First item: Let the record reflect that the author, known herein as Robert Raymond, has operated three times this week.
Second Item: Let the record also reflect that having a kiddy birthday party/ops session for hyperactive nine year olds is probably not a good idea.
hat business out of the way, let us begin.
And yes, we began as part of a birthday party. Nice that I got pizza and coke and a cute engineer’s hat, but I also got a local off the bat, working a busy section of mainline, with other mother/child teams pushing out of Portland and Seattle. Kept the crews busy with shorter inefficient clearance hops until the line cleared (boy, was that a lot of work). But then it was disaster following disaster (like a coal train (run by an experienced club member (okay, Mr T))) losing half its length and still proceeding, the back half parked on the main (when mommie called and said Pacso main was blocked, I had to come in and see). So yes, there was that.
Eventually the party went elsewhere (pin the tail on the dispatcher was dull to burning little enthusiasms, I suppose). And there we were, running five hours late with a short crew and nothing to do but keep moving trains as quick as we could across the division. I fought that session tooth and nail, but unlike the FEC, where I pulled it back on schedule, we only slid further behind (eight hours, by session end).
Don’t get me wrong. It was a lot of fun.
But we were later than I’ve even been on a railroad.
Oh, the shame, father.