his was my second of three sessions in two days at the always-enjoyable L&N, a two railroad layout with twin dispatchers and all sorts of dirty diesels lugging grimy coal cars. And hey, I scored my favorite seat – L&N Dispatcher, the widow maker job. Fortunately I was working with Tom Wilson on his Southern Desk – he and I really work well together (when he’s not holding Edison Jct for ransom).
The interesting thing about running in a Protorails event is that you’d think everyone would be at game-top abilities for the session. Not the case, it seemed. Crews arriving at their terminus or Norton Yard would seemingly walk away from the cab, leaving me to wonder where the hell they’d gotten too (and if they’d ever arrived) (and could I let someone else use their track). Frustrating. The biggest wangbang of the day was when a crew coming onto my division shrugged off his warrant’s checkbox 8 – Not in effect until arrival of… bit. Hey, this isn’t a mattress tag – you really need to read it! End results – two trains nose to nose in the middle of a long helix. They called to blame me, I referred them to the warrant in their grubby hand, and then told them that the violating train should back down to staging again and let the privileged train follow him in. But instead, they thought it was a better idea to back up (unannounced) to Ramsey siding (a deathtrap in the best of times), a move that also meant they were crossing Southern RR trackage without permission (sorry, Tom) and nearly running into a following train. After we got everyone to pump back up after going into emergency, we had the superintendent (on the scene) help me get these guys in the right order so we could get three trains around each other in the blind.
And then there was the guy who thought that his train instructions served as his orders, running through two stop points and even ignoring a direct face-to-face discussion about holding. First time at this?
But with all the clownery, the L&N is still a joy to work. The rails are busy and the dispatcher jobs will keep you hopping. Already scored another shot at a February session – that is, if owner John Wilkes thinks this is a harsh assessment. Hey, it wasn’t you.
Anyway, great pike, one of the best in Florida!