In this case, the “cards” are 250,000-pound chunks of steel. On this morning, the tank car they want is 11 deep in a line, so Pickens has to pull 10 cars off the siding onto the main track. Bynum backs them far enough to get them out of the way, throws the train into reverse and hooks to the needed car, pulls it onto the track, and then hooks back to the 11 unneeded cars and deposits them back onto the siding. The entire process of plucking cars out of storage with all the associated maneuvering takes almost 90 minutes. Once the lineup is set, the 261,000-pound locomotive begins chugging southwestward at a peak speed of 25 mph through farm fields harvested bare for the winter. The train thunders through the town of Bath, Indiana, and then crosses the border into Ohio. Farm fields gradually give way to
The short line chugs across a span that crosses the confluence of Buck Creek and Dry Fork Creek, providing some of the most stunning vistas of the journey. Engineer Jason Bynum (left) dutifully keeps the trains moving and on schedule.
32 OHIO COOPERATIVE LIVING • FEBRUARY 2019