Some UP 2551 observations from Texas
Author: Cleanest GEVO of the fleet
Date: 11-06-2019 - 19:54
UP 4014 attracted just about everyone who was breathing in Central Texaa to come trackside to watch it get pushed by an imaginary diesel. Lots of radio chatter between UP 2551 and 4014 about how to handle/control the train. The grades are not that steep between San Antonio and Houston, so why was 4014 asking for 2551 to run in 6th a good chunk of the time? At one point, 2551 advised 4014 that running in 6 would cause them to overspeed (above 40 for an upcoming speed restriction) due to a downhill approaching Flatonia. Response overheard from 4014, give me six anyways. It will work out. Lots of giving dynamics was requested for train control.
Other observations. Not a whole lot of whistle blowing. Not a lot of crew members hanging out of the 4014 cab windows. Train was off schedule big-time!. 90 minutes into their departure from San Antonio and they were only 15 miles down the line. That made Texans antsy and ill-behaved. Law Enforcement kept driving by requesting folks to get off the tracks. People were climbing under and between stopped trains at Nolte. A pipe repair was done to the 4014 at Nolte (outside of Seguin). At Luling, people had placed a camera between the rail near the switch. UP track inspectors were asked to chase the people off the tracks.
At Luling (a scheduled stop for 30 minutes), Ed requested to depart early (after a 10 minute stop). Conductor advised that they could not move, too many people around train. Even people crawling under the cars at the blocked x-ings. Overheard response: We'll just move and they will get the idea to get out of the way. This steam train is what lawyers call an "attractive nuisance"~ people all over the tracks, placing objects to get squashed, car accidents, people tripping and falling. One guy got his car stuck in a big drainage ditch.
Not the steam crews fault: The UP Glidden Sub and San Antonio terminal is in continual PSR meltdown day-in, day-out. Crews dying, sidings blocked and crewed trains have nowhere to go. Today's circus didn't help any.