t was the Tale of Two Kiddies at the club tonight. First, we had AJ, a young guy who’d come the week before and have found the idea of ops cool. So I invited him to this week’s session and so he’d shown. Since I’d just gotten booted off the panel by Cody (right after setting up my patented 202/SB2 flyby) I picked up the Harris Glen Local. So AJ and I ran up and did the lumber and limestone shifts. I even let the kid figure his own moves (he had a great time figuring out how to do a runaround to get the engines onto the proper end). We also moved hoppers from Carbon Hill to Weirton, sweeping the docks. His last move, I let him do the warrant with the dispatcher – he got up clearance back to the mine in proper order. Good kid.
And then we had Shawn. I explained to him how the paperwork went and he bobble-headed his understanding. In the end, we were finding his cuts as far away as Calypso and twenty or more cars on the receiving track, unsorted. Yet while all pandemonium was breaking out in the yard, he still had time to play games with cabooses. So, yes, lessons learned.
Speaking of lessons learned, we were still instituting our new card system. Bruce and I were answering questions all night. And not all of them were dumb – we got a number of solid ideas from the crews. For example, it made perfect sense to simply list the first car and last car of a string, and the number of cars in that cut. Until, of course, someone grabs one too many cars and suddenly it’s not that clear at all. So something that saved us a minute of writing cost us five minutes of head-scratching.
So live and learn. Still, it was a good session with some sad disasters. Looks like the new rails at Lehigh need some more work (I’m being generous). And there are a couple of turnouts that need tinkering too. Work work work.