Monday, June 4, 2012

If you're not having any fun, you're doing it wrong

Working for a railroad is a job.  You have to do it whether you feel like it or not on a particular day.  However, no job should be all bad.  In fact, if you never have fun at work, you ARE doing it wrong.

Working for a railroad is serious business and many of the work related tasks I do are far removed from actually being around trains.  I like my job most days,  but some days are better than others. Last Sunday was a really good day "at work".  Okay, it really wasn't a work day, but Norfolk Southern is running a series of steam train excursions for employees this summer.  Our CEO, who also admits to liking trains more than is normal, said:

“The chance to ride behind a living part of our history, to be with
our families and coworkers, and to commemorate the remarkable
progress we’ve made as a team in the last three decades are great
reasons to come out and participate in these trips,” said CEO Wick
Moorman. “Besides, why should railfans have all the fun?”

Indeed.  It was a fun day.  NS ran 4 trips a day on Saturday and Sunday, June 2nd and 3rd, between Atlanta and Forest Park.  The train ran down the old Central of Georgia mainline, now NS's "S" line.  It is lightly used compared to the ex-Southern route to Macon and perfect for these short excursions.  The Atlanta Division employees who worked the event did the company proud!
Boarding at Spring Street.

Departing for Forest Park

Rolling onto the main track, flags flying.
My (mostly) willing companions for the day waiting for me to take a picture of the next departure.
I took a few "better to ask forgiveness than permission" open dutch door shots.
What's a steam train ride if you can't hear the locomotive working or smell the smoke?
Happy train riders
The ancient consolidation (2-8-0) locomotive (Alco - 1904) had to work hard to pull the relatively small train.
At one point, the steam exhaust blew the walkway on an overhead signal bridge out of position!
Passing a Triple Crown Train at East Point

A GP40-2 and road slug pulled the train back to Atlanta from East Point

Cylinder cocks open - getting rolling.
Always a lot of action at Spring Street.
Last trip of the day departs as two freight trains up from Macon approach Atlanta's Inman yard.
Monday at work, a crowd gathered to watch the steam excursion train deadhead to the next location.
Here is it sliding through the Amtrak station on a soaky-wet Monday in Atlanta, as seen from NS's office building on Peachtree St.
Later on Monday, my son Dan caught the train as it passed through Duluth on it's way to Spencer, NC.

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