Well, I coulda been an actor, but I wound up here.
I just have to look good, I don't have to be clear.
We got this bubble-headed-bleach-blonde who comes on at five.
She can tell you 'bout the plane crash with a gleam in her eye.
words by Don Henley.
OK, I'll let her read this one to you .........
High Drama on the Lafayette, La. Rails.
Hi, my name is Nadean. I'm unattached. (Very)
Steve, our railroad consultant, or whatever, sent this in.
Today I was to witness high drama on the Lafayette Rails.
After taking care of domestic business, I switched on the
scanner and heard a distressed conductor talking to our
local dispatcher, the ever calm Mr. W. The engineer exclaimed
that a car was dragging something and he was stopped. Dead
stopped. I immediately seized on the movie "Unstoppable"
as this guy was really frantic in an opposite kind of way.
Possibly his hours were about up, possibly he had appointments
to attend, who knows, but he wasn't happy. He was in the
ghost town of Elks, La. and going nowhere fast.
Mr. W calmly explained that he would get "mechanical" out to
Elks to look over the situation "if they could be found". I don't know
if he meant "if he could find the mechanical crew" or "if the
crew could find the train". Don't laugh, I've looked before and
The engineer did not seem to accept that placebo.
I could stand it no longer, I had to be there. I jumped on my
little rocket ship and made haste for Elks, south of Lafayette.
There the train was. It always amazes me that hearing something
on the radio can be real. I won't go into why I mistrust radios.
Sure enough "mechanical" was there. I could see the guy
holding his arms up as if asking for guidance. None seem
to come and he drove off. Imagine Al claiming Louisiana,
yes, that "arms in the air" position.
I rode to the head end to see how the conductor was doing.
I think I heard sobbing from the cab.
That's a joke, lighten up.
Being it was too hot and knowing how problems on the
railroad take forever, I left and rode through Broussard
and took some Old US 90 pictures of its downtown.
Then I heard the scanner squawking.
Mr. W. and his group of experts and engineers had devised
a way to get the train moving. It sat on the main line and
something had to be done. The conductor was told to move
his train at walking speed. The stricken car hadfailed brakes
of one sort or another. The train, behind the stricken car,
was probably without brakes.
Here it came.
I waited and waited reflecting on how slow walking speed
is. I was still feeling my walking speed from yesterday and
I was still walking slowly.
I quickly shifted locations. The plan was to deposit the
stricken car on the historic, light weight railed Budweiser
siding. I had to see this. I wondered when the last car was
on those old rails.
I thought this was the bad car, it wasn't. The bad car was
in the middle somewhere. According to "procedure", a good car
had to be left with the bad one. I don't mess with Mr. W.,
that's what he wanted.
It continued pulling forward. I'd have to shift positions again.
They split the train and there it was, the gray one being
pulled forward. A crew of brave switch operators had
been sent to assist.
Here they are in action.
There goes the stricken car onto the historic Budweiser siding.
More switch action.
It was nice to leave a buddy with the stricken car. Look
at those old rails. Mr. W. must be a historian to know about
From another angle.
The switchers gathered.
The guard rails raised to salute them. Awards were given out.
And the train moved on. I hope the conductor regains
his composure. It's a joke, lighten up. Seriously, the men
of the BNSF Railway averted a possible Unstoppable scenario
by culling out the stricken car. But something has to be
done about whimpering conductors. It's a joke, lighten up.