At the throttle

Train Blog

April 11, 2017

OpsLog – Tehachapi – 11/4/2017

he tale of two trains. I found myself the sole crewmember of SP train 59, the Night Coast, rumbling in readiness in Lancaster at 11:08pm (which, when the clock sweep hit 12, I notched forward and started rolling). As a first class passenger movement, I’ve got explicit rights over everyone (unless the meddling dispatcher interferes). But he didn’t – I hit Mojave with my black widows pausing at the station while I went inside to collect my clearance (no orders) and to jot my time through in the register book. And then I was off, flying up the Mojave Valley, […]
March 26, 2017

OpsLog – FEC – 3/25/2017

hat could be better on a perfect Saturday than a nice drive through the country? To spend time with two good long-term friends? To hang out with a group of other friends? And be boomers on the wonderful Florida East Coast? Doesn’t get better, as they say. I ran an early train, picking up a run in Frontenac to bring home to Jacksonville – easy run, green boards, no hassles. Just horning across the grade crossings and enjoying the run. The next bit was a little more difficult. Taxied back to Cocoa Yard by 10am to mount up on unit […]
March 22, 2017

OpsLog – LM&O – 3/22/2017

don’t think our op session was that bad. In fact, at the next business meeting I’ll have Sean Spicer come out and explain why it was so good. So,  No, it really wasn’t bad. We were running hot, with both Silver Bullets on time. I was having the usual congestion around Harris Glen, nothing extraordinary until a crew made a mistake, compounded the mistake by backing, then suffered derailments all over the place. There were trains waiting for him, and trains waiting for those trains, and next thing I knew 97 was running hours late. It was so bad that […]
February 25, 2017

OpsLog – FEC – 2/25/2017

o, the long drive home. Great op session on the Florida East Coast – so good I’m not sure what to comment on. I’d run 920 through Palm Bay to Pinetta, quietly doing my work and advising the dispatcher of what I’d do next so she could set mainline turnouts my way. Even that detector I’d hit was a methodical fix – dropped the car into the closest and most efficient siding and then… That’s when, at Crystal Lake offramp, I almost got creamed. To get off westbound 408 here, you need to merge across two lanes of onramp, with […]
February 22, 2017

OpsLog – LM&O – 2/22/2017

eah, it’s been a week. A few days ago in a prolonged Go game, I pulled a stupid move that likely cost me the game. I’m so upset about this that I sulked all weekend. And then there was the meeting at work where I was so popular in my regulatory position that everyone who came in sat as far down the table as they could. The only people to sit near me were the last in the room. A friend on the call said she thought I must have felt like Sean Spicer. I mean, shit. Today was ops. […]
February 4, 2017

OpsLog – WBRR – 2/4/2017

ust another day on the railroad. Was aboard 391, a mixed through freight out of Alamosa, creaking its steamy 1936 way up to the high slopes and eventually to Durango. I was conductor – boss man of the movement. In the cab, young Eric, still new enough at railroading to have a spark in his eye (and I knew he was aiming at moving east to high stepping Pennsy eventually). Richard slumped in the crummy, sucking at a bottle of rot gut, occasionally stumbling down the steps to realign the turnouts behind us if Eric blew the whistle long and […]
January 28, 2017

OpsLog – FEC – 1/28/2017

retty easy going session (especially since that last medical-emergency turnout-runner we had at the club). Left my mid-vacation to run over to Palm Bay for a little train running on the FEC. Not much to say. No realizations about the spiritual nature of things trainish or otherwise. no deep insights. Got there after everyone else and so I got the last train out. But that’s fine – it was a fun local that worked up through Palm Bay to Pineallis, just switching the industries and getting clear of the occasional passing train. This sort of work is actually pretty fun, […]
January 26, 2017

OpsLog – LM&O – 1/25/2017

Some sessions are great sessions that put a smile on your face for the drive home, and have you flipping through your railroad books long into the night. And then there was last night. Actually, it wasn’t bad. Not bad. Not too BAD. Not too much. But… Well, yeah, apparently we found the niche Ringling Brothers has left. We were packed, always good, lots of guests, but then again it makes running a bit tricky and our mistakes all the more embarrassing. And then everyone seemed a bit “off” (more on this in a bit). A couple of crews left […]
January 15, 2017

ShowLog – Deland – 1/(14-15)/2017

t’s five o’clock on a Sunday, I’m sitting on the club bench on our porch waiting for the truck to arrive for unloading. I’m beat. But I’m happy. Wotta show. Came back to Deland for their two-day – haven’t been out since last April. The club’s been a little staggered, what with the passing our our treasurer. But this got the dust and frowns out. When you think about it – our two track main had nothing short of three trains (and often up to eight) for the thirteen and a half hours we displayed. People stuffed the tip jars. […]
December 18, 2016

OpsLog – SD&EA – 12/18/2016

thought my layout had been mothballed for a long time – a year. But Doc’s, with his life-changes and learning to run Coast Guard cutters aground, has had the SD&EA down for a half-decade. But he started prairie-dogging the club again, paid some dues, and the next thing I knew his clinic-back-room layout was back in the rotation. Yeah, rotation of one. Things have changed in the club. But this is about him and his phoenix of a layout. It’s still the same old layout you remember, but with the mainline stretched (through wormhole sidings and hyperspace bipasses) to Los […]