o, my falling fortunes. On Friday evening, I was dispatching a heavy mountain line in the profitable 50s from a brick building in downtown Asheville. By Saturday morning, I’d been bumped out into the Tennessee wilderness, dispatching a declining railroad in the 60’s-70’s, now likely in a peeling wood-frame draft-palace in some little Podunk town. Saturday afternoon, my career continued to slide, down to engineer of a crack passenger train out west, down to running a sharp little local pulling in rolling stock from mainline towns. But by Sunday morning, I was out in some industrial bad land (it looked like Detroit, but oddly it was somewhere in Minnesota). And I was running some dead-end local job, the “Toxic Turn”.
Next I’ll be sweeping the station platform.
Actually, Terry Harrison’s Burlington is a lot of fun. As I mentioned two years ago (you can dig for it in the blogs if you’d like) Terry knows how to design industrial switching areas that feel like a railroad with limited resources put in enough track so they can reach the docks and not have their crews burn time making pointless back-n-forth moves. So it’s fun if you can handle a switchlist and keep your wits about you. Every so often, you can feel your heart stop when you think you’ve lost a car but generally everything is recoverable – just check off your list before you depart (and put the tank cars in the middle of your cut, mind!).
Got the Chem Train back to the yard and then picked up some road jobs; first, a general rattle-bang freight out of town, then a BM empty coal movement stopping at the main yard to pick up an earlier set out, and then onward to the peaks. Finally I got myself booted back down the ladder, ending up on the city job (another fun local, pushing boxcars about). I was just going over the hump, most of the inbounds spotted and the last of the outbounds figured out – I could see myself in ten minutes coupled and pumping and about to head home. Then the power went off – the session was over. Go home!
Kicked off my ride in my moment of glory!
Anyway, it was a great session, a great weekend, and a lot of fun. Thanks to Terry for setting this up and all the layout owners who opened their homes and layouts to the out-of-town horde. We had a great time!