a law that defined all railroad cars as buildings, and as such were subject to the same rules and restrictions listed in state building codes.

It is illegal to place soap on railroad tracks in Mississippi.

In Wisconsin it was once illegal to kiss on a train.

In South Carolina railroad companies may be held liable for scaring horses.

A Gary, Indiana ordinance once prohibited anyone from attending a movie house, theater, or riding on a public streetcar within four hours of eating garlic.

Railroad Jokes:

Two drunks were walking upgrade between the railroad tracks. One of them said, “this is is longest stairway I have ever been on.” To this, the other replied, “It’s not the stairs that bother me, it’s the low banister.”

A large two engined train was crossing America. After they had gone some distance one of the engines broke down. “No problem,” the engineer thought, and carried on at half power. Farther on down the line, the second engine broke down, and the train slowed to a dead stop. The engineer decided he should inform the passengers about why the train had stopped, and made the following announcement:

“Ladies and gentlemen, I have some good news and some bad news. The bad news is that both engines have failed, and we will be stuck here for some time. The good news is that you decided to take the train and not fly.”

A man and a woman, who had never met before, found themselves assigned to the same sleeping room on a transcontinental train. Although initially embarrassed and uneasy over sharing a room, the two are tired and fall asleep quickly — he in the upper bunk and she in the lower. At 2:00 a.m., he leans over and gently wakes the woman, saying, “Ma’am, I’m sorry to bother you, but would you be willing to reach into the closet to get me a second blanket? I’m awfully cold.” “I have a better idea,” she replies. “Just for tonight, let’s pretend that we’re married.” “Wow! That’s a great idea!!” he exclaims. “Good,” she replies. “Get your own damn blanket.”

Two drunks were walking down a New York City street when one fell down the subway steps. When he got back up top he told his drinking partner, “…boy you got to see that guy’s train set in the basement!”

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