new position for me. Ran on the basement-packing Chicago & NorthWestern, miles of main line with industry all the way, all fed from the massive Proviso Yard. Zoom in on that yard. Dozens of tracks. Zoom closer. At one side, engine facilities and fueling decks. Zoom even closer. See him? The guy who runs engines out from the shops and puts them on the ready track? And who plucks them off the arrivals, inspects them, services them, and refuels them? Yeah, that’s me. Low-class dirty in my suspenders and grubby ball cap.
And that’s what I did – moved engines back and forth all session. And really, it was rather fun. That’s the thing about model railroad operation – there is always something new to try. On my Cuesta Grade I’ve got the Salinas fruit shed operator and the freight agent position. So why not an engine hostler? I’ve done it on the FEC. It’s actually pretty fun, especially when you get busy and are trying to do two things at once. In the end, it was just fun and I got time to take it easy, too (which explains why all the crews switching long cuts were beat and why I was still relaxed). Gotta pick your billet, guys!
If I could see one thing in this operation (and I pestered the superintendent about it) it would be for a sheet to record when I’d plugged trains into the fueling deck, and when they’d gone to service. This time it was scout’s honor. We need something stronger than that. Still, I met the low flow of newbie operators floundering about on their details, so no rush needed.