- Aug 23, 2002
Yesterday morning I woke up twenty minutes late for my departure on P098(16). It'd been three weeks since I'd been on the rails so I was looking forward to the trip. I boarded at Ft Lauderdale as usual, but before I even got on the dispatcher toned the train and asked us to come over to 9494 after we finished our work at Ft Lauderdale. She gave us word of a False Activation up towards West Palm, as well as a fatality at the NE Boynton Beach, she would pass on more info as it became available. We made our run through DFB and DLB and pulled in siding at Boynton Beach. I walked to the back of the train with the AC, he got down on the ground and said he could see the Tri-Rail just down the tracks. 45 minutes later the Tri-Rail (P681) was in motion, but we were not as P683 was right behind P681, and P680 was just down the siding from us. We got under way again at about 0922 for the remainder of the run to WPB. I felt bad for our lone Coach attendant as her 41 car was full by Delray, and she had long distance passengers that needed to go in the 40, but short distance passengers in the 42. The Chief of On Board Services was there to help aid in the process as much as he could. The trip was pretty calm after that point, meet with 89 and that was all the excitement there was. Once we got up around Kissimmee it got interesting again, the dipatcher toned us as we met 91 and asked us to come over to 5454 after the meet. We went over and got word of an activation failure up around Sanford, and got a message that we were to call the boss man in Jacksonville. Our Conductor called him, but only got his voice mail. Our Chief called Operations in Wilmington, while I called Jacksonville to see what they knew. We got conflicting reports, I was told that we would terminate in JAX, Operations said we would terminate in Orlando. We finally got it straight, we were to terminate in JAx, but put all of our passengers going past JAX off at ORL where they would either be put up in hotelsor returned to their origin if they had family at their origin or lived there, all PAX's would be returned on P097(15), which was two hours late. Not many people were happy as they left the train, some chose to go to JAX if they were going to SAV or another close destination. I left the train at ORL (which had 160 people on board coming into ORL, and about two dozen leaving). P001(16) was right behind us, so I boarded that train. P001 was much calmer, and Hi Level 39952 was at the back (not 39905 as I was told earlier). P-40 835 was the leader and it was in Phase Vb (P-32-8 513 was with it the night before but was removed at SFA). I was able to get 4 interior shots of 39952 (it's in Concept 2000). I left P001 at Deland and spoke with my Conductor friend at SFA (he was at home) he says he suspects that the DASH 8's are being pooled at SFA for road power on AT, as 513 is being shopped for HEP work (514 and 506 have already recieved HEP work). I waited at Deland for 2 hours for P097(15), but P092 (which would also terminate at JAX) came in right before 97. I boarded 97 and was relaxing in the lounge when the LSA (and good friend of mine) told me we were recieving 200 box meals at ORL. We cleared the lounge of all PAX's at WPK and recieved KFC and Popeye's meals with various soda's at ORL. One PAX, myself, and the LSA began sorting the meals and drinks. We then brought the Coach PAX's in one coach at a time. We had four full coaches of people (and an empty 44 coach) while the dining car handled the First Class PAX's. It took us two hours to get all the people through the lounge to get their meals. I ate, and the took a little power nap in one of the sleepers (with the Sleeper Attendants permission of course). By the time I woke up it was WPB. I went back to the lounge to talk with the LSA. He let me off at FTL at 2315. All in all a long day on the rails.