Centralia Long Pool

  • Good morning from the train Mecca of Centralia IL.  I finally madde my first trip from Galesburg to Centralia on the new long pool.  The waters were parted for us yesterday when we left so to speak.  No trains had been ordered out of Galsburg for almost 12 hours when I went to work and before My cnductor and I set foot on the train we had a green light out of the yard.  A very encouraging sight, lol, even though we want to work over 12 hour so we get overtime.  We let out of the yard like a bolt of lightning and actually made it the 73 miles into Beardstown in 2 hours.  Record breaking trip for me on those particular tracks.  That is when the trip started to unravel.  We pulled to the wet end of the yard and called the dispatcher and he neglected to answer our call for an hour so I put my feet up and read the new Model Railroader.  We finally get the lite after hearing that a track inspector is out in front of us.  Oh joy, more sppedbumps, lol.  We work our way south steadily constantly calling for more track on our track warrants behind the track rider.  As we rolled into Litchfield Il we pull just short of the West siding switch jus tin case anyone is coming at us or we have to tie the train down (always a hope when fast food is near).  We set here for about an hour again while the dispatcher who ahd been doing a great job of keeping us moving attempted to get a final rollup fromthe inspector, he wouldn't answer, so we took a nap and watched the sun go down.  We are now down to 3 hours to work and about 60 miles to gon very doable you would think, right?  Not in this case, lol.  We get a new warrant to a siding called Smithboro about 30 miles south of Litchfield.  I tear up the throttle and make a run for the west siding switch Smithboro.  We are supposed to meet a train that at this time has been on duty in Centralia going north for about an hour.  We roll up to the west switch fully expecting to see a headlight coming at us for a good meet, no such luck.  As I roll past the east siding switch while holdiong the main I see a major road crossing (I don't like blocking road crossings) knowing I will be blocking this crossing for a while I am very angry with the crew who at this time still has not left Centraila after an hour and a half on duty.  As I slowly work my way to the west end I cross 2 more country roads , not a good situation.  After waiting over an hour the East bound train finally approaches the siding.  We are now down to about 45 minutes to work and 26 miles to go, doesn't look good.  We talk the dispatcher into giving us a warrant all the way into Centralia and letting us make it as far as we can.  Notch 2 hole shot on a 19,000 ton coal train, if the sun had been up there would have been a trail of black smoke for 15 miles.  We ended up stopping just 7 miles short of the yard office at hwy 50 just north of Centralia.

1 comment
  • Mark Charles
    Mark Charles Centralia, IL is one of the few cities in USA named for a railroad.
    November 9, 2013