We spent a fairly quiet day here in Fernley, punctuated by going out to watch the various bits of train action outside our front door. Earlier today a BNSF switch job tied up the mainline for over an hour swapping cars in and out of the "Celite Sidings" on our side of the street. late in the afternoon, a UP coal train arrived on Fernley siding with coal for the cement plant over toward Wadsworth on the stub of the Fernley & Lassen Railway
. They split off some of the cars and took them over to the cement plant, and while they were doing that, Amtrak came by with the eastbound California Zephyr
running on time. As dusk fell, the engines of the coal train returned and coupled to the rest of the train sitting on the siding, then pulled up to the end of Fernley Siding and sat for a while. Around this time Lisa realized that we needed something from the grocery store, and I decided to also refuel the van at the Pilot truck stop, which is near where the head end of that train was. We drove over to the Pilot and Lisa speculated that the coal train was supposed to put more cars into the cement plant, but needed to back them in, and the only way they could do that required blocking the main line because they'd have to pull past the switch at the west end of Fernley Siding, then back in to the west leg of the wye that leads up the old F&L stub to the cement plant. Sure enough, while we were refueling, the train pulled forward a bit, splitting in two where the ground man had pulled the pin, and as we left Pilot, they began backing down the wye.
We drove over to where the frontage road crosses the legs of the wye and got out to watch them back in. The train stopped, blocking the frontage road. I commented that it was a good thing they were doing this switching on a Saturday evening, because they were blocking the only road access to the industries back there, including the asphalt plant, a building-truss-manufacturing business, and Fernley Auto Body & Tire Center. Just then a big rig that had been parked on the frontage road started heading up the frontage road. He got as far as the blocked crossing before figuring out that the train was going to be there for a while. (The switchman was walking the length of the train down to where the two legs of the wye converge in order to open the switches into the concrete plant.) While Lisa and I watched, the big rig gingerly backed up and eased its way into the parking lot of Chuckars Casino before reversing out and leaving. We figured that the big rig driver had planned on driving in to the industrial park to find a large lot in which he could turn around but didn't realize that there was a coal train blocking the grade crossing.
It has been a very nice week weather-wise here, with warmer-than-usual temperatures most of the time, and we've been getting out for regular walks. We're in a bit of a holding pattern on some of the home improvement work because we need to get the floor joist repairs done before we can do the next serious part of renovations. And we're grateful for the warmer weather since we have no way to heat the house except electric space heaters.
Meanwhile, my laptop has managed to boot a few times. No idea how long it will last or if the problem will recur. All of my most critical documents are backed up. Current Mood: cheerful