All operators know this one.
Zanesville has a main down the middle, a siding to the left and a parallel industrial track to the right. With the throttle humming in Run 1 under my glove, Train 244 trundles down the main, passing thorough the zebra shadows cast by the Zanesville local parked on the industrial iron. A flash of light off the rails, and here’s 233 tucking into the siding opposite, the brakeman swinging back aboard as it rounds the switch stand. Watching the three trains line up, I hook up a phone.
“244 in on the main at Zanesville.” The DS acknowledges. I hand the phone over to 233 (let’s pretend he’s got his own cab phone). He calls in, flashes me a knowing smile, reaches for an order pad. Sunovabitch, he’s getting out of Zanesville before me. And the local is casting a sigh – no chance for him.
As 233 rumbles past, the engineer hands me the phone. “I got your trailing point turnout” I tell him and he nods thanks.
“244, you there?” asks the DS. I pick up a warrant pad, still rolling, thinking I’ll have just enough time to take an order before I run off my old warrant.
“Warrant number thirty-nine to Train two forty four East at Zanesville. Checkbox two…”
On the fly. So cool…