Friday, March 26, 2010

Tim Time: RTC TJB signs off

CN Rail Traffic Controller TJ Ball spent the evening of March 3 controlling train movements over the Kingston Sub. Tim's authoritative, laconic, no-nonsense manner kept the trains moving. Following are some examples, from 2000 to 2009, of how he did it. As Tim says, "For the people who work on the track or those who put in a lot of time near it, it should be easy to understand."

SAYINGS
Too big a train to be screwing around with.

A whack of trains, everything's screwed up.

Indifference is becoming a major ally.

367, the Queens East plant just went for a crap

366 facing an approach signal at Mi 179 asks "Are you going to be holding us at Queens?"
Just a minute and I'll pound the snot out of it.

9500 foot freight at Belleville...bigger and better? Well bigger anyway.

(Above) 5329-5372 haul a 140-car No 301 uphill out of Trenton, Aug 24/00.
4143-4107 with a 3-car No 590 at Mi 184, 0825 May 29/04:
SPEED UP!
I'll check with the war room re: 301. VIA No 67, you'll go to the south track at Ernestown and open 'er up.

519, let's rock and roll, there's a parade heading west. Hallelujah, let's get you out of town before something else goes wrong.

364, you're not exactly a barn burner.

519, put some hustle in your bustle. That 20 minute move at Millhaven isn't working, and you're holding up the parade

No 308's power backing into Queens East after setting out a bad-order car, June 24/01:
THE SYSTEM
The westbounds Montreal sends us all have 9 hours left and work everywhere.

You've got a 50 mph car, 320? Everyone who deals with this has gone home.

I don't know what the midnight shift does around here sometimes

Brandt unit pulling a short work train at Kingston station, Mar 27/99:
FOREMEN
RG17, are you having some difficulty? Did you want to let me in on it? So, what about about the guy behind you doing 95? Next time let me know sooner. Now hurry up and get the hell out of the way.

Foreman B with Brandt Roadrailer trying to haul cars in snowstorm:
Are you making a career out of getting to Ernestown? So in an hour, you made it a grand total of 2 miles? Take that junk, dump it in the Norcom spur, call it a night and get off my main line. Give it a chance to cool its wheels off.

Foreman B at Queens:
Are we making some progress against the brush? That should be entertaining.

Railgrinder RG306, No 307 and No 308 converge at Queens, June 24/01:
SAYS HERE...
We've got problems with the scanner, so you'll have to do a pullby or go 15 miles per hour to the next scanner. Sorry, but that's the policy. I can't do much for you.

Foreman W, I don't believe in double dipping (Rule 42 plus TOP) You've got a Rule 42, so get out there, put up your flags and get to work. When you need to take the flags down in the morning, I'll give you a TOP then.

4100 leads No 590 uphill on the Cataraqui Spur, May 7/02:
SOUNDS LIKE NO
519, if I do what you're suggesting, what do we do with 66 and 320? Yeah right, we tried that trick once before.

590, I've got 306 waiting at Marysville for that move to transpire, plus I've got 148 who's going to be up his butt shortly when he leaves Belleville, and I can't tie all that up for you.

To Foreman G at 1900:
You're not going anywhere near the mainline until 2100. It doesn't bother me any. You're the guys standing out there watching trains go by.

5294-9562 lead an eastbound out of the setting sun at Mi 190, July 21/95:
SUGGESTIONS
519, let me ponder that for a minute. I liked it better when you didn't do Napanee first.

305 wants to book rest:
Oh why don't you wait till the Desk B guy gets in? He has bugger all to do all night.

Piece of scrap wood overhanging flat car struck VIA 64:
Better get a car number, "someone" will be wanting to know about this.

Tie on rails struck by 106, to following train:
Have an eye in case the little darlin's come back to admire their handiwork.

Road-rail crane RC10771 takes to the rails at Kingston station, 1986:
STORIES
No 148, would you please perform an emergency test for me please? Yeah, I learned that on the Caramat Sub a long time ago.

376 reports cows south of the south track at Mi 158, asking "Tim how do you like your steak?":
Medium well.

To retiring crew member on 301:
Congratulations to your mate. Wish I was doing the same.

On March 4, Tim became a Retired Traffic Controller. All the best - those who retire seem to enjoy it!
Running extra...
Listening to The Hiding Place by Corrie ten Boom. "Father took the train to Amsterdam to get the time from the naval observatory. The trip took only half an hour but it was a wonderful ride: first the old, wedged buildings of Haarlem, then the flat, Dutch farmland stretching to the horizon, at last Amsterdam with its bewilderment of strange streets and canals."

Night-time CN crews at work around Kingston this week included a Herzog tie train and railgrinder. Surely a sign of spring: trackwork season.

5 comments:

Adam said...

I have a picture of a Herzog on my Flickr, that is from the small yard on the Cataraqui Spur where it meets the CN Mainline just before Gardiners Road.

You can see it here!

http://farm5.static.flickr.com/4014/4441624999_ef48265c9f.jpg

Adam said...

Just a question, where exactly is the Queens portion? I think I have a rough idea. Also it is easily accessible for railfanning?

Eric said...

Thanks for sharing that Herzog shot, Adam. Queens West is just east of Counter St, and Queens East is just west of Division St. Best Queens railfanning spots are Rigney St, or Lappan's Lane, both on the south side. Not much access from the north. Sir John A Macdonald overpass crosses near the midpoint of Queens.
Eric

Adam said...

Thanks for the tips Eric! I will definitely get out to those areas soon.

Bryan said...

Good stuff.