he AT&SF Railway Henderson District – long and yellow and low-hilled, that’s pretty much the early scenery. This creation has a long folded plan with a huge central yard and a string of ATSF-feel station areas along its right of way. And no, this time, I flatly refused to dispatch.
So in return, I found myself in the seat of a warbonnet E-8, fully sounded, running easy across the prairie, cutting in on the station tracks, forking out my fob-watch to keep track of the three-minute stops, sizzling by towns where dour-face local-crews waited on shimmering sidings as we polished past. Great fun, and what better way to sight-see a new layout than to run its entire mainline, taking in the scenery (well, it’s begun) and racking in miles.
After that run, I found myself demoted to a local, running 150/151 out of Hollister Yard, hitting two towns a couple of miles off. The duties were interesting, giving me a chance to wiggle cars using all sorts of tricks, spotting at freight doors and keeping the paperwork straight. It’s fun to puzzle through these, working the spurs and bringing the loads back to the yards for inclusion on through freights. Yeah, dispatching is fun and all, but goddam, I do like to run trains and let yardmasters and dispatchers worry about all that business crap. So a fun time.
Boy, the end of a perfect day!