I got the call at 5:00 am that they needed a relief engineer down in Louisville and since I'm not a old head, I have to go. Guess I'll grab the coffee when I get there...
While I'm driving to the yard, the west bound train carrying a load of empty coal cars goes whizzing by. I'm sure he's not supposed to go that fast, but its hard to go slow when everything is empty.
The coal train running quickly through East Louisville, heading back to the coal fields for reloading.
Dispatch tells me that I have to wait as another train (coming from the staging yard in the next room) will be coming through the yard soon. Time to get that coffee!
My train is stretched and the air hoses and brakes are in check, so we'll head out as soon as we're given the clear. We will head to East Louisville as another train handles West Louisville.
Dispatch says "go!"
My little GP drags the train over the river as we go very slow due to the slow board sign.
We arrive at the East Louisville sorting yard. We've got three boxcars for the brewery, two full of bottles for siding #1 and an empty for loading on siding #2. There are two pick ups as well. Let's get to work! My paperwork shows that the East Bound Mixed is due soon, so we'll work with dispatch to stay clear.
We take the cut of three cars and begin to work the siding. Several times we have to call the brewery to get them to open the gates.
The brakeman catches the turnout just before the East Bound Mixed comes rumbling through. I spend a minute checking the train as it rolls by for wheel or brake issues. I radio an "all clear" to the other engineer.
After switching the brewery, we head over to the Grainery and move some cars. We find one is in bad order and set it out on the #2 spur. The other empty we take back with us after re-positioning the other cars.
Once we have the empty, we head back to the East Lousiville yard.
After a quick run-around maneuver to get the hopper on the right side of the loco, and a quick check with Dispatch and the conductor, we pull out onto the main line.
The brakes are checked again and we are off to the Louisville yard.
We get clearance to enter the yard and to put the train on the passing siding. The yardmaster will take it from there.
We clear the siding and turn the switch back to normal.
I turn in the paperwork I have to the conductor and am excused for the day. Wow! That was an easy shift, and I get to sleep in my own bed tonight.
That is a "sketch" of what one of several jobs could be on this railroad. I'd see both and East and West Lousiville Local, four mainline trains, two of them through trains and two of them stopping in the yard for drops/picks, and the yardmaster. So several folks could have some fun here!
Rick...what do you think?