Sep 15, 2020
How about "Sparky"?
An "Idiot" who should've planned ahead but didn't. That would be me. Of course.
"Sparky" that's what my mom called dad when she was feeling like a woman. Grin!
My father was a 42 year 'hog head" on the T&NO (SP) and was proud to be called such. He hired out in 1940 just before I was born and went from fireman, remember those , to engineer. He tried to get in the Army Air Corps to fly P-51's during the war but they would not take him because of his "important" job stateside. He retired in 1982 and I am sure names have changed with the times. I just remembered that his favorite loco was the T&NO 2-10-2's.
Sorry for screwing up your post Rick.
Yeah, there's a distinct difference between us foamers that enjoy safely watching and photographing trains and those who trespass, climb on equipment, mess with railroad property and generally make us all in the hobby look bad.
I was set up at Soo Tower for a westbound BNSF freight, when some Id10t comes walking down main track 1 (it was winter, not that it matters), and the train is imminent. The crew is whistling for all they're worth, about to dump the air when the knucklehead moves to main track 2 (also with a hot freight coming). I assume he had on noise-canceling headphones (and really expensive ones), because he never flinched, just be-boppin' along until he was off the tracks, going on his merry way, oblivious to his near-death experience. Just a few seconds (like under 10) elapsed before the train arrived when he got off the tracks. I would have witnessed the whole grisly accident, too. You know what they say about train wrecks, it's true. You can't look away. I was transfixed watching, praying the guy would get off the tracks post-haste.
At times you've got to wonder of they are high on something. I only feel sorry for the railroaders who are dragged into these situations. I've zero sympathy for that outside person who chose incorrectly.
Your good. Nothing got screwed up. That's what my great granddad and granddad each referred to themselves as.
As to trespassers on railroad property. I have little patience with them.
We watched just last night on VFR Flagstaff, AZ while a kid laid down in the yellow zone next to the tracks. As if daring the approaching Amtrak train to run over him. Apparently someone called it in and before I signed off he got up and left but still hugging the Amtrak #3 as he walked toward the back of the train. We morticians reluctantly give out the Darwin Award, every now and then. Sigh!
I was neither a "foamer" nor a "rail", but I grew up along the Rock Island tracks in Chicago. First as an infant up to about 7 next to the mainline tracks at 68th street and then about 6 years across the street from the suburban line station at 103rd street and then, through my high school and junior college years half a block from the tracks at 98th street! During my 4 years of high school, I used to walk the tracks to and from school, but I knew the schedules and never walked with the approaching trains at my back. Also we didn't have electronic sounds piping into our ears, so I always knew when to leave the tracks safely and early enough so the engineers would have no worries. Often, they would wave as they passed! (And it was a wave, not a finger). Sure wouldn't recommend this to my grandkids though!
Ah, yes, Darwin Awards... Chlorine for the gene pool!
Had similar happen to me a few times. One springs to mind, we had a long, but pretty light train, mostly MT's, coming out 30mph track to 60mph. There was/is a bar pretty close to the tracks, I'm sure this fella had a few belts in him, as he was standing close to the tracks, way close. There were 3 Xings a block apart, and we always whistled them up good cause there was a bit of traffic usually around there.
I had 4 big Jacks, had them all on line, when I started whistling, I was grabbing throttle in gobs, we were doing a little under 40mph, by the time we went by him just past the third xing, I had'em in the company notch, doing 50 mph, by the time the ETD went by we were likely doing just a tad over 60. Hey we were close to home, and this was one of the most enjoyable sections of trackage for me to run a good train.
A few days later there was a big fence were that knot head was standing. If he only knew what could happen, shifted loads, those metal bands break all the time, and whip around pretty good at speed, near cut a person in half I bet, seen boards under loads wiggle their way outside the sills a couple feet, That might put a lump on your noggin. I think everybody has seen those tarps flapping around, can you imagine one of them wrapping you up and sucking you up into the wheels, yea, it could end very ugly.
One day I was out photographing trains and saw a leaning trailer on a TV train. Ever since, it's been one eye on the train, one eye watching the viewfinder with my escape route planned.
Now back to our regularly scheduled program.
I've spent considerable time thinking through ideas as to how I can go about and add a working train yard.
Good News!! I've solved the absence of the yard. A door has opened the way to answer the question, "How do I build a usable freight and passenger train yard?" I said or asked of myself earlier here.
A door has opened up, literally. The Land Lord donated a door, a hollow core door. Did I say that wouldn't be my first choice? I don't like using doors for train layouts. I just don't know how to say no to this gift. I will put legs and feet on it and set it up in the front room on the south wall. A connector track that crosses over in back of my work bench and connects with the layout solves two problems. I'll get (1) a test track in the form of a siding and (2) a train yard. Two birds, uhh...err train problems solved with one door. Now slam that shut and mull it over. How about that?
Follow this. This is tricky. I think you'll agree. i will end up making a run through yard to hold my freight cars and a stub end yard to hold my passenger trains. At first it will be bigger then what I need. Can you guess what's coming, next?. So, one must fill in the empty spaces. You can't have naked track. You guessed it. I'll get busy and buy some more train equipment and at some point I will wake up some morning. Yep, the yard will be to small. I thought you'd see that coming. Let's see there's one more wall in the living room and if I...
Time to put my legs up. Diabetic swelling if you know what I mean. Not real bad...yet. I think most of you can read the rest of this story without my having to tell it.
Ahhhhhhh...peripheral edema...I know it well. Had it so bad a few years back the excess fluid actually leaked through the skin soaking the bed at night ! My doctors all said it was due to congestive heart failure I have...
Tom, when you say big Jacks, are you referring to the DDA-40X units some railfans called Big Jacks? Or is this just a heavy GE or EMD freight unit?
George, and of course everyone tuned in here.
You have your disease down and know what you are talking about. That's half the battle. Diabetes is a progressive disease and the complications are usually due to congestive heart failure. Sugar levels having to do with blood conditions and also affecting the heart. I share the same complications. Several years ago I had a severe heart attack and it set me on the floor. Diagnosed as CHD congestive heart disease. I ended up on Disability, as a result. No more lugging heavy dead weight around. Not the place I wanted to be but sometimes that's just what happens. I think you know how to say that in layman's terms.
Now back to the layout. My quandary and I hadn't quite figured it out. I have a six track, run through, hidden staging yard. Capable of holding long freight trains. As in two 50 car trains and two 40 car trains and 30 car train. Passenger trains I seldom run them longer then 12 cars long but you never know I might double down.
Well, what this means is I can keep the hidden staging yard and hold trains there. Makes it easier to run trains for entertainment purposes. Everyone that shows up wants to see trains run.
So, I can now get busy and put the upper layer back on the layout. Figure where this new yard is going to tie in at. Several ideas in mind. More on this later.
For all of you tuning in. From this retired mortician's perspective. Go get your immunization shots ASAP. This Covid and the deviant is the real deal and it's a killer. I'm more afraid of the disease then I am the shots aka vaccines. We mortician's don't need anymore cases coming in our back door. Beat the odds and get it done.
Never mind my perspective from having been an Assistant Administrative Director in a Hospital. Go get'r done.
Till later, stay healthy
Rick, I stay outta politics, and I didn't stay at a Holiday Inn Express last night, so I stay out of medical debates. This isn't the appropriate forum for either. My maternal grandfather was diagnosed with CHD and it ultimately killed him. I nothing good to say about the disease. It was he that was a career RR'er (27 yrs PRR/PC/CR) until he was forced to retire on disability. It was he that led to my lifelong love of trains.
Back to your quandary, do you want runthru capabilities for your yard or is stub ended ok? What do you intend to park in it? Varnish or freight? How much fiddling around do you want to do wyeing or rearranging power on trains in the yard? How many yard tracks do you desire? Once you figure out your givens & druthers here, we can build a yard plan for the new door. Hard to say no to Free-ninety-nine!
Sorry about the lose. One of those things that affects all of us. Looks like we share the same kind of heritage. Nothing wrong with that.
There you go starting a new debate. The layout, of course. It will be a run through yard for the freight trains / classification yard. Plenty of switching and yard leads longer then anything else I have.
A stub end yard for the passenger trains. Most of the passenger trains will remain made up and reside in the hidden staging yard. It is a run through yard with yard ladders at both ends.
I hope I manage to get the moxy up to make that happen.
I love llllllooooooonnnnnnnnnnnggggggggggg yards...
It could have been just one silly millimeter longer....
Just a general reference to the biggest power we had, C44-9's.
I see Rick is back to his rewiring...