When operations feel like the prototype

Getting back to my earlier post on following the Morris Fork turn, now we’ll look at this run from the crews point of view. You’re the conductor today, called at 5:30 AM for the Morris Fork turn up to the end of branch and Union Carbide mine there.

As you finish breakfast, you take your thermos of coffee and drive the short distance over to the yard office in Dickinson yard, where there is an unusually heavier fog this morning. This coffee is going to come in handy. After you sign in, you pick up your waybills and manifest.

You’re also picking up your clearance card for permission out onto the railroad, and any train orders. Today, there is just one train order to deal with. This morning you’ll have a leased unit from Precision National, a Paducah shops built GP10 #3403.

Here’s your clearance card and train order:


As your Form 19 order shows, you’ll run to the end of the branch, or what is called the Hitop Secondary Track and return on the Kanawha Secondary looking out for the Spring Street job with engine #7466, a GP9 which is in Spring Street yard working. Spring Street yard is where you’ll diverge onto the Hitop Secondary.

You have a fairly short train today, nine 55 ton hoppers, and one Southern forty foot boxcar of goods for the Morris Fork and Hardware, which is at the end of the branch. Well, the crew is onboard, you have all your paperwork, your air test is complete. I guess we’re ready to head eastbound. Highball 3403 east….


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