Last session of the year, over at Docs. It was supposed to be a casual get together over hot dogs followed by a clean-n-stage, but Doc with his remarkable boyish enthusiasm had gotten everything ready beforehand. And so there we were, literally thrown into a session without a dispatcher, just running in look-ahead rules, casual fun.
Took the Sterling Turn out of North Platte (flipping industry waybills as I went). Lots of traffic on the line, people poking ahead to negotiate meets with each other. Strange moment – Doc dragooned my wife to run, so here she comes in control of the three-set of heavy pumpkins, running a careful downgrade. I blinked, nodded, then set her turnouts so she’d take the BNSF cutoff. After everything was lined, told her to check with Doc when she got to Holeridge (“right here, Dear”) and off she went. The lady never ceases to amaze.
Brought the Turn home and took the Denver Turn up topside next, working the industries there. Must be the holidays, but the train was short so I could work the spurs without problem. Over the top of the waybills, watched my wife and a pal pull a neat rolling meet on the Denver mains while I held clear. Things were winding down, people drifting off home, but I wanted to finish the switching and get the train pointed in the right direction. Found myself with a newbie watching how I worked it, and also JB, who’d delivered her cut to North Platte and was done for the night. My switching ended up being an informal class with JB seeing her hubby’s game and the newbie working the paperwork as we finished up at the bakery and arsenal.
Sometimes, with all the timetables and fast clocks, I forget how much fun casual ops can be. I just enjoyed the simple effort of running trains and spotting cars.
I’m sure there is a life lesson in that somewhere.