Yes Fred, it did happen and, yes, pictures were taken. Now, if they get published, that will be up to the photographer.
The day started early to try to beat some of the heat. Dale Loyett, my spouse Jan and myself ran the “Freeman Spur Local” in the morning and, I feel, we learned a couple of extra secrets to improve our efficiency of carrying out this complicated puzzle. The sky was crystal clear and the Sun’s intensity was certainly felt. In the afternoon, the sky began to show whispey hurricane clouds and it did give a little comfort and breeze to the high temps. Dale and I ventured out to run the “Coal Turn” to the Power Plant. This is an intense run with 24 coal cars and 2 GP-38’s. It takes a slow steady pull to negotiate from the bowels of the basement, out through the window to Blufield, down past Sparta, Hadley Forest, the Woodlawn Diamond and the crossing of the Evansville Western, past the cutoff to the Freeman Spur Subdivision, through the big yard at Memphis, into the balloon track at the “Power Plant”, perform the unloading at a controlled 10 mph and then return the reciprocal route back to the mines and the marshalling yard of Bluefield. Not an easy task. Traffic was light, but it is still an interesting run. This was the second run of the day for the Coal train, as I imagine the demand for electricity kept the Power Plant running at capacity.
Clean up began around 4pm and we had everything secured by 6pm. Time to start thinking about the October 2018 OPs and if history shows true, it will be the big event of the year.