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I've joined the ranks

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#1 B32BWH


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Posted 07 October 2010 - 08:58 AM

I've been moonlighting under the cover of darkness from my other employer for the last month, but on Monday i become a real salaried employee of a little railroad based out of San Francisco, CA as an engineer and switchman. The real kicker? Our only motive power are two Alco S2's and we use them darn near every night as they were intended, on their home rails no less! Its a fun little operation, usually pushing out 1-5 60-80 car unit trains of contaminated dirt every week or two.

#2 laming


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Posted 10 October 2010 - 07:07 AM

Well, I'm happy for you!

There's nothing like being able to step in and try your hand at something you've always wanted to do.

When running: ALWAYS be aware of where your ground crew is located. Visually check the points of switches that become visible ahead of your movement... so much to learn and form good practices concerning!

OH... and when your unseen ground crewman has brought you to a stop or to a joint (etc) via radio... and then says something on the radio that's garbled... ask him to repeat it or give him a Redzone. Don't move until you absolutely, positively, understand his transmission. Sometimes ground crews will go on in the zone without hearing you confirm. IF they are inbetween and you think they said "Stretch it" or something and act upon it... you'll give them the scare of their life... or WORSE.

Be careful!

I wish you the very best.

#3 Karl



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Posted 10 October 2010 - 12:23 PM

Out of interest where does the contaminated dirt come form and where does it ultimately end up? Would you know what it is contaminated with? From your description there sounds like a lot of dirt to be shifted.