t was quite the night at club ops. We had a lot of people, always thankful of that. For once I wasn’t the dispatcher, just a local running to Zanesville and beyond to Carbon Hill. A good run – engines worked well and I knocked off the switchlist quite orderly. Stuff went where it was supposed to go and I made clean moves for it all. Only surprise – coming back to Zanesville from Carbon Hill – had clearance to work all tracks (since I needed to work Bolton Box, pull a bunch of outbounds off the head-in track for the GM plant and get wrapped around and ready to go). Was just clearing the main, only just finishing without calling clear, when suddenly a train come in from the east. I’m leaning on the cab frame, looking in shocked disbelief at a train occupying my former track (a big deal, if you know true operations) when another train comes in from the west, taking the siding. It’s just by the love of Melqart that I happened to be clear when two walls of steel rolled in. Yow! And the dispatcher – that would be BOB.
Still, Zanesville is a long run, so I didn’t get done until about 9pm train time. I still had a train to run, the final westbound, 271. Managed to get helpers down to help me get out of Hellertown. Some nice moments – rolling across the Lackawanna bridge with another freight (those pretty LVs) running right next to me across the span, pacing each other. Then up at Harris Glen, dropping the helpers and rolling past, my F-units looking so pretty. So I have having fun but pretty much everyone else was heading home. I felt like Charlie Brown on his rainy pitchers mount – “Where’s everyone going?” Tom hung with me for a bit, chatting with me while I rolled into Martin Yard. No yardmaster, self-service. And worse – 247 was miss-switched – the yard crew (that would be Matthew) having left cuts for TWO trains for me to pick up. My little F-units strained and growled as I locked up all those cars and started out – thank goodness it’s a waterlevel run at this point. Just rolled along chatting with Tom, the only other guy there, as we wound through the epic scenery and ran it in at Cincinnati. Lots of fun.
After this, everyone else left and I was alone, just putting my stuff away, cleaning up some of the trash (cans on the layouts, guys!) and thinking about the day as the rain pattered off the roof. Rather nice and peaceful. I only wished more people would stay for the session. If you don’t like pushing through tons of traffic and waiting forever for warrants, later trains are the way to go.
And even when I was locking the gate in the drizzle, it wasn’t done. I still had to come home and write this blog.