I got up early yesterday, Thursday, November 7, 2013, so early that it was almost the time I used to get up everyday when I actually worked for a railroad. Just thinking about that gives me the shivering willies.
You don't know what the shivering willlies are?
I'll tell you, but you have to use your imagination.
It's August, it's 330 AM. There's a derailment. You're there. The wreck crew hasn't arrived. The track department hasn't arrived. It's you, and the crew, and the wheels not on the rails, the rails not on the ties, but the good news is the cars are mostly still on their wheels.
It's 85 degrees with 80 percent humidity.
And you, you poor dumb cluck trainmaster you, you're out there and you're cold. It's 85 and August and you're cold, because you are standing next to one ugly mess of steel and dirt and wood, and you just want to puke. You remember what your mother said and you agree, you should have been a doctor, a lawyer, a graphic designer, anything but this, because this day is only starting.
Before you know it, you're shivering, and you're trying to remember where the 24 hour diner is. That's the shivering willies.
Now if that isn't enough to inspire you to want to become a railroad line officer then I don't know what's wrong with you.
But I wasn't going to a derailment, at least I better not have been since I was up that early to catch Amtrak train 151, departing NY Penn Station 0440 hours, scheduled to arrive Washingto Union Station 0815 hours, to get me to day 2 of the NTSB hearing investigating the May 17 and May 28 accidents on Metro North Railroad....
"Friends, inquisitive friends, are asking me................................... what's come over me?
A change, there's been a change, And it's oh so plain to see"
George Clinton, I Wanna Testify, 1967, Revilot Records