Engineer’s Journal – April 6, 2005

We had a pretty good thunderstorm roll through during the morning hours, but by lunchtime the sun was out and things were drying out. A good number of folks turned out to visit the train including 2 or 3 classes of children.

The BNSF guys, who have been really treating us well, showed up with a replacement radio and installed it for us and also brought us a couple of bags of ice and bottles of ice water which really was a big help. The BNSF folks have been nothing but first-rate and extremely supportive of our efforts and we really appreciate them!

We got out of town on time and had a good run today. The locomotive ran really well and we ran our 40 mph maximum authorized speed most of the way. We went through 4 more defect detectors and didn’t trigger any alarms.

We got to Iowa Junction and then moved from BNSF to Union Pacific trackage which we followed all the way through Lake Charles, LA to Westlake, LA. It was interesting to run by the UP Lake Charles yard at track speed. All the folks in their yard office came running out the door to take a look at the locomotive as we sped by.

We pulled into the KCS interchange lead at Westlake, LA and a KCS pilot took over and guided us into the yard. We pulled onto the service pad where they filled our tender with water, our sand dome with sand, and the generator car with diesel fuel. We then spotted the train on the Calumet Track in the yard and tied it down.

We said our goodbyes to C.J. Smith, Paul Richard, and Leo Persick who had taken such good care of us while we were on their railroad. I jokingly asked them if it would be okay if we just turned the train around and ran back and forth on their railroad which they got a laugh out of. A nice lady with the local Chamber of Commerce showed up with some wonderful barbeque beef and chicken and all the fixings and we chowed down in the KCS crew room. There were a good number of people there so hopefully, there will be a good turnout tomorrow.

We’re staying in the Comfort Suites in Westlake this evening.