I could probably tell a few more but what I left out might embarrass someone which is why I left it out in the first place..........
I will tell you that one of my favorite stories was the CD Tower, FC Edwards retirement party. The Sperry Car stuff just literally tumbled out of my mind onto the keyboard spelling errors and all.
I will tell you a quick new one. (I am cross posting for all to enjoy). We were on an MofW trip with on track equipment on a lightly used branch line. We were able to get all the chores done but it had become a much longer day than anyone had anticipated and when we finished, we were on the other end of the railroad. That was not the plan!
We turned our track equipment with turntables and left one piece off the track to continue the work in the opposite direction the next day.
We started up the hill and the vegetation made the upgrade climb difficult, to the point that we had to get out and push! Although the temperature was down around 75 by 8 pm when we turned around, the humidity was 80%. At one point I got out to push and found I was standing in six inches of water. Just to add to the discomfort that water had a distinct sewage odor to it.
Note to all: When you are in the track department, wear your hard hat. I always do! Except this one moment when I am trying to push the track car and I jump out and push and the speeder gets going so I jump back on and hit my head on the roof climbing in. Ouch!!! wear your hardhat!
We got going and that is when a small collection of shale slid down the embankment and we crashed through it. Nearly knocked me off the speeder!
As we started west, the long shadows gave we to evening darkness and with approaching clouds, evening became night real fast. A light drizzle started and then the rain started to pound the windshield. The "headlight" from the track car was okay but the lightening gave us a momentary view of everything including shadowy figures in the woods.
We banged along the rails and I was certain that there was something out there. I could just hear over the noise of the motorcar something crashing through the woods off to my right. We went along for 50 yards when the noise in the woods got really close and suddenly the deer jumped across the tracks right in front of us. I turned to the operator and we both yelled out Holy SH--!
This was a good old fashioned summer thunderstorm and the wind decided to add just a little more excitement. About a mile after the deer, the operator and I looked at each other and then back down the track. There was an apparition in the gauge and it was coming up fast. The operator slammed on the brakes and that old track car slid almost sideways until we came to a stop just feet from where a tree had fallen across the tracks. The good news is that it was a birch tree and the white bark gave us ample warning or we would have derailed smashing into it. I got out and was able to drag it to the side so that we could proceed. We got going quick because the other equipment was right behind us and although we had all the lights on, we didn't want to have the following track equipment crash into us. I actually had a fusee in my hand just in case.
We covered 9 miles in a little over an hour. With rain pouring down and plenty of lightening and thunder, we took the equipment off at a grade crossing finishing up just before ten pm.
You have not had a real railroading experience until you have run through the woods in a track car with rain and lightening and thunder. Its different than on the highways. There are NO other lights. No houses, no cars nothing. When you do get to a signal (if it lights because track cars often won't foul the circuit) its a reminder that you are still on the railroad and that there are other railroaders out there.
And now back to reports of Big engines and revenue generating freight cars............
Date: Sat, 22 Aug 2009 11:53:57 +0000
Subject: [dandh] Re: From the Archives
Anymore stories from your days on the railroad? The saga of the Sperry car was great.
--- In dandh@yahoogroups. com, joseph Klapkowski <riverlinejoe@ ...> wrote:
> I see I am back just in time........ ..Hey Matt, you have to keep in mind that with any list, you get what you put in.......... I had done historical D&H postings called "From The Archives" in an effort to stir conversation.
> I have many times asked the same old question, "What's In Your Archives?"
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