ast time we did ops, we got a couple of people to attend and ran a handful of early trains. I groused about it in the blog and nobody liked that move either.
This time we decided to pick up at 6am (a quarter of the way into the session) and just run the balance. And now EVERYONE showed up and the layout was jammed. Hopefully you’ll like the blog.
So yes, it was a pile on. We ran the rest of the trains, all the passengers (who were probably pissed at the LM&O’s excuses for the horrible service delays (“Gee, the traffic is terrific”)). And all the coal. And the ore. All the helpers were in full swing. We even ran a Santa train with presents. I think the only thing we didn’t run was the manure train.
I was going to be the dispatcher but I gave the job away. Then a freight engineer, but I gave that train away too. Then maybe an extra but that looked too busy, too. Then I thought, “In keeping in the spirit of Christmas, how can I annoy the most people possible?”
Oh yes. Helpers!
So I tacked onto trains that really didn’t want me, mid-training up the hill and clickity-clacking back down to the base. Actually, two of the trains actually really needed me – a westbound waved off helpers in Calypso, got to Lehigh, took a look at the hill and a look at their train and whined for me to come down off Harris Glen and assist – rode with them all the way down to Martin. And the last coal train of the night was clearly not going to get to Red Rock on its own. For much for “Canada Power!” No, the shove up the hill on the tail of the coal went off without a hitch. A really pleasant run.
The dispatcher was doing pretty good, considering his workload. Of course, all the operators were chuckling like fiends at the lines forming around the phones. And there was some dodgy shit going on across the LM&O – one train I pushed out of Martin was told to leave the yard and enter Pittsburgh without orders – just go there and any track and call. Of course, another freight was coming down the hill at the time – both crews debated if we all would stage a protest using a fiery explosion and our incinerated deaths. I was all for it. But yes, it was all Christmas bullshit on the floor and everyone outvoted me for a work-it-out-on-the-ground passing meet. And the Grinch, with his Grinch feet ice-cold in the snow, stood puzzling and puzzling. How could it be so?
So all told we had more people that we could possibly run with. We had guests. We had visiting friends from afar. We had Christmas spirit (we still should have wrecked). And we had a great time.
This closes out operations on the LM&O for 2021. And to allll a good night!