kay, so everyone knows the feeling of biting off more than you can chew. But I should have known my little GP-9’s wouldn’t get that long heavy string of hoppers over the summit. We were stalling and sanding into Hellertown siding.
Picked a set of helpers off 244 as it rolled by and tacked them to the front end. Two Dash-9s (in unlikely LM&O green) really made a difference. Soon we were climbing pretty as a picture through the long curves and spiral tunnel leading to Harris Glen. Down below us in Carbon Hill, little Sean was banging and sorting his cuts (by hand – shame). Met a freight in Red Rock, a pretty Lehigh job, nice roll-by. But I was thinking (and dreading) ditching the helpers – I’d never get this coal drag around the Pittsburg turn. Even along the flat riverbed, I figured the series of serpentines would stall me.
“Going to ask if you can hang with me to Carbon Hill,” I told Helperman Bruce.
“I’ve never been there. I never get past Martin Yard.” (True – Bruce has run helpers since joining the club and hasn’t beyond the western flank of the grade).
But no problem – it was an easy roll through the refreshed scenery, a very nice run. The dispatcher cut fine orders (I think I did the entire end-to-end run on four warrants, a good number). So yeah, it was a great night to run trains with the boys.