I drove my son from San Antonio to Houston today for his return flight to college. #The sky was cloudless and all the wildflowers Texans know and love waved us down the highway. #The XM comedy channel kept us laughing all the way.
Once I pulled away from the airport, I set my IC-207H up to scan some of the 150 to 160MHz railroad and police channels. #Clearly the railroads were a lot busier than the cops. #When I finally decided I was tired of being hungry I pulled off I-10 and picked up a burger and fries. #I had plenty of time on my hands and worked my way over to a rail yard so I could have some scenery while eating lunch. #Ever since I was a little kid I have had a fascination with trains. #Hell, I LOVE trains. #Today seemed a perfect opportunity to take a micro-vacation.
Before me lay a double-track mainline with two heavy sidings where the track was well maintained and in regular service. #A spur from a quarry fed the mainline just to the north of where I parked. #I had just finished eating when a local was told by the dispatcher to stop on the siding while a quarry train made its way to the main. #At the moment I'm hearing the dispatcher there's not a train in sight. #I had no idea that my location was at the siding the local was told to stop.
But within fifteen minutes I could hear the deep rumble of a trainset approaching, and to my amazement, stop directly in front of my truck. #I heard an engineer calling his dispatcher to tell him he had cleared the main while watching a trainman emerge from the cab and close the cab door. #I heard the door close over the radio - I was listening to the train crew in front of me( ! ). #Both men stepped off the engine and were cooling their heals along side the tracks. #The dispatcher indicated they'd have a thirty minute wait.
I guess we all have those moments when we say, "What the hell?" #I pulled a couple Cokes out of the ice chest and walked over to the guys. #They seemed blown away by the gesture. #All they had was some bottled water and it was hot.
We engaged in some small talk and I mentioned one of their engines was an EMD SD-45 that had to be pushing 40 years of age. #"Yeah, we get the old s**t, but that's the engine that can still get the work done. #It has over seven million miles on it. #You wanna run down the line with us - we're only going about twenty miles."
No more details. #I wouldn't want to get this crew in trouble. #But hey - I had a perfect day. #Over 2½ hours and 3,600 hp worth. #This was my ride decked in another railroad's colors:
Hope your perfect day is comin' round the mountain.
WOW! It would be kinda hard to top that. That must have been a real blast! A fine way to top off a great day. #
WHATEVER!! I would give anything to do what he was able to do. Guess you just have to be in the right place and at the right time. Or, you just have to know the right people.
That is a good day!
Years before I got involved in radio, I was into trains. As a teenager, I rode my bike down to the nearest roundhouse just to have a look. A GP-9 pulled up to the sand tower and I started talking to the engineer and fireman. They invited me aboard and I rode along in the cab, as they backed the diesel up to a switch to put it on the turntable.
When I got out of the diesel, we were inside the roundhouse. A roundhouse, a diesel and a turntable on the same day! I still smile as I remember it. But then, I'm one of those crazy middle-aged guys who, when first at the grade crossing, wave at the engineer as he passes. I still feel a juvenile thrill when he waves back.
I wish they still used cabooses on the mainlines.
Years ago, as an adult, I actually rode in the cab of the narrowgauge steam engine at a popular theme park. The engineer even let me blow the whistle for the only grade crossing along the loop. Yep!--it was thrilling.
If you have to worry about the cost of HF e-mail, you can't afford the boat.
CW: The mode that accomplishes the most with the least circuitry, the least spectrum, and the least power.
What hath God wrought?
He hath wrought that pounding brass still kicks .- ... ...
I sure wish our local crew was that nice! I railfan them every other Wed. and all I get is nasty looks. Although I almost had a perfect day on Fri the 9th. We had gone to the yard up in meadville and our loco form Oil City was up there sitting without crew, but as luck would have it there was a crew in from Youngstown Ohio that was really nice. Not only did they have a long train they also let us take pix. We asked a brakeman what a three step was and he took us up into our local loco and allowed us to sit at the controls. I'd say that's as close as I'm gonna get to having a perfect day.
KB3KBR, #Greg Depew
What a cool deal with the trains, but ours was an up in the air type day.
Probably about three years ago One Sunday, my son and I decided to go out to the local airfield and hang out. Just to watch the planes take off and land. Not much happening and we were just getting ready to leave.
This guy walks up and says, "Hey you want to go up?"
Of course my son goes nuts and being the paranoid anal parent, I am thinking..Crap I have no cash and I am sure we need to kick in one the gas..Crap I need to call my wife and make sure its OK..Crap I don't even know this guy..Crap Crap Crap..So I just said OK.
So all three of us walk around to the back, he unlocks the doors and there is a little single engine Cessna. At this point he starts asking my son for help pushing it out.
My kid was obeying his every command. I'm just standing there like a goober.
Then he walks around and starts checking flaps etc of course showing the kid this and that and how it works what this is and what that is. He opens the door and let the kid sit in the pilots seat. I'm freakin now cause here it goes..Mr. Hands start grabbing at knobs..so I go "Don't touch that!" This guy says "No problem" and starts going over all the instuments and stuff and even I start peeking over his shoulder trying to see what going on.
Anyway to make a long story short..he took us up for about 2 hours flying around..Talking to my kid all the time about planes. It was definitely the perfect day for the small one, and I had a good time as well being the casual observer. I never did even get his name, but we do go back to watch the planes every now and then. I found out later, he was a pretty busy airline pilot just killing some time on a Sunday afternoon and we had the good fortune to share it with him. It sure is cool to fall into a random act of kindness, makes the world seem pretty OK.
You step in the stream,
but the water has moved on.
Sometimes your worst day and your best day come on the same day...
When I was in Hawaii, I belonged to what we refered to as a 1:1 club... A full scale Train club...
In Hawaii they had saddle tank steam engines [diesel fired steam] that traveled on portable track... The engines would take a load of track and back out into the sugar cane fields and they would lay the track sections [they looked almost like Lionel track sections] as they went, then the train would be used to haul cane out of the fields to the processing plant, then go back and pick up the track and put it into another field...
Well this club collected the old engines... Baldwin's if I remember right... along with the portable track and rolling stock...
So we negotiated with the Navy to donate one of its old diesel electric switcher engines that had been used in the Ammo depot at Lualualei... The switcher was kept in a shed on the Ewa Ammo Depot and we had to move it to our storage yard near Barber's Point... Well this track hadn't been used in years so we went out and cleaned the track of built up dirt and such... spent nearly a week at it... And we were all looking forward to the day we got to ride that sweetheart into our yard...
So we arrive early that Saturday morning and got the diesel fired up and opened up the Shed doors and started her out real slow... but we had forgot to clean the track near the doors... and that switcher just rode right up on that built up dirt and slid right off the tracks...
We were derailed half in and half out of the shed...
We didn't have any locomotive jacks... Plenty of timber and old ties and a couple of old 25 ton manual building jacks...
We spent the next 36 hours jacking and cussing and laughing and calling each other every name in the book...
It was a good day... and it was a bad day... and it was a great day...
That was in the late 70s and I went back to Hawaii about 10 years ago and that little switcher is still sitting in that yard... They said they were planning on restoring her, but for now they just admire her, start her up now and again, and hope the money will come one day to do the rest of the work...
Note: [1 hour later] I did a search on the Net and sure enough I found the switcher... and a picture of one of the Saddle tankers...Seems like they must have found the money because they have restored the switcher... and are using it to pull passenger rides... Too Cool....
[look abou 2/3 down the page]
KRP: Thanks for the ride down memory Lane... I might not have looked this up except for your article...
</span><table border="0" align="center" width="95%" cellpadding="3" cellspacing="1"><tr><td>Quote (w4rot @ April 14 2004,07:37)</td></tr><tr><td id="QUOTE">This guy walks up and says, "Hey you want to go up?"
Of course my son goes nuts and being the paranoid anal parent, I am thinking.... Crap I have no cash and I am sure we need to kick in one the gas..Crap I need to call my wife and make sure its OK..Crap I don't even know this guy....Crap Crap Crap.... So I just said OK.
It sure is cool to fall into a random act of kindness, makes the world seem pretty OK.
After making me ROFLMAO you summed it all up beautifully!
Thanks guys........there's some good stories out there. #PU - it's cool to see those engines still in use. #And MIV is right.......LAST should not be used in the same sentence with perfect day.
I had a good day at RTTY the other day.
I was able to break a pile up for the first time on 15m and worked T33C .
Now that was fun!
DAAAAANG! #Banaba Islands!
Wonder what kind of antebba they use.....yabi, lob periobic?