30 Seconds With the Flagman

Strasburg Flagman

This is the first in an irregular series called “30 Seconds With…” in which I talk with random behind-the-scenes folk who do interesting stuff.

While waiting on the platform at the Strasburg Railroad, I noticed a man running alongside the Pint-Sized Pufferbelly – Strasburg’s 23-minute miniature steam train ride. He was dressed in traditional railroad garb – oiled-up jeans and a blue button-down shirt – and carried a red flag. I watched him, running along with the train, back and forth, again and again. I had to get the scoop.


Strasburg Railroad FlagmanMe: Excuse me, can I ask you a few questions?

Flagman: (surprised and humble) Sure.

Me: I noticed you running alongside this train. What exactly is your job?

Flagman: To make sure pedestrians don’t cross in front of the train.

Me: So you follow the train back and forth… for hours?

Flagman: Yup.

Me: How many hours do you work in a shift?

Flagman: Usually six.

Me: Sounds hot and tiring. But it’s great you are protecting all the little kids around here.

Flagman: (smiles) Yeah.

And that’s 30 seconds with the Flagman.

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