"Things You Wouldn't Know If We Didn't Blog Intermittently."
It is just as you suspect: a railroad "short" for doing repairs like this:http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=foiY7X9zhF4Someone has welded a handle to the top of it and painted it. Probably weighs a good 50lbs.
Thank you Spiv! That's actually quite a cool video. My grandfather that I use for the avatar was a Norwegian farmer, but the other one worked the Pennsylvania RR at the turn of the century. He would have loved this. I've posted it over at Neatorama; we'll see whether the crowd there appreciates it (or not).Stan