0255-0520/08-31-2020 started off like a typical trip -- Yard Channel garble -- but this would not prove a typical trip. There would be clarity at 0317 when D-3 reached out to AY-3 with the 7727, giving them the OK on signal indication at 312 and acknowledging things lined and locked normal. At 0318, there would be an "AY-4," followed by garble, followed by "Roger."
0325 would be when D-3 told somebody to stand by, 0327 was when the 333 WLs were dark, and 0328 was when D-3 started a convo with FI-2 and the 503 -- the 0325 stand-by? -- advising that POED was by Lowell and the 2 Grain Train engines left behind would be picked up by them. There was a discussion of where those engines should go, East and West Sides being pretty much full, whatever FI-2 next said getting rogered. The 334 ELs were at Stop and the 334 1 stagger and 335s dark.
Up Da Hill, the 345 ELs were at Stop, and BNSF covered hoppers -- EGT? -- sitting on the 2 at the Timpany Boulevard UGB. The yard was MT and the 345 1 WL at Clear. The decision to go to the Jade instead of Parkers was cemented at 0345 when the 346.6 came on, 0346 being the start of a D-3/EDPO convo. Marker armed? Yes. Train Length? Stretched train length 6507' At 0346, the 346.6 came back on with a no defects, 416 total axles, 46°, and 6645'. The talker length wasn't the same as the C's, but the temperature was within a couple of my car's. The west got bright and KCIRs 7627 and 7622, OldPaint 509, NewBlue 352, and short and dark mysterious something got 96 -- yes, ninety six -- onto the Single at 0350. There were 5 double-stacked wells up front followed by cuts of scrap gons that included a coupla CSXTs among the Brand Xs; some company gons; full-size and shortie covered hoppers that had no Ciment Québecs; boxes that included a Big G, a Smurf, and a CSXT; placarded and non-placarded tanks; MT centerbeams, and bulkhead of structural steel.
There was nothing outta either Channel 1 or the 346.6 to indicate the WB was or soon would be WB, so I was EB, hearing D-3 telling somebody at 0356 that AYPO would be building on East End, but he would try to get them in the yard. That was followed at 0400 by D-3 garble, followed a minute later by D-3 clarity advising AY-3 to hold on West Wye and that AY-3 -- a recrew -- was starting their pick-ups, followed by more D-3 garble at 0404.
At 0407, the 33 WLs were dark, but there was activity in the 333 lot, so I continued EB, seeing a Clear for 1 and a Stop for 2 on the 330.8 WBs. The Approach on the 330 2 WL was taken as a hint that EDPO would be stopping clear of FG, so a wait was started at the platform. The 330 ELs? All Stops. EDPO started pulling by the platform at 0431, the short, dark and mysterious something west of NewBlue 352 looking ever so much like an SW1500, but dark and without legible branding and numbers. The stop by the gym wasn't revealing, EDPO stopping far enough west that the mystery power was hidden by the substation embankment.
The FG 1 WL had gone to Limited Clear, 400 being routed for 2 at North Leominster. FI-2 had been recently occupying the airwaves with car countdowns, and NewBlue 503 was visible on the west end of covered hoppers by the old layover 0443, and at 0449, the RVJ yard was busy, so there was no view of the EB staggers for Derby.
Occasional garble became the order of things until 0504 and a D-3/Q427 convo, 427 being west and clear of Burncoat by telemetry, Form D G301 to CSXT 3037 was fulfilled at 0505, a New Bond tiedown to happen. 0506 would be the start of the D-3 side of a convo with AYPO and the 7585, giving them permission to reverse direction from where they stood in the interlocking limits of CPF-AY and proceed east, further advising he was ready to copy their updated train info. That would be repeated as 28x39, 4616 tons, and 5302', and the marker -- a CSX -- was armed. 400 was in the picture, and they would probably meet POED on the Freight Main side of the Willows. D-3 further acknowledged that they were qualified only to CPF-201 and that they had started at 0200, wishing them a safe trip, the last coming at 0516 and 4 minutes before the otherwise-silent end of listening. In the middle of all that and at 0513, D-3 advised EDPO that their Fitchburgs and Ayers would be backed in on East Wye, making it seem like POED would highball Ayer, but be very busy in Fitchburg, given the fullness at East and West Sides and 2 units to go west. 22K? Dunno.
To back up a bit: Yes, EDPO had had more cars, and more length than AYPO. How atypical! To back up even more: Yes, there had been a short, dark, and mysterious possible SW1500 unIDable by me. How atypical!
"A gray crossover is definitely not company transportation."