Wednesday, April 01, 2009

I'm tired...

Of stupid people.
Tonight when I got home I was fired up with a really good rant about a few of the other guys I work with... It was either that or tell you all about my spiffy new Washer~dryer combo I purchased a few weeks ago...
But after I got home, had a short chat with a good friend of mine, ate dinner and watched the Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson I decided to tone it down some.
This is a watered-down rant.
We use radio communications while making movements with our trains. For the most part. Hand signals are used primarily when the distance is short (ie: 20 car lengths or less) and visibility is good.
At night I use my lantern and can use signals at a greater distance, 30 or more cars away from the locomotive.
Yes, that's right. I spend only about 30% of the time on the locomotive. I'm usually on the ground, making couplings, lacing air hoses and walking the train line.
Far away from the engine.
Now mostly I can use hand signals... Mostly.
A lot of times I NEED to use the radio because of several factors, this being the major one:
Unless the light is just right, there's no dust at all, the sun is at the right angle in the sky, the planets are all aligned properly, He can tell me the same stupid story or lame joke again for the five-thousandth time, I'm wearing the right colored shirt, and I'm within 10 car lengths of the engine (400 feet), and he's been able to gather his aluminum cans up and take out the garbage and make the coffee...
MY ENGINEER CAN'T FUCKING SEE ME!
Case in point. Three weeks ago I had a switchman out on the job with me to learn the road job. This is cool, I've trained several new road conductors since I've been here. We pulled a cut of 20 cars out of an elevator clear of the mainline switch and I threw the switch for the main.
The bottom angle cock was open and I had no air coming through for the brake test. Since another crew was on our frequency I couldn't get on the radio to tell him to cut the air in.
So I did what any railroader would do.
I gave him the standard railroad hand signal for daylight to cut the air in...
What the fuck do you think he did?
Mind you, the switchman was standing In-Gauge (between the rails) at the rear of the train...
He started to BACK THE FUCK UP!
I had to pull the switchman out of the way lest he gets run over...
All because I CAN'T GET ON THE FUCKING RADIO!
Four... Count em'! FOUR fucking frequencies and the fucking moronic assholes who SHOULD know some hand signals don't FUCKING USE THEM!
Just tonight I used hand signals to pull three elevators with over 60 cars, coupled 30 cars to 20, made the joint, laced the air hoses, cut the air in and backed the train up to pick me up and never once used the radio, and the other crew never SHUT THE FUCK UP on the radio and even use it to move FIVE FUCKING CARS over a switch and into a siding.
Another thing... When I DO happen to be on the radio making a move with my train... These other fucking train crews will just walk all over me with all kinds of senseless chatter.
Fucking morons.
Deep breaths...
Ok. I feel better now.
Well, on to other things. The two photographs above are of the actual mill and dump where the raw sugarcane I haul in eventually winds up so you all can have your sweet tea, sugar in your coffee and on your Wheaties in the morning.
You like that stuff, don't you?
You're welcome.
I took some pictures of the place because I very rarely get to be around that part of the mill, but the other day we had to take the locomotive we were using to get serviced mid-shift because we were down to 400 gallons of fuel (obscene, isn't it?) and the loco shop is right across from the dumps where they unload the cane so I decided to take a few shots.

So the great guys at the roundhouse took care of our engine, checking the brakes, putting sand in the sanders, and topping off our diesel with 2,000 gallons. So while we were waiting I decided to take a few pictures. Do you have any idea how long it takes to pump 2,000 gallons?

I had a few cigarettes and a cup of coffee while we waited...



I'd hate to have that gas bill... And now we're getting busy as the crop winds down and we're using this amount of fuel daily...



But you need that much fuel to haul 2,100 tons of sugarcane in a 60 car train as pictured above...
Coming around the bend from Elevator V-1 across the SCFE Diamond headed for the mill.





But all is good. After getting the fuel we needed and coupled onto another train of empty cane cars, we headed out of the yard down the mainline to service our elevators I spied this sight...
A ray of light that told me the end was nigh...





The light at the far end wasn't another freight train heading for me...
It was the end of another successful sugar harvesting season for the only sugar company (that I know of) in the US that owns it's own railroad!
Only six or seven more days now and I can toss my alarm clock into the dustbin for another six months.
I Can't just sit around though, I've got a bunch of things on my plate for this summer and I'll tell you all about them later!
(And Gary, yes, I ain't right!)
Copyright 2009 Thomas J Wolfenden

5 comments:

honkeie2 said...

At a few of the many jobs I have worked at had very strict rules about radio use. to the point they fired people for violating them. Seems like you guys need them too.
But I still cannt get over this line:
'The bottom angle cock....'
I know it isnt what I am thinking but I still think its funny. Some day i want to get a picture of this gas cap manufacturer in my old town. The name still makes me laugh:
'Standard Nipple Works'

leazwell said...

Bottom angle cock, that's a penis disease, yes?

As for the radio hogs, slobs.

Ranger Tom said...

Honkeie: We have the rules here too, but nobody seems to give a shit. As for Sandard... I prefer Puffies.

Leazwell: You you're thinking "Peyronies Disease"... Not a very important piece of equipment I use every day...

leazwell said...

RT - Ha, ha, ha...yeah, that's the one.

weatherchazer said...

I weened off of sugar, idiot that I am...