e rolled into Dulce (on those tiny little narrow-gauge tracks), dropping our top-heavy caboose just short of the grade crossing (so as not to block any of those flatbed trucks with their boilable radiators). Then to work. With Conductor Richard working the paperwork and me the throttle, we’d just tugged a boxcar off a warehouse spur and slid another one home. The high Rockies seemed to scrape the sky, the pines were rustling in the cool breeze, and across the room, the dispatcher and superintendent were yelling at each other.
“122, get off the main,” the dispatcher shouted at us. “I need to get a passenger train through.”
“I can’t hear you,” Richard laughed back.
The dispatcher’s office curtains rustled back into place.
“BZZZZZZZ!!!!” shouted the Dulce station phone.
Smiling at me, Richard picked it up. After a lot of “Uh huhs” and “Sures” he rung off. “We gotta clear the main. Passenger coming through. And we need to respot two tank cars while we’re here.”
“Goodness. We going to get the key to the city,” I smirked.
“Yeah, of Dulce.” What a dump.
So we cleared in smart fashion, got out of the way and let the varish plod past. Then we pushed those two misguided tank cars into Gramps Fuel Oil (I told Richard he’d better not be smoking back in the caboose, not with us using it to push all that live fuel home). But we got them spotted and rolled out of town, feeling pretty good with ourselves.
This was my first time running on the Western Bay Railroad, a neat narrow gauge western road. It’s fun and the scenery is so good, it will make your teeth ache. I really loved it and had a great time.
Even later, when we worked Navajo and found out later that we’d mis-spotted our own two cars. Oh, the shame!
But great running on a wonderful layout. Thanks to Al Sohl and his gang for letting me come out.