Monday, July 16, 2007

Stopped Dead In Our Tracks

So...We've been sitting just East of Havre, MT for six hours now!!! We are sitting in the middle of a wheat field in the middle of nowhere. Turns out diesel locomotives don't like heat! It is 103 degrees right now. We have to stay on the train. One engine has died, and they are having trouble keeping the second running for power and AC. The temp in the cockpit was 146 Degrees. Try doing engine work in that.

The rails here are almost only freight lines. The trains are heavily weighted and with the heat and traffic the rails have become bowed. This forced our train to run slower than normal which let the engine overheat.

Crews were unable to repair the front unit so we have to wait for a freight diesel to arrive from another town. This will take the entire train to its final destination, however it has a lower top speed. We will now have three locomotives on this train.

We have a dead crew as well since they have now been over 12 hours. We have to wait for a new crew to be dropped off as well.

A storm blew through. We had hopes that this would cool the engine off enough to get us going again. No such luck, but all of the lightning did provide a suitable diversion. One of the lightning strikes managed to start the field next to us on fire. The 13 successive ground strikes kept reigniting the fire. Eventually, it died out as the volunteer fire department monitored the situation.


Matt Church said...

I'm enjoying your updates. Great to have updates as the trip unfolds. Always an adventure on the train!

A dubs said...

Glad you are enjoying the blog. I'm trying to get caught up. Stay tuned, I will probably be adding more material to older posts.