Re: Engine Driver Chases Own Runaway/SP Story
Date: 11-09-2017 - 13:08
Im sure there are a few guys on here that worked in the Picacho area. There was a cut of engines that got away and were headed for Tucson. The local RFE went after them, with a gun. Thats right, a long gun. I guess he kept blasting the hoses between the units until he got the train line. They came to stop.
We had one at Margarita. A east beet train needed some more power on the head end. The dispatcher told the engineer, Jerry Waltman, to cut off his power (he was in the siding) and go up to the east switch. There he was to pick up a east faced unit off the west man, go back to his train and be ready to depart when the west man cleared.
Jerry went up to the east end and stopped back to hold one unit. The west man had made the cut and the engine was sitting on the main coupled to the train. He left his power and walked up to the engine. As he was setting up the controls, he started west into the siding to couple to his power. Only trouble, his power was gone. Hmmmmm! To save time, he cut everything out in order to be ready when he made the joint. The air had leaked off and away they went, to Pozo Rd. Everbody in Margarita thought a bomb had gone off. The west engine was toast with cab crushed by the pickles.
The old, don't cut your brakes out rule was top on the list for many months. (We still let them drift on 3 rail in SLO when you would change ends on a 4 or 5 unit helper. Swing off the east engine and swing up on the west motor, cut them in, stop the consist & tie them down.)