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About Walter

The Carknocker (Walter) Welcomes You


                " ALL  ABOARD  !"

Newsletter – 12 Jul 11:47 AM 

Visitors, Friends, and associates,

 I am in the process of updating the site.  I hope any of you who have any photos of Railroad activities past, or present will share them with me for display here on the site. I am particularly hoping any old photos of the Atlanta Derrick can be added. We who worked on the derrick were always to busy to take any photos at the time we were working. Please take time to sort thru those old photos and share any old railroad photos with me. If you have none just take the time to say Hi. I would also love to get any photos of foreign railroad derricks and train yard photos as well.  Perhaps your feeling creative and wish to share A story with us. Any stories will be appreciated as well. 

Walter Parks


About the site

Stories by Walter and fellow railroaders, and videos by Walter, 

  A Journal, Stories of working on the railroad by railroaders and videos by Walter, A retired Railway Carman and Rail Fan Extraordinaire,

            & YouTube Partner @  https://www.youtube.com/user/pwalpar

Meet Pwalpar (Walter)

Walter's (Pwalpar) YouTube Channel 


"I'm A Carknocker",  by Walter Parks,

It all began back in sixty nine,

When I hired on, with the Southern Railway Line

I worked as a Carman, to fixed their trains,

A job that required much use of my brain's,

I surely may, have been off of my rocker,

To ever become a railroad Car Knocker,

     For thirty four years, I worked out of doors

Many of my tasks were wearisome chores,

In all hours of the day, in all kinds of weather,

I wore out my share, of the old shoe leather,

Helped kept the trains going, and moved a lot of Freight,

Kept clothes on my family's back, and food on their plate,

But it was oh so hard, due to the inflation rate,

     Did a lot of welding, and was handy with a torch,

Only occasionally, myself I did scorch,

Worked on the Derrick, a huge Brownhoist Crane,

Rode it to the wrecks, picked up many a train,

     Spent twenty years at an outlying point,

Twice had surgery on the old knee joint,

When trains broke down,

The Car Knocker was around,

When the trains derailed,

The Car Knocker prevailed,

I was always there,

When me they did need,

I was always there with utmost speed,

     Then the day came when I got hurt,

They cast me aside, like so much dirt,

The work you did we truly admire,

Now we feel you must retire,

To the goals you set, now others aspire,

we can't use ya no more,

So there's the front door.

     As I pass into the Fall of my life,

I surely remember, all the toil and strife,

I look back with pride and to all confide,

Im a Car Knocker, till the day I've died.

Written 10-12-2005, by Walter Parks ©

Rerailing A Locomotive

Video of A Carman (The late Kenney Terry) rerailing an DS-40 locomotive at Griffin GA

Many more videos here 


Walter's Google Albums

Rail Fanning & Railroad photo albums

Rail Fanning & Railroad photo albums

If you have A photo you want added to one of the albums send it to me 

Atlanta Derrick Album


Ted Lewis & 1909 Death of an Engineer Story album


Love of Locomotives 


Norfolk Southern Locomotives


Foreign Locomotives, BNSF, CEFX, CN, CP, CSX, ICE, KCS, RJ Corman, UP,  Georgia Central,


Rail Cars & Misc.


Railroad Misc.


Railroad Friends


Walter's Gang


More Friends


For the birds


Retired Associates


Walter's Photo Album


What is A Rip Track

Norfolk Southern Atlanta repair Track (Front)

What is or was a Rip Track

What is or was a Rip Track

I use the term what is or was a Rip Track, because it depends on what part of the Railroad you work on, whether or not it still exist. It apears that Rip Tracks are being phased out. It certainly was in Atlanta Georgia, and I'm sure other Railroads and towns as well. That being said, I will tell you some of the things I know regarding the matter.

The Rip Track, is railroad slang, for Repair Track. It really isn't just one track but a series of tracks, that are refered to in the singular, rather than the plural term, for a particular place at the railroad, designed for repairing and maintaining, not only, that Railroads rolling stock, but all rolling stock that my be running through that location.

All Railroad Car repairs, are governed, by the Association of American Railroads, as to the methods and material used in those repairs, and if the repairs are not preformed up to their standards, the railroads can be held responsable for, and they can be subject to loss of revenue from said repairs and monatary penalties can be emplemented. I don't know all the legal mumbo jumbo, but thats about the drift of it. Detailed records of Foreign and System car repairs were kept and the various companies that owned those railcars were billed accordingly, unless it was determined that we were responsable for the damage such as in a Derailment. In those case, I think Insurance companies were extensivly involved.


Back side of the Atlanta Rip

The Rip Track we worked at in Atlanta, consisted of a large shed 4 tracks running through it, and a couple of other tracks that were adjacent to it, and the cars that were Bad Ordered for repairs or maintainance, were rolled through those tracks one right after the other, and were repaired by at least two carmen on each track. I cant list all the repairs made there, due to the extensive length the list would entail, but I will list just a few of them to give you a better idea of what took place there. We replaced defective and worn out wheels, and couplers, and Air Brake Parts, and a whole list of running gear. There was extensive welding and cutting torch work involved, especially when we had to act more like a Blacksmith, and manufacture the parts needed. Virtually any part of a railcar was repaired there. Like I said the list is long.

A few years back the Rip Track in Atlanta was shut down and repairs are usually sent elsewhere for attention. There are a whole list of Private companies making repairs on railcars now, although there are still some small repairs being done in the Trainyards. There are far fewer Carmen employed now than there were. Those still working are kept busy 24 hours a day. There is a lot of repairs attended to out on the road now, at the various trainyards, especially cars that need attention due to FRA defects. FRA stands for the Federal Railway Administration. The FRA is your government at work assuring that Safety Apliances and Standards are observed by the Railroads.

I will if at all possable, show a picture of the Rip Track on this page as soon as I get around to taking a picture of it. Im alway's telling my wife when she ask me to do something, that I'll get around to it. I havent found any "round tuits" yet though.

Standing on Track 1 under the shed

Standing on track one under the shed of Norfolk Southern, Atlanta repair track

 The Rip Track Shed is still there, but mainly used for parking locomotives. The equipment that was there like the huge hydraulic Jacks and other equipment is now gone. There is a lot of repairs that are repaired out on the road now.

I am not sure what else I will be putting on this page of Carknocker.com. Perhaps I will get into detail about how various jobs are done. I'm sure some of you Rail Fans would be intrested to know what is involved in replacing a pair of wheels or a coupler, or rebuilding a set of trucks or something. For now I will just show some photo's and maybe stick a few stories here. What ever it will be, I'll get a round tuit.

UPDATE: 8-23-05   I may have spoke too soon regarding the future of the Atlanta Repair Track. On a recient visit to there, I found the place in excellant condition and it apears to be revamping to return to some operations. The place was cleaned up and in neat order. The floor Jacks have been reinstalled on track two. So, the future of the Atlanta Shop, looks brighter. I took some photo's to add to this page. Here's hoping, that I am right and that, they are on the right track, when it comes to repairing railcars.

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Car Knocker

3330 High Falls Rd., Griffin, GA 30224, US



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