Shots And Thoughts From An Ordinary Guy.

Saturday, April 3, 2010

Portland Or Bust!

Yesterday was a very long day. We started out in Hermiston on a train that was reported to have a lumber car with bad brakes so I needed to inspect it. After my inspection I determined it needed to be removed from our train so I performed the work prior to leaving town.

About 60 miles into our trip our train went into an undesired emergency brake application and came to an abrupt stop. When this occurs I am required to walk the entire train (this one was 7896 feet long) and inspect it to make certain that the rail cars are on the rails. After battling 60 mph wind gusts and intermittent showers I finally reached the rear of the train. Once there I found a homeless person riding our rear distributed power locomotive. It is always a mystery what you will encounter when you open up a locomotive and the first thing you smell is cigarettes. We chatted for a few minutes and I informed him that he was not allowed on the locomotive but since we were in the middle of nowhere I would make an exception if he promised not to touch anything while back there.

The homeless man agreed to keep his hands to himself and leave everything well enough alone. In the course of the conversation he asked me if we would be to Portland before midnight. He had someone he needed to call to get a ride from once he got there. I told him a midnight arrival was unlikely and he seemed quite disappointed. He had been riding since Jersey and wanted to get home he said.

As I was walking back to the head end of my train I couldn't help but laugh to myself. Here we have a homeless guy illegally riding our freight train discouraged because we weren't going to get him to his destination on time... Kind of funny really. And to top it all off... we ended our day in The Dalles, 85 miles east of Portland, and waited for another crew to relieve us since we expired on our federal hours of service. I am sure the rider missed his midnight appointment...

Here is a shot of me while I was walking to the rear of the train. The water behind me is the Columbia River. I hope you have an awesome day!

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1 comment:

Manny said...

Oh no, this story is pretty funny. I wonder where he went in The Dalles? Also, I can't believe he could get all the way here from Jersey!