M-LINTUL1-23 Picks Up at Waldron, MO
Even though my current role as Train Dispatcher has me removed from the field, I still have many opportunities to do some "Real Railroading" and teach a new generation of field officers how to get things done.
The day before, 12-23-2014, the Division Trainmaster had on his task list a high-dwell car at Waldron, MO that needed to be picked up. Tank car GATX 6716 was a load of Haz-Mat destined for Tulsa, OK that was released by the customer at Waldron.
The trouble is there is no local service here and the switch opens to the west, which means that generally only westbound trains will pick-up and set-out at this location. Here there are two main tracks and this team track is off Main Two.
On the 23rd, the trainmaster had identified an H-KCKSPO train to pick up the car at Waldron and then set it out at the yard in St. Joe. I asked him if adding two work events to a high-priority train headed to the west coast was really the right move to make. Thus Plan A was cancelled.
I asked him why not pick it up with an eastbound train, splitting the power up with two crews. "No, that will never work!", said the Trainmaster.
The next day, Christmas Eve 2014, I sat down at work and the GATX 6716 was still at Waldron. "We will move this car today", I thought. There was a small (under 4000 foot) Lincoln to Tulsa manifest train on the railroad. An 0715 DCNORTH relief crew was called to re-crew this train and I would have them get on at Armour, MO.
At the same time, there was a 0135 DCNORTH crew at Phelps City, MO getting a grain train that was just loaded at the shuttle facility there. Because of concerns about crew availability due to the Christmas Holiday the decision was made to leave the grain train at Phelps and taxi the crew towards Kansas City.
This 0135 crew checked in with me as they were passing through St. Joe. I instructed them to head to CP 165 at Waldron for job briefing with the Trainmaster and the M-LINTUL1-23. I briefed the conductor on the moves that would be made to pick up the GATX 6716 at Waldron. I then called the 0715 DCNORTH crew and advised them of the same moves.
My next call was to the Division Trainmaster. I told him to print up the Haz-Mat paper work for the GATX 6716 and be at Waldron in an hour. I also told him to bring his camera and take pictures for he was going to witness some real railroading!
The Division Trainmaster and the 0135 crew met at Waldron and discussed the moves I had instructed them to make. The Trainmaster asked me to have the M-LINTUL1-23 stop at MP 16 for all to have a job briefing which I did.
At MP16 the inbound 0715 crew uncoupled the lead unit, BNSF 7012, and operated it light into the stub track coupling to car GATX 6716. The 0135 crew then took the second unit, CP 9712, and the first five cars of the train eastward on Main Two past the switch where the BNSF 7012 and GATX 6716 were. The rest of the train was tied down and left standing west of the switch. The five cars were needed to serve as buffer cars between the Haz-Mat GATX 6716 and the Locomotives.
The 0715 crew then pulled out of the stub track onto Main 2 with the GATX 6716, lined the switch, and then coupled the car onto the five cars coupled to the CP 9712. The BNSF 7012 the returned light into the stub track and lined the switch for Main Two movement.
Next the CP 9712, now with six cars, backed westward past the switch where the BNSF 7012 was and coupled to the rest of the train which was still standing on Main Two.
Finally, the BNSF 7012 was able to come out of the stub track onto Main Two and couple to the train on top of the CP 9712, reassuming its position as the lead unit on the M-LINTUL1-23.
And so it was done, in less than 30 minutes, an eastbound train had picked up a car off a westbound track, properly placed for Haz-Mat compliance, and was headed towards Kansas City and ultimately Tulsa.
The below photo album contains some of the pictures that Kevin Nevill sent me of this move: