OpsLog – WBRR – 12/07/2019

OpsLog – WBRR – 12/07/2019

nother day on the great Western Bay Railroad, chugging about in tiny teakettles amid the high peaks of the Rockies (and now, the smoky canyons of downtown Denver). And those peaks, yeah, I see them out of my station agent window.

So the WBRR continues to improve, this session being the best yet. We were running pretty much on the dot. The radios were working well (not perfect, but not bad). I do know a car got dumped without paperwork at Dulce (and then batted about like a football by every working freight after that). But railroads are railroads, and unless you are dragging the charred corpse of an engineer out of his own crumpled firebox, it’s a good day.

I’m really enjoying watching this railroad come along. Not just the scenery (though it is to die for, as illustrated below). No,in  operations the line continues to step away from Mother-May-I and drifting towards TT&TO. It’s come a long way since the days of playbooks. Now, the only thing that we need is for the crew to get that under TT&TO, the dispatcher doesn’t command – the crews follow their rulebooks and timetables in their rocking cabs, determining where and when they should be. No, the dispatcher facilitates. They still see it as an issue of clearance, not consideration. But then again, it’s a big come-to-Jesus jump. I’m not going to push, but I’m going to softly prod.

Then again, my own club (the LM&O) doesn’t run warrants by the book either – we overlap authority with the best of them (something that should never happen). But our dispatchers are always busy and we cut corners to make it work. Bad, yes, but everyone has fun. Whatever works for you, I suppose.

Anyway, a ear-to-ear-grin session. Glad I could make this one. Thanks to Al and his crew for having John and I up.


And this is what it looks like out my back window at Dolores station.