n Amtrak train drifts up to a weatherstained industrial structures. Down its flanks, the doors bang open. For a moment, silence.
Then, the passengers of ill-fated Train 22 drift out onto the broken concrete loading dock outside the shuttered factory. They cannot find their conductor. All the attendants have vanished. The engine idles, driverless and abandoned. There are no answers.
As night falls, various groups of passengers drift off, seeking help and civilization. Some are picked off by drug-addicted homeless grungers. Others are eaten by mooses. Carnivorous deer pick off a few. One surprised passenger is killed by Big Foot. In all, Train 22 becomes a dark legend in the Portland-Seattle rail corridor. Parents tell their children that if they don’t behave, they will get it in the wazu…
But seriously, a great session (other than what happened to Train 22 – oh, the humanity!). We had a lot of people show up (especially when the info went out on an email list not dating from 2003). It was gratifying to see many of our young members there. And some of the old duffers ran well, too.
I really enjoyed dispatching this one. Usually its a train or two dragging across the division. Today, the line was packed and I had my hands full, trying to fit specific trains into specific sidings to make their meets. I did get two trains on a collision course at one point (the reason I usually use my program, rather than single-location markers). But the crews worked it out. And in the end, I even got to step away from the panel to run a train (well, it was Train 22 through to Spokane, eerily empty and haunted by legend). But everyone had a great time.
Thanks, Doc, for the good session and the delicious pizza. It was the perfect day!