Last night went well considering right off the bat I almost got run over by a tank car filled with 25,000 gallons of molasses that was kicked down the wrong track...
You can't hear rolling freight cars when there's no locomotive attached.
Anyway, this is a brief snippet of a conversation between my engineer, Jack and myself last night:
Me: "So again there's no sand in the locomotive?"
Jack: "We just got another pig on my side again..." As he blows the whistle for a crossing.
Me: "Crossing is Clear! Get it good?"
Jack: "Naw, just swiped it some."
Me: "How's the train line holding air?"
Jack: "Got eighty pounds in the train line and the main reservoir is holding at ninety... Train line's dropping some..."
Me: "I'll check the hoses when we get to Weatherald Two... Probably another gladhand gasket..."
Jack: "The rip track will have nothing to do after you're done, you've bout' changed every gasket in the fleet in the last three months..."
Me: It's not like this stuff is old or anything, the car right next to the motor was made in 1929, practically brand~new..."
Here's where the radio come to life...
"Sugarmill Yardmaster to the 405, over..."
Me: "405 answering, over."
SYM: "405, bypass Townsite Two and bring the 56 loads you have on your train right into the yard... Ag is slowing down and the mill is cranking up, over."
Me: "I copy bypass town two and bring my train directly into the yard, over."
SMY: "Roger 405, Sugarmill Yardmaster out..."
Me: "405 out..." then I look at Jack. "Tell me again Jack how lucky I am to be working here..."
Jack: "Yep, you are..."
Me: "You know what Jack? It's so fucking refreshing working for a company where every department communicates so well with each other, so well in fact it purrs like a finely tuned, well-oiled machine..."
And with that statement Jack rolls his eyes and laughs...
Jack: "Hey, it's raining on my side of the train..."
Me: "Yep, raining on my side too..." As I reach up and turn the knob for the pneumatic wipers. "Just in time for us to get back to the yard and work the outbound..."
And that's how my night went... At least I wasn't smushed by a 100,000 pound rail car.
Copyright 2007 Thomas J Wolfenden