Freddy wrote:I watched 1 episode and that was it. Sort of hard to get excited about a stuck backhoe. I get more drama painting my back porch.
Agreed. The other thing I don't like is how much conflict they try to stage between crews. They were out filming the passenger train this past weekend, and telling their actress Conductor (she really is a Conductor, but was not assigned to that train for any purpose other than filming) that she had to chew out another crew because the train was hot and had to get through. Most of us are pretty easy going. Everyone knows the p-train is hot, so that rarely starts any heated exchanges. I guess the general public likes watching conflict on television though.
That said, if they enjoy filming conflict, they should have been in Anchorage Yard today! We went to dog catch the southbound freight, coming in from Fairbanks. There was a distributed power motor 67 cars deep, which we had to set out when we broke up the train. The Conductor and the Engineer got in a rather heated exchange over whether to put the locomotive in "Set Out" mode or end DP altogether. The topic was discussed at length during the dog catch, then again just before that move in the yard, and the Engineer still chose to do it his way, despite the disagreement from the Conductor. Well, that really got the Conductor worked up, and he called the yard office asking for a manager to meet us at our lunch break because he wanted to set out the Engineer for insubordination!
Later on, after we had finished breaking up the freight, we had to do some chores around the yard, but first we needed an engine. Usually, the engines we use in the yard face north. I have no idea why, it is just the more common way things are done. It might be for no other reason than to let the Engineer sit in the sun! We went to the roundhouse to get an engine, and the one they had for us was facing south. As we departed the roundhouse, the Engineer asked if I wanted to wye the engine. Our work was near the wye anyway. I wanted to get the work done, and I really did not feel like going around the wye, so I said, "No, it'll roll both directions, so we don't need to." Shortly after that, we got to where the work was, and I hopped off to go check out the ice situation in the industry track and inspect the cars before pulling them. We were waiting on the dispatcher anyway, so the Conductor took the engine up into the yard to get all the switches lined up for us. I guess after I got off, the Engineer asked the Conductor if he could take the engine around the wye, but rather than get in another argument, the Conductor turned it to the Brakeman, and asked her if she wanted to go with him around the wye. She didn't either. I wasn't on the engine, but I guess he looked real disappointed when she told him no too!
On top of all that, the dispatchers had a bit of a meltdown today, and stopped answering the phone or the radio. We needed one pass at CP 1140, at the south end of the yard, but we couldn't them to answer us. By the time we finally did get them on the line, my Conductor was just beside himself. He was ready to head back to the yard office and go upstairs to their office and pound on the door until someone answered!