Why is this man smiling?
He was at the controls of a single GP-9 picking up cars out of LA. Railroad management overestimated the pulling power of these new fangled diesels. Now, with 24 cars, he’s found himself spinning his wheels on the grade out of Oxnard. This caused him to have to run his train up in two sections (and deal with a Butt Monkey operator opposing him at Ventura). Once he got rebuilt on the Ventura siding (in the sun…. shine) and departed, he found the slow rise towards Santa Barbara too much for his straining single unit. Again, he stalled. This time, the helpers waiting for him in the Santa Barbara shops had to run down to him and pull him uphill. It would be a long grunting climb to San Luis Obispo.
So why is he smiling?
(At least, that’s railroading on Paul Lator’s SP Coast Route, the sister line of my own coast route. The author is facing the sealed helix which contains the part of the railroad he models (SLO to Watsonville). Loved it! Thanks, Paul!)