rains running at night are very mysterious. They boom in the moonlight, the details are lost in shadows, the signals glow like stark binaries of red and green, and beyond the headlamps all is lost in gloom. And that’s why running the Florida East Coast in the simulated darkness (lit by streetlights, building windows and pocket flashlights) is a lot of fun. And a lot of challenges, too. I ended up working the Buenaventura industrial yard (I suspect the fact that I got lost on my well-traveled way over, missing an obvious exit, and also confusing the Wendy’s order-drone might have had something to getting tossed off the DS panel), swapping out FEC hoppers at MacPhault’s. And this is tricky enough to do when you can see. Under penlights, trying to work out your paperwork, that’s a real load of eye-squinting effort. Fortunately I got all the cars in and out (though, to be truthful, I nearly left a tank car behind – caught that at the absolute last second). But it was a load of fun, which is the point of the thing, day or night.
Second train was an empty rock train (my lot in life, it seems) out of City Point. Got stuck behind one train working the team track opposite, and with other trains eagerly waiting for use of that main (and another guy needing to switch around me) I wasn’t going anywhere. Turns out that by the time the knotted traffic unraveled, I was a couple of hours late. Not like MT hoppers are perishable in any sense, but still.
Unfortunately we had some electrical difficulties with the DCC system (the same sort of thing we had at our club the other night, a full register). But we got most of the session knocked out and I got a couple of smooth runs in so I’ll take that as a win. I need to start bringing my red astronomy light in my throttle bag for future sessions – it sounds like the FEC will be running more night jobs. Gotta be ready for anything.
Maybe we’ll do Florida downpours by setting a sprinkler off in the shed. Who knows?