Had a huge Saturday. Double psgr trains: Day train up to Winslow and back, then a night "dinner" train to Van Buren bridge and return. In all, almost went dead on the law by the time it was said and done.
Once I was at the depot/office Saturday morning, I knew we were in for a long day on the day train. IF there's nothing happening on the line, our Track Warrant typically gives us "Work Between" authority, which means we own the railroad and can make reverse moves/return moves uninhibited. Nice.
Such was not the case Saturday. There's track work going on out on the main. It's going 7 days a week. When I got our Track Warrant and Form D's, they read like this:
Track Warrant SS 168
Saturday, Feb 11, 2012
To: AM 52 North
X box 2: Proceed from YLMP 407.5 to MP 377 on MAIN track.
X box 15: Flag protection not required against following trains on same track.
X box 16: Track bulletins in effect; 260, 261
X box 17: Other specific instructions: 10 MPH at MP 412 plus 31 poles; Bailes track out of service - MOW equip; North 300 ft Copp East out of service - MOW Equip; Mainline Out Of Service MP 402 to MP 397 per Mueller
OK time: 1013 hrs Dispatcher: MS
After reading the two Form D's, here's what our trip looked like:
MP 412 + 31: 10 MPH
MP 406 - 402 + 30: 25 MPH
MP 402 - MP 397: Mainline OUT OF SERVICE (EIC = Mueller)
MP 402 - MP 401: 10 MPH
MP 388.0 Bridge 25 MPH
MP 387.1 Bridge 25 MPH
MP 377: End of Limits (Opposing train to deal with.)
On a "good day", once I leave the Yard Limit board northbound at MP 407.5, it's rock n' roll at 35 MPH until we're at Winslow (MP 375), then run-around and repeat same to the Yard Limit at 407.5. Saturday was not one of those "good days". We didn't even have authority to get to Winslow. (A psgr train from Springdale to Winslow to coordinate with).
To make a long story short, we had a lot of slow going... got a slow order extended via radio, etc, etc. Had to wait on the MOW to clear up for us before we could receive permission to enter Foreman Mueller's limits. On and on.
Once back at Fort Smith with the day train... we didn't have enough time to get the switching finished, and be set up for the dinner train. We shoved to the loading area 3 minutes late. We easily lost an hour or more with all the added delays. Wild day.
I don't know... maybe some of you V scalers might not enjoy activities with elements such as above included... maybe you would. However, the above is "railroading", and happens all too often.
What say V scalers... think you would enjoy the challenge of activities with things like the above included?