Farnham

October 1, 2019

OpsLog – FEC – 9/28/2019

he usual opener here. Ken asks if I’d like to dispatch his CTC paneled Florida East Coast. “Sure”, I say. Yes yes yes yes yes, I think. Love running the FEC – it’s a great layout and for the four hours we run, you are very busy – I’ve run CTC boards where you aren’t and it’s a yawn-fest but this one keeps you hopping. Truthfully, at the end of the session, we had four southbounds coming through Palm Bay and I was starting to get them mixed up (not helped by the crews who seemed rather “greedy” (by which […]
October 27, 2019

OpsLog – FEC – 10/26/2019

o today (or was it simulated tonight?) we used the F from FEC for “Fast”. It was the overnight shift, a time when the Florida East Coast moves manifests, juice trains and very lost coal trains. I was out in the layout, running this time. First train was a general freight with a call in at Cocoa for some swaps – easy work. And then, after a bit of a sit, I ran a fast manifest – straight through. Both of these might sound dull but with sound-equipped engines you can still have fun blowing at the gates and ringing […]
November 24, 2019

OpsLog – FEC – 11/23/2019

hat’s the best thing about the holidays? Well, there are those strings of lights with one bad bulb. And all those adults buying knockoff zombie costumes. And those political fights over turkey. So much. But best of all is the holiday ops session on the Florida East Coast. Ken and Bev, our gracious hosts, laid out a spread with more food than you could imagine (no, really). And drinks and snacks and even cookies (one of them with a delightful prize, it seems). And then there was the cool video Ken put together with a caboose ride on his own […]
March 1, 2020

OpsLog – FEC – 02/29/2020

don’t think I’ve ever had a more pleasant ops session. Was back on the FEC panel. It was a crisp late-winter day so the shed doors were wide open, the breezes cool and the skies cobalt. The crew was old pros so no dicking around and very sharp skills. I got the panel humming and the trains followed their timetables, meeting and working and generally not delaying each other. In the yard, the ladies (and our new engine hostler) worked as a team, getting trains in and out. All that mattered to me was that they prepped the departure track […]
June 27, 2021

OpsLog – FEC – 6/26/2021

f you wanted to find the last OpsLog on the Florida East Coast, you’d have to go back over a year ago. That’s how long it’s been, the entire span of the pandemic. Still, the session was one of the strictest I’ve seen. Temperature checks. Vaccination records. Full masks. And I respect that (with the new variant filling ICUs again). In fact, on the way to the session we stopped at Wendy’s for lunch. Wore our masks in the line. Sat down in the corner. But then an extended family of unmasked tire-biters sat a table away and we finished […]
July 25, 2021

OpsLog – FEC – 07/24/2021

ust another day on the Florida East Coast Railroad, running low capacity, pandemic-conscious operations. A smaller crew that normal due to some last-minute dropouts (made a bit better by Bruce Metcalf, who saved the day by showing up and rounding out the roster). And so the clocks (some of them) went hot and the trains rolled. I’ve been at sessions where you waited outside for thirty minutes, even an hour, for your next train. Not this time, no. With a lighter crew, we were running solid with crews rotating back in as quickly as they stepped off the footplate. Me, […]
August 29, 2021

OpsLog – FEC – 08/28/2021

o it was a training day on the Florida East Coast. Given the confusions that the new Pinetta Industrial Area has faced, Ken invited a smaller group, broke us into two teams and had us run through the AM and PM shift. This meant that I got a glare when my wife (who is perfectly happy doing the yardmaster job) got posted to the AM engineer. Me, I’d come in at that shift and dumped the inbound cars, the the mainline background job. She wasn’t very happy when she settled in her seat and started running her RS-3 up and […]