OpsLog – LM&O – 6/27/2018

OpsLog – LM&O – 6/27/2018

just spent today at work doing Agile planning. This “event” takes rooms packed with people in Memphis, Orlando and Bangalore three days to do. There are meeting, roving meetings, phone calls, meetings, planning, sticky-notes on board, and, of course, talktalktalktalktalk. By the time I got out in the car this evening to run out to the club, my head was throbbing and I felt like I just wanted to go home and lie down in a dark room.

Flying over Harris Falls (Photo: J. Mathis)

Dinner with the guys was good. Then we got out to the club for ops. And guess what. Everyone started cleaning the layout, calling out the sections they were working. One or two clusters formed as people chatted over what jobs they wanted but there is an unwritten seniority in place. No matter. Everyone signed up for something. It’s all seamless.

But don’t think this isn’t complex. The layout is hot. The fast clocks are running. The paperwork is placed. I’ve got six freight trains through, each with one or two dozen cars to shift about. There is an issued bulletin for Hellertown. The helpers are only crewing the East flank of the mountains tonight. But everyone knows what needs doing and they do it. When the clock starts, the opening trains call for their warrants. I jot them off and get them moving. It’s how it works, how it really works, without windy meetings and timid hierarchies and overpaid administrators. We get things done on this line, we move freight and adjust the flow around failing passenger trains and unexpected coal movements.

We aren’t playing at success. We’re dealing it out.

Good run tonight, guys. I can face tomorrow’s meetings now.