Some thoughts from an outsider exploring the world of railroading.
NS GP40-2 3046
Tuesday, September 09, 2008
Yesterday was a very interesting day on the railroad. Several things happened. First the Wheeling crew somehow forgot to give us all our empties. I am still trying to figure out how they thought 10 empties should stay on their train and not go with the other 31 empties we had. Second, a locomotive is only capable of pulling so many cars going up a hill. We currently have a GP15 (LTEX 1420) that can pull about 20 loads on our line. I bet it could pull more the line of you could move the hills to somewhere else. Since this locomotive has not been put to the test, yesterday was the day. So 23 loaded gons were attached to 1420. Off they went at 20 mph and would soon drop down to 9 mph. What killed the train was a curve. This train went from 9 mph to a halt. Half the train was left outside the yard and the other half about 5 miles back at the bottom of the hill.
After the Wheeling crew placed the 10 empties in their train and tied them down to our cut of empties, we proceeded to get down to business. Our first move was to get the loads that where left out on the main outside the yard. Once tied on to the loads, we pulled into the yard and tied on to a cut of 6 empties. This cut was place on the front of the locomotive. So we started to move to the rest of the empties that were being stored across the crossing. Once across the crossing, we made the tie on to the empties. I connected the air hose. Once that angle cock was opened, I gave the engineer "ahead" over the radio. Very slowly, that little GP15 started to shove 41 empties and pull 11 loads at the same time. That poor little engine did it somehow. It was slow going at first, but soon it was the train was moving at about 4-5 mph. We shoved the empties out of the yard onto the main so that we could have room bring our second section of loads into the yard. By the way, this way is small yard. A main line, with a long siding and a short siding attached to the siding. I have to look at my map to see how many cars can fit into this yard. We shoved the loads to the siding track. Once the loads were parked, we ran pulled back onto the main to head out to get the rest of the loads.