kay, so when that general freight rumbled north into Bowden Yard in Jacksonville and I missed setting the primary turnout correctly, it rolled up the departure track and slammed into a freight sitting in position for departure. Of course, it’s the perfect storm because the engineers are in the other shed, running blind on repeater signals. So crumbled diesels, even more crumpled crews, ruptured gas tanks, explosions, six o’clock news.
As a dispatcher, I’d have been out of that seat before the shockwave rolled overhead. The NTSB would have had me in a chair, isolated, grilling me about that total F-up.
But really, there were other accidents on the FEC today that were not as bad but impacted the session more. Like a local that, given a green light, backed out of Palm Bay, through a red signal and a locked turnout, derailing itself and causing its slow passage to even become slower (perhaps the detectors that triggered down the line were because of the damage taken in the prior derailment?). And there were crews that advanced through reds. And crews that apparently went into Cocoa Yard, went for beans, went on the law, and possibly vacation (how long can it take to pick up a car?). I even watched a train roll through a red and couple onto the back (‘couple’ being a euphemism for ‘rear end collision’) of another train. No cups got filled there.
If only the superintendent hadn’t been at the throttle of my train. I might have gotten away with it. Anyone else, I could have convinced them they’d run a signal or not followed procedure. Oh well.
Life lessons in model railroading.
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