Good to be in the dispatcher’s seat after a month away. I had the dual line Nebraska Division; UP trains on the low line, BNSF on the high. Things were running hot. My usual trouble spots weren’t. Most of the locals were on their way back. I figured the rest of the session was smooth sailing.
How a cork can sneak up on us.
Two BNSF freights coming down the long hill from Denver, nose to tail. I gave them clearance to Holeridge, no problem. Then a fast passenger train pops up on the grade approaching Denver. Hmmm.
I duck the freights into the sidings at Holderidge and Hastings, clearing the line for the varnish.
Then I get greedy.
One freight I can send onwards – he can run clear quick enough. The other one can get clear too.. wait, he’s got a quick little station stop at Lincoln. Shouldn’t be a problem. He’ll be gone before the passenger train runs up against him.
Should be clear…
Soon as I forward him, I get a squawk out of the Lincoln yard – he’s plugged, everything’s a mess, and how’s he supposed to take this freight?
“Do your best”. And to the varnish,”SantaFe 24. Um. Proceed slowly.”
“We’re dropping seven cars,” the freight advises. “It’s going to be a while.”
Had to get greedy…