ur club does a lot of ops. We started with Mother-May-I on our N-trak modules a quarter century ago. Since then, we’ve built an empire at our clubhouse which we’ve run every month for years and years. And back in the day we ran ops every Monday at various members’ houses in round-robin fashion. Yeah, so we’re good. We’re really good.
And that’s why we get invited to go halfway across the state (that’s longways, too) to run on Al Sohl’s Western Bay. It’s a cool 1930’s narrow gauge with scenery that will make your eyes bleed, it’s that good. You can see for yourself in the attached below…
So today I’m rear gunner in the Dispatcher’s office, helping Dispatcher Marty get his certificate and keeping him from blowing his brains out. Pretty much I’m running interference, reminding him what he’s got to do next, nothing what he should and shouldn’t say, moving the markers and running out in the room to boot sleeping engineers awake. And yeah, people who know me know I’m doing my best not to shove him out of the chair and shout, “Let me do it!” Bruce, my ride-companion down here, is out on Train 2, the first class passenger that’s wending west out of Denver. When he gets to Alpine, he calls crisp to tell us he’s in (I only got OSes only from Bruce pretty much the entire afternoon). And while he’s waiting for the overdue #1 (overdue because it took a wrong turn a Ute and nearly ended up in Placerville). But Bruce doesn’t cry and ask why he has to wait at Alpine – he knows he’s got a meet and knows that we’re doing all we can to advance him. For tea kettles on wheels, this railroad is class one action all the way. Soon as he calls the meet we send him on his way, clear all the way to Alamosa.
So Marty’s doing pretty good – I can leave him more and more. And Bruce is running 122 out of Denver to work towards Navajo and turn. I’m browsing the aisles (so much to see in Al’s layout – look, there’s a woman with a low cut dress on the Placerville platform!) and notice Bruce and Richard hanging in Dulce, looking blasé about things. “You call for orders?” I ask. Maybe we missed a phone call. I’m told they’re waiting for their departure time like professional engineers.
“Oh. Carry on, men.” (Hey, I didn’t actually say that but I should have).
So yeah, it’s always nice to be able to bring your skills to the game of railroading. But these guys are getting better and better too. We might be in for some serious competency competition in the coming sessions. And I’m fine with that.
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