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Railroaders' Nostalgia > Memorable Christmas's revisited


Date: 12/24/20 21:47
Memorable Christmas's revisited
Author: cewherry

I posted this five years ago but its still a vivid part of my nostalgia.

I was working the Interbay (Seattle)- Wenatchee pool in the early 1990's. It was Christmas eve. We had recently moved into our new

house and we had a full complement of relatives staying for the holidays. So many relatives that a few of them were staying in nearby hotels
rather than sleeping on the floor. I had laid off to be home but it became evident that I was just getting in the way of the celebrants.
As the early evening wore on it occurred to me that I really could use another round trip's pay to help fatten the last check of the year.

I picked up the phone to the crew desk and asked: "Do you have any crews?" 'Are you kidding? came the retort. I suspected as much.
"Ill tell you what,  if you can come up with a conductor and brakeman and you can guarantee that we will either deadhead home or
double right back from Wenatchee and lay me off on arrival back in Interbay, Ill mark up. (It's always nice to be in the drivers seat).
'Call you right back' was the reply. About 30 minutes later the phone rang. "Youre on" said the caller. "No. 4 with Roland Hackney and
there will be a train waiting for you to bring back, Merry Christmas!". As I packed a lunch and said my good byes, my departure
hardly raised an eyebrow. I suppose they were thinking, 'well, that's what Charlie does'.

Our trip to Wenatchee was completely 'high green', no wait tonight at Scenic for a tunnel flush, down the hill quietly with no radio chatter.
There was a blanket of snow all the way from Merritt. The Christmas lights of Leavenworth shone brightly. Leaving Cashmere Roland called
Wenatchee for head-in instructions. "Right down the main for a crew change, and your outbound is sitting on the WO across from the office. Paper
work is ready". We stopped as instructed and while Roland headed for the office to get our papers, I headed for the westbound's power to get it ready.
No. 3, was the hottest westbound schedule BN ran through Wenatchee. When Roland was ready, I released the air and we were off, headed home.

Again, no trains to meet, all green signals, almost no radio chatter. When we got to Interbay the yard instructed us to head in on 'A-Apple' even though
the train was destined South Seattle, I suppose the 'powers' reasoned we had done enough for tonight even though we had enough time
on our hours of service. It was early morning light now. Roland and I wished each other a Merry Christmas and I drove home on almost empty streets.
The relatives were just stirring and I had not missed a thing at home. Oh, yes the crew desk laid me off upon tie-up. Sometimes things do go right.

Roland Hackney went on to the engineers side and today is the Terminal Manager at Everett, WA. A good guy doing a tough job.

Merry Christmas to all on TO's

Charlie



Date: 12/25/20 06:57
Re: Memorable Christmas's revisited
Author: perklocal

Wow, usually no good deed goes unpunished. You must have had a guardian angel watching over the railroad that night. Great story. Merry XMAS to you and yours.



Date: 12/25/20 10:28
Re: Memorable Christmas's revisited
Author: WAF

cewherry Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> I posted this five years ago but its still a vivid
> part of my nostalgia.
>
> I was working the Interbay (Seattle)- Wenatchee
> pool in the early 1990's. It was Christmas eve. We
> had recently moved into our new
> house and we had a full complement of relatives
> staying for the holidays. So many relatives that a
> few of them were staying in nearby hotels
> rather than sleeping on the floor. I had laid off
> to be home but it became evident that I was just
> getting in the way of the celebrants.
> As the early evening wore on it occurred to me
> that I really could use another round trip's pay
> to help fatten the last check of the year.
>
> I picked up the phone to the crew desk and asked:
> "Do you have any crews?" 'Are you kidding? came
> the retort. I suspected as much.
> "Ill tell you what,  if you can come up with a
> conductor and brakeman and you can guarantee
> that we will either deadhead home or
> double right back from Wenatchee and lay me off
> on arrival back in Interbay, Ill mark up. (It's
> always nice to be in the drivers seat).
> 'Call you right back' was the reply. About 30
> minutes later the phone rang. "Youre on" said the
> caller. "No. 4 with Roland Hackney and
> there will be a train waiting for you to bring
> back, Merry Christmas!". As I packed a lunch and
> said my good byes, my departure
> hardly raised an eyebrow. I suppose they were
> thinking, 'well, that's what Charlie does'.
>
> Our trip to Wenatchee was completely 'high green',
> no wait tonight at Scenic for a tunnel flush, down
> the hill quietly with no radio chatter.
> There was a blanket of snow all the way from
> Merritt. The Christmas lights of Leavenworth shone
> brightly. Leaving Cashmere Roland called
> Wenatchee for head-in instructions. "Right down
> the main for a crew change, and your outbound is
> sitting on the WO across from the office. Paper
> work is ready". We stopped as instructed and while
> Roland headed for the office to get our papers, I
> headed for the westbound's power to get it ready.
> No. 3, was the hottest westbound schedule BN ran
> through Wenatchee. When Roland was ready, I
> released the air and we were off, headed home.
>
> Again, no trains to meet, all green signals,
> almost no radio chatter. When we got to Interbay
> the yard instructed us to head in on 'A-Apple'
> even though
> the train was destined South Seattle, I suppose
> the 'powers' reasoned we had done enough for
> tonight even though we had enough time
> on our hours of service. It was early morning
> light now. Roland and I wished each other a Merry
> Christmas and I drove home on almost empty
> streets.
> The relatives were just stirring and I had not
> missed a thing at home. Oh, yes the crew desk laid
> me off upon tie-up. Sometimes things do go right.
>
> Roland Hackney went on to the engineers side and
> today is the Terminal Manager at Everett, WA. A
> good guy doing a tough job.
>
> Merry Christmas to all on TO's
>
> Charlie

The way it should be done Charlie, Merry Xmas



Date: 12/25/20 11:31
Re: Memorable Christmas's revisited
Author: TAW

That sounds like something I would have set up, but by then, I was on special assignment doing passenger planning (helping invent Sounder and the Cascades), capacity and freight scheduling, software developmetn, and other little things. I wonder who set that up.

TAW



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