The Tennessee Carolina & Coast is a wonderfully long and lazy railroad with a bittersweet background story, one I can’t really go into. But even given that, it’s an eye-popper when you enter its basement. The railroad aisle (between sightblocking backdrops) forces you into a corridor, layout shelves to either side, which you follow and follow and follow some more, lost in its convolutions. I am convinced this thing is a tesseract, folding over itself in real space.
The runs were fun and very casual, the switching interesting yet not contrived. I really enjoyed it.
Nice moment tonight – was sitting in the yard with the Kingsburg turn, an out-and-back local, sitting in the main yard and ready to roll. Had a single car to run down, and was expecting a whole lot to come back. Fine by me.
“Kingsburg local to dispatcher, ready to depart the yard.”
“Get out,” the yardmaster gruffed.
“Dispatcher to Kingsburg. I’ve got two westbound freights coming down the line. I’ve no place for you. Remain in the yard.:”
“Dispatcher, the yard really wants me to…”
“Kingsburg. Remain off the main.”
I thought for a moment. There was that earlier run…
“Dispatcher, this is Kingsburg. Can I pull down the Lydia Branch? Nobody’s working down there. Plenty of room and I can back out when those inbounds are past. Get’s me out of the yard.”
A pause, then, “Affirmative, that works. Kingsburg, clear down the Lydia Branch.”
As I tucked down the branch line, clearing access to from the mainline to the yard, the first of the two freights rumbled in. I looked over my shoulder, back to where the yardmaster was watching the train rumble into his domain. He looked up at me. “Hey, thanks.”
I like being good at something like this.