“Red over red means more bread.”
This is a contemporary railroad saying. It refers to twin-targeted signals (one light over another) and how the absolute stop position is a red light over another one. This phrase is very sage advice in that it translates to “Don’t fret and worry that you have a fully restrictive signal. So you wait. You get paid by the hour.”
So I’m grinding my way up the eastern ascent to Harris Glen. I’ve had traffic in Calypso Yard and met a well-overdue coal train in Hellertown. Now I’m easing onto the main at Harris, meeting 202 who bails his brakes and starts to roll down the hill as I clear. And I’ve still got to wait because 244 is approaching. But now he’s stalled on the hill.
This results in me calling back to Bruce, my caboose-bending helper back on the tail. The dispatcher wants him around me and down the hill, lickety-split, chop-chop, to drag that stalled train up. I’m too long, of course, so I end up sawing-by my own helpers so they can get around me. Once that’s done, I break the train and tuck the lead units on the Harris Glen house track so the over-long and over-due 244 can get around me. It’s clear: the railroad is a wiggling snarl of traffic, too many trains, too little track, with the dispatcher about to disappear under a pile of tranquilizer pills.
And it’s just great.
I’m not getting paid. Well, not in money, that is. I’d posted a reminder to the membership about ops, mentioning how I’d hope to see everyone there since it was my last session before my dad’s memorial service and I’d like to get a good run in. After all, he was a founder of this club.
And everyone came, members I hadn’t seen in months, even years. We were packed. There weren’t enough scheduled trains – extras were rolling, the TOFC, the autoracks, everything. Every siding was filled. We ran the full 24 hour session and kept going – just too much fun. Finally, at a simulated 6am the next day, we got the last train home. The dispatcher was near collapse. We were all battered and tired, but happy. It was a great session, an Eagle Day of a session, and I was very moved by the turnout.
Red over red. Thanks guys!