Tuesday, August 30, 2011

244 days to go - Holy Cow

Holy Cow at Shellies... Hey, I didn't eat it all AND I went for a 4 mile bike ride after soooo... about 9000 calories divided by 2 minus 600.... AND I watched 'em play tennis at the park, that's good for something .... now I'll sit on my butt and run the train for 12 hours... Dr. Cabel would be thrilled... 244 days to go

Standing for a Stack train... there was a derailment near Havre... this might be a reroute

UPDATE: Called for the stack train but I think it should go first... there is an empty called right ahead of us... we should get it, but what do I know?

Monday, August 29, 2011

245 days left - I really like...

I really like a noon call. Choo Choo.

On another front, I have managed to disable my pickup trying to fix the brakes... things used to be held together with bolts. Chevy used a clip I could not get off. Bent up the backing plate. Now I get to remove the axle and the backing plate to fix it.

And I get to ride the motorcycle to work as I have no car anymore... see post below

Sunday, August 28, 2011

246 - a semi daylight trip

HAVRE - A 93-car freight train en route from Spokane to Minneapolis has derailed on Montana's heaviest used rail line, injuring two crew members and leaving several cars and locomotives piled on their sides along the tracks.

Here we go again... we will be expected to run their detour trains.

Not much to report on last trip other than 2 little gripes... the dispatcher stopped us at Muir on a underpowered coal load on the way to Helena last trip. I had my student start the train... he had never done that before... he did nothing wrong but the power tripped the local control and the resulting slack was huge. I even cracked my elbow.

I have been working alot of nights... the return trip from Helena was 1500-0001... dark but not all night like they have been lately.

2011/08/18 0001 2011/08/18 0730 LA06 = 7'29"
2011/08/18 2200 2011/08/19 0650 LA06 = 8'50"
2011/08/21 0700 2011/08/21 1050 DEAD
2011/08/21 2220 2011/08/22 0550 LA06 = 7'20"
2011/08/24 0200 2011/08/24 1400 LA06 = 12'00"
2011/08/25 0130 2011/08/25 1730 LA06 = 16'00"
2011/08/26 1630 2011/08/27 0330 LA06 = 11'00"
2011/08/27 1500 2011/08/28 0001 LA06 = 9'01"

Friday, August 26, 2011

249 - flashback to 16 hour HOS law

Took this picture after covered service.
After seeing it I reactivated my old phone... it has a much better camera.

I'm just wore out... 16 hours on duty yesterday. What is this? The 30's? The intent of the 12 hour law is to have us in the terminal in 12... not off the train 3 hours by car from home. Treat me like that I'll eat on overtime... everytime. I'l go to work this evening again about suppertime. Sure glad I love running the train.

The front of the engine in the picture above is past the signal but the front wheel is behind the bond. The rear of the train is 20 feet from the signal at the rear. ML 139 cars, 10,800 tons, 7,300 horepower, 7555 feet... barely fit at Logan with 20 feet to spare after picking up 62 cars on the rear of the train while westbound traffic was waiting... pretty stupid. 0.7 hpt, We are saving fuel now!

After we left here I did have a meal on overtime... stopped at Franks in Manhattan... looks nice outside... what a dive.... best Philly Cheesesteak ever... not going back there... like I said, it's a dive. The clients were right out of deliverance. We should have stayed in Logan and eaten at the Land 'o' Magic, Martin

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

251 - and so it goes / last Car?

The lineup was off by 27 hours... now it says 1300 tomorrow... yesterday it said 1000 today.
I try not to complain but this is not safe.

On the upside yesterday, we went to see Harry Potter last night and I did get to have lunch with my sweetie today.
The Red Door Rocks... it funny the demographic is white haired folks at lunch and 20 year olds in the evening.

On the upside today... I ordered a new Car today... might be my last one... it will not arrive for a few months as it is special order only. I traded my car in already so I'm driving the old S10 pickup... no A/C... I'm so spoiled but it is going to be in the 90's all week

it's a 2012 Honda Si Sedan... I thought they only made it in a coupe... a rare combo of fast and great mileage (if I keep my foot out of it)

The plain Jane DX-VP I traded... a basic version of the hot number I ordered... they want 19 grand for it... just about what it was new.

Sunday, August 21, 2011

253 but really 252

Once again I am working twice today.

Deadhead at 0700 - 1050

11:50 off in Helena... I did play some tennis

Now a Grain mty for 2250

it's going fast... the countdown I mean

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

256 - nothing new

Seems like a rule... everytime I have an extended time off I catch an all night heavy

0001-noon (probably) Coal train

Monday, August 15, 2011

259 - less about me, more about trains

I suddenly realized that this blog needs to be less about me and more about trains for the railfans. Still, I have gotten some good comments about the life of an Engineer even when it leans to grumbling. Hey, I'm not as bad as most as I really do like running trains.

It's difficult because all I want to do is go home when I am off duty. And the govmint takes a dim view of photos while on duty. I am planning a GoPro unique view video soon. The camera will be on it's own so it should be legal as I will not be in contact with it during the filming.

I changed turns to LA-06-01 today... remains to be seen if I go right out

UPDATE: Didn't the turn went out without me... so a few days off... damn, damn, damn

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

264 - less than 100 days less than a year to go

Update: Boss Heffe is the best. I'll NOT be working this trip even though the MRL golf tourney is FRI ... instead we are leaving the country for our 39th. Recapping the WeSTOC venue at the Pestige in Nelson, BC. Track us on SPOT

Photo: by MDT - Near New Denver

and this is why I am counting down to retirement... HAPPY BIRTHDAY CADENCE!

Here she is in a Christmas video from one of my first posts.

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

265 - Did I really have a day off?

Recent work history
2011/08/02 0330 2011/08/02 1405 LA14
Job: LA14 01 From LAURMT To HELEMT Train: CSCMCEC078
2011/08/03 0200 2011/08/03 1130 LA14
Job: LA14 01 From HELEMT To LAURMT Train: XKALRSC931
2011/08/05 0300 2011/08/05 1425 LA14
Job: LA14 01 From LAURMT To HELEMT Train: CSXMRBE122
2011/08/06 0330 2011/08/06 1500 LA14
Job: LA14 01 From HELEMT To LAURMT Train: MMISLAU105
2011/08/07 1630 2011/08/08 0330 LA14
Job: LA14 01 From LAURMT To HELEMT Train: CRWMCEC038
2011/08/08 1815 2011/08/09 0400 LA14
Job: LA14 01 From HELEMT To LAURMT Train: ERBESXM120

Now we get to my pet peeve. The Federal law regarding the hours Locomotive Engineers work are just stupid. I work all night and yet they count days. I got off work at 0400 this morning and yet I did not work today according to the Feds. As I post this it is actually 1215am WED. I changed the date but left the time the same.

Point is I have worked part of the last 5 days but the count got reset because I didn't actually START work today. I would get a couple days off if they counted the day. Now I cannot sleep because I napped off and on all day. I'll feel like shit when I go to work tomorrow... I know this because, been there, done that. About the time I get called will be about the time I want to go back to sleep! Gotta love it. (And I do love running the train)

Rant off!

Saturday, August 6, 2011

Thursday, August 4, 2011

269 -

Expecting a 0245am Coal Train with Blaine THEN but had Little Dougie instead


Wednesday, August 3, 2011

271 - Change the title

I changed the title of this post.

It was going to be "Trips don't get better than this"
"Great trip to Bozeman"

Even though I didn't sleep much yesterDAY and got a one hour call (they usually don't remember) the 0200 am to 1130 am trip on a 112 car grain empty was looking real promising until Bozeman. Stopped at West End for one coal train... managed to get through Livingston on the mainline and then it started. Track work, form "B"''s and slow orders and CTC outage from Columbus to Rapids. Restricted speed that entire stretch. What was shaping up to be a 7 hour trip turned into 9 1/2 hours.

I recorded the trip with my Garmin and I'll post that HERE

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

272 - Can't count and 33 Handbrakes

I'd just about catch a Coal Train as anything else anymore. 3+1 power (17,200 hp) and helpers to the rear account 17,515 tons is less than the 17,600 tons that require them to be cut in.

0330 am to 1405 pm

Pretty much straight shot to Louisville but parked the train there. It took 33 handbrakes... wheww

Stand for 0130 empty tomorrow am... night night... or is it day day?