hen working a switching puzzle, there comes a tipping point when you go from moving cars this way and that (while holding your breath) to seeing the solution. I clearly remember that moment today while working the Rinker Plant in Eau Gallie.
Now I’ve seen ever possible cheat on this, from people using the main as extended storage to people lifting a car from one track to another (sorry, Ken, but some people panic when they deadlock). I’ve done the job once before and the first time was a bit of a snarl. This time I had a better feel for it. I cleared the main promptly, worked the cuts, broke the last move into sub-pieces and got it all put away. The only unexpected wrinkle came when I did the final push down the tail track to assemble my train and found that my forward truck was sitting on top of the turnout to the main (meaning I couldn’t switch it). Yes, I was tempted to just lift the truck and throw the turnout but I didn’t. Instead, I pushed the caboose down the second spur, got the room to clear the turnout, pulled forward, backed up to snatch up the caboose and was out the door at 1:30. Good time. Half what was allocated.
Having explained how clever I was, I promptly stole a train. No, I didn’t have a little bandana mask, a pony and six-gun. I just traced my name on the call list and didn’t pay close enough attention. So out of Cocoa I went, running neatly down to Titusville before the real crew came over to that empty engine track and realized that The Great Train Robbery had taken place. They ended up taking my assigned run, which left me with an hour and change waiting for my last train, but it serves me right.
Anyway, got to chat with Bev who with her post-surgery foot propped up in the Florida room was doing a Jimmy Steward / Rear Window deal, wishing she could run by having to take a rain check. Still, fun to sit and chat with her before running two tank cars of explosive fuel oil to OUC.
No smoking, please.