don’t think I’ve every run warrants so fast and so long. In three hours, I wrote ninety-three of them. Yes, it was a busy day on the WAZU railroad.
Not without goofs, of course. Writing that fast, you can get in trouble. I did clear a train into Spokane when the Lumber Jack run was coming out – a bit of a headlight thing there. But then again, I did have some phenomenal meets. Twice I got five trains past each other at single sidings (by cramming two in tight on the siding while three ran past). Of course, even writing that fast, I couldn’t keep ahead of the timetable – I ended up about three-four hours in the hole at the end of it. But the crews knew we were making an effort to expedite them and everyone seemed to have a good time. Of course, we missed some people (one gassed himself in a bathroom cleaning mishap, the other was carefully packing his socks for a trip). But yes, there were smiles in the debrief. Weary smiles, yes, but smiles.
I did note that some crews were relying on “mental warrants” (i.e. trying to remember what I said and not writing it down). This dropped off as the traffic intensified and the warrants got more exotic (I wrote a couple six-checkbox slips). Yeah, I know who you guys were.
And on the topic of warrants, I’m happy to say that Doc accepted the warrants as a good way to move trains. And that the radios have been moved to two stations (one for warrants, the other for OSes). Of course, to his credit (or in his foolishness) Doc permits guest trains to run. Bit him in the ass when the pipe train didn’t clear into staging. But it is nice to see other stuff run through.
And now there seems to be a coal tipple in Spokane. Cool!
One weird thing for me was the video cam feed on the screen behind me. I’d be stammering out a warrant or checking for an available arrival track and suddenly there would be a train horn and the rattle of wheels – damn railcam! But then again, in lulls I’d watch it.
So anyway, it was a good day for all of us. Everyone got to run trains (even I ran one after I burned out on dispatching (even with Doc following me around the layout, trying to catch me in mistakes)). But yes, a good day and a very busy one. Thanks to all those who attended and made the effort shine.
And Doc, thanks for all that pizza!