eah, this one’s late. But I also had a club Christmas party, then a Journal Box to reedit after a lot of late arrivals came in (next time, posted due-date, gentlemen. You don’t get to argue your time and track rights so don’t piss off the editor). And then there was all that other stuff.
So, yeah, Ken Farnham’s FEC ops. It was an abbreviated session for the Orlando N-Trakkers since we had to be in Sanford for the above-mentioned Xmas party by 6pm. But the session was fun. We had a new dispatcher (the guy did great – it’s like listening to an old radio program play the greatest hits from my first session at the panel). Had an easy run and then the Titusville turn. And running this, I became a better operator.
See, I finally figured it it. I’ve got a throttle. I’ve got a packet of cars. I’ve got a coupler pick. I’ve got a pencil for filling lading slips. That’s a lot of stuff. How to organize?
Well, the throttle pretty much stays in the left hand (the knob-twisting is with the right). The card packet goes into my pocket (Ken’s shirts were made for that). And the other stuff?
The pick I’ll need when I’m uncoupling, so I keep that behind my left ear. If I’m operating the train one-handed, I’ll have the throttle in my right hand, so I can pick the couplers free with the stick in my left. When done, it goes back behind the left ear.
The pencil is behind my right ear. When I have to write lading slips, the throttle will be velcroed to the fascia. I’ll hold the lading slip in my left, probably pinning it against the wooden stool seat, and write the car information with my right hand. And the pencil, when done, goes back behind my right ear.
Yes, I have that radar-mast look of a Pennsy early diesel but hey, I’m organized. And it really worked well when I shifted the loads about in the industrial yard. I wasn’t spending pointless seconds groping for a missing pencil or sticking myself in the eye with a pick. Everything went where it was supposed to. Worked like a charm.
And that only took my fifty five years of railroading to figured out.
Wait until you see what I come up with when I turn 100!
Great session – really enjoyed meeting the newbies and running casually.