I‘ve found myself in a lot of unique positions in my long decades of operations. I’ve bumped into readers of Fire and Bronze. I’ve seen scenery on layouts that was too farcical to believe (like natural tunnel), only to find out that it’s actually true. I’ve worked jobs with people so diametrically opposed to my politics and beliefs that you wouldn’t think I could breathe the same air, but actually enjoyed their company. But tonight I found myself conducting on a four-unit lashup climbing the west grade towards Harris Glen with two young Indian girls, one in the assigned power, one in the helpers. And they were singing the gummy bear song.
Yeah, it was certainly a strange night.
Not entirely in a good-way strange. The kids were okay. The layout, however, was acting very flaky with control dropping out (turns out the register was full). My computer (used by the dispatcher) has an intermittent fault that comes up at inopportune times and crashes. And we were short members. So my crew struggled up the grade, the kids having a great time (I wanted it to be better, but they’d never seen anything like this and were grinning ear to ear). But we got to Glen and my main units just died like a gut-shot mule, so to keep things going I swapped the helpers onto the lead and abandoned my scragged units. And off we went.
My girls (Aadya and Ruhi) were friends, the former being the daughter of my coworker Manjula (whose claim to fame is crippling me jogging). It’s spring break and so we had more kids than a Justin Bieber concert, but all the club members each took a kid or two and worked them over the mainline. Everyone had a good time, the kids went away tired but happy, and things settled down for the rest of the session.
For a limited session without many members, we did have a lot of involvement. Jared takes after me – when his yardwork got slow, he ran the local (jetpacking back to work the trains as they came through). And Matthew did a bang-up job (literally) as the second-tick dispatcher. And then there was some guy who struggled with a unresponsive throttle, screaming bloody murder, only to discover the battery was in backwards, but hey, we’re out of space for this entry. See you next time!