OpsLog – Chicago Union Pacific – 2/21/2011

OpsLog – Chicago Union Pacific – 2/21/2011

Tonight’s session found me running Chicago’s primary yard, a busy place that forwards loads to Proviso, North Platte, the coal fields and, eventually, Cheyenne.

Yard working isn’t my big cup of tea. I can do it, I’m okay at it, but there is always that busy-and-now-interrupted feeling as trains barge in while I’m in the middle of shuffling a cut.

Worse, I wasn’t on my game tonight. Twice I broke trains down and sorted cars onto receiving tracks, popping their identifying paperwork into the matching slots, only to find out I’d screwed up along the way. There is no gut-clench moment like looking at track four, seeing a green Tropicana reefer, yet the paperwork in the slot is for a UP flat car. Add to this a freight calling on the inbound and you’ve got a sweat-beading moment. And I did it twice!

I was really only saved by the fact that both my yard and Cheyenne were pumping out locals that locked up the main and slowed the traffic, otherwise I would have been snowed under.

I’m still not sure how I mangled it so badly.

Still, the layout purred tonight. Always nice to be part of a good sessions (even with my screw ups – I guess I make graceful recoveries).