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                                                          Haunted railway dated nails

At an automotive swap meet where everybody brings {supposedly} automotive related items for sale but, on occasion, you can find some unusual finds.

On this occasion I met a vendor with a wooden box filled with, well, I don’t know what they were. The vendor spotted me looking at these odd nails and came over and said,” do you know what they are?” Nope. He told me the story of when Great Western Rail Company pulled up all the ties behind his house. He had his son’s remove all these Date Nails (he called them) from discarded ties. I did notice all these odd nails had numbers imposed on the head and it wasn’t like 1905, it was just 05, and that was the year that the railroad kept track of when that tie was installed on the tracks. Well that made total sense, so I bought the whole box with different dates on them. Now going back to my computer to do a little research and to learn more on these nails, I did find this railroad company long gone from these parts and you know, one computer link takes you to another, but  here is a story I didn’t expect. When a railroad worker was working on top of a caboose, on a moving train no less, and forgot to look at the underpass coming up that the train had to go through, well he was just swept off the car to his death, and the story doesn’t end there.

The other link tells the story of this railroad worker and other shadows still walking the line after  100 years. I don’t know why ghosts appear or roam,
“unexpected demise maybe”.

These dated tie nails come from the same section of railway that this poor sole and possibly others are haunting/roaming or just plain ... hanging around?

Anyway, this line is documented by the “paranormal society” as being haunted with paranormal activity.  Check out their U-tube video. These date nails are a piece of history and maybe a little on the spooky side to boot.


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Comment by dave wettlaufer on October 1, 2016 at 8:03am

thanks Tom for more info on date nails and your right ,a date nail is a date nail ..... Ah, but mine have a neat story. 

Comment by tomsantiquesetcetera on October 1, 2016 at 2:57am

Dave, Date Nails were driven into the ends of railroad ties to keep track of their age. Only the last 2 numbers of a year were used, for instance 1885 would be 85.  I  have a small collection I found metal detecting along the abandoned Oregon Short Line RR near Hansen, ID. I've added a few found at estate sales. Not much value as RR name isn't shown.  Practice ended in the 1970s.

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