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Sun Oct 12 10:22:13 EDT 2014

Probably a Utility Conductor/Brakeman in a pick up truck

Larry Evans
  ----- Original Message ----- 
  From: NW Mailing List 
  To: NW Mailing List 
  Sent: Sunday, October 12, 2014 3:46 AM
  Subject: Stranded?

  I was at Coopers on Friday (in the rain), and noticed a cut of loaded hoppers with a FRED on the Bluestone branch.  I went to the junction and videoed a westbound covered hopper unit train going into the tunnel.  As I was about to leave, I heard horns so I stuck around a few minutes and an eastbound coal drag stuck its nose out of the tunnel and then stopped with its units just West of the switch.  I hung around a few more minutes hoping to be able to video this train, but the rain picked up and I headed back around the curve.  About a third of the way back to Cooper I heard the air start pumping into the cut next to me.  My supposition is that the lead units cut off from the train and coupled up to the cut on the branch.  I imagine that when the air was good, they pulled the cut out onto the main and then someone threw the switch and they backed up to couple with the rest of the train that had been stopped in the tunnel and on the bridge.  My question is this:  it seems like someone would have had to have been on the ground to throw the switch, couple the hoppers and remove the FRED from the end of the cut, but this would put him a long way from the head end after making the coupling (83 cars to be exact).  How did he get back aboard?  Did he have to walk to the head end?  Did the pushers stop for him?  Is anyone familiar with this operation or care to speculate?

  Jim Cochran  


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