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Report of a malfunction of the 90′ turntable at St. Johnsbury engine facility.

by Webmaster on August 26th, 2010
8-24-1957
AC&E RR
Maintenance Dept.
Office of Dept. Chief
Y.O.R. Ajerk
To: Chief Operating Officer  – A. Disaster
Report of a malfunction of the 90′ turntable at St. Johnsbury engine facility.
On reporting to work Monday morning 8-23-57 at 0600, I found a form 84 (major problem documentation form) on my desk compiled by the 3rd trick Yard Foreman
A. Goodoldboy (The A is for “Alwaysa”), it used to be Alyoishous but no one could spell or pronounce it so he had it changed to Alwaysa, (still tough to pronounce but makes sense to me).
The problem was when attempting to align the table to #10 track to set off the shop switcher the table moved about a foot or so, stalled and refused to move another inch in any direction. Zeke Gonzo the table operator, set out in a hurry to locate Foreman Goodoldboy in his office (that’s the 1920’s old wooden caboose set out in back of the engine house, right next to the 2 stall outhouse, good place for that old buzzard)”. Goodoldboy got right on the yard PA and called for all of the maintenance guys to join him at the turntable, NOW!!.
There were 3 or 4 guys standing around and the “I don’t knows” and “what the H-ll’ happened”? and “who was running this thing?”, “Gonzo was runnin her”! ,”don’t that figure”! , “how the bloody H-ll did you do this?” comments were being passed around between all these grizzled old veterans of many a mishap and coverup’s and of course as usual old Zeke Gonzo had no clue at all.
A. Goodoldboy gave orders to try a few of the old tried and true methods to get’er movin again, they had “old Heavy Henry” crawl down into the pit to check for debris in the gears, Kenny Dew-it looked for crap in the ring rail, his cousin Didhe Dew-it checked to see if they had juice to the motor. “Yup we got juice”, they re-tried the controls but nothin moved, it was bound up tight “DEAD”. It would have to wait for the day shift crew to give it a look see.  An official form 84 report would have to be filled out and the fallout would be brutal but it had to be done and God help the guy who caused this mess.
Seeing that the light of day was fast approaching and that the 1st Trick guys would be coming to work within the next hour, gave old Jake Fumbles and Goodoldboy a chance to take off to the back of the engine house for a smoke, Goodoldboy lit up his pipe (filled with the usual foul tobacco he gets from his cousin Caleb (I think that’s Don’s Uncle)  from Bennington, I think he works in the signal department for the DCRR, Dividing Crick or something like that, “you know them shortlines, not bad but sure ain’t a class 1 road, got some pretty good equipment though, I seen a few of their engines over in Gassetts”.
Anyway at 0715 we all set down in my office with some of the day-shift guys to see if we could figure out what the h-ll happened to the damn table. Each guy was trying like mad  to head for cover before his job was blown away. (Not a pretty sight).
The blame was really going around the room and gettin ugly. Dead silence took over for a  few minutes and all of a sudden out of a clear blue sky Heavy Henry piped up with a “ya know me and Jake Fumbles was working at the electrical panel that controls the lights for the overhead on the table and we did get a touch of a spark, wonder if we shorted out the control section to the table, ya know it’s not connected directly to the table but they are on the same breaker panel!”   “Holy smokes shouted out Goodoldboy, I bet that’s the freakin problem!” Gonzo sez “Ya know the damn thing did lurch a tad before she ground to a halt”. “Damn, that’s got ta be it sez Goodoldboy”.
They all tore out of the office to the back of the engine house and Henry opened the panel and sure enough the damn fuse for the overhead lighting was blown. A lousy 20 cent freakin fuse caused a freakin electrical interupt to the table controls and screwed up the works, the motor to the table was still workin but the pre-set stops to the table had been wiped out by the interupt and the table wouldn’t budge. The on-board control system would need to be restored but that was just a mechanical re-set of the stops that had been wiped out and not a full blown disaster, the table would be back on-line in a few hours.
Six hours of lost time would be deducted from the pay of Heavy Henry and Jake Fumbles for negligence (or stupidity, your choice), Zeke Gonzo went home by way of the Dew-Drop-Inn for a wee taste, Kenny & Didhe Make-it headed off to go fishin over in Turtle Creek and Foreman Goodoldboy took off for the outhouse to take care of some business and stick his old corncob back in his yap for a bowl of smoke. Ya gonna love this part boss, Al Loafer’s wife Bridie called about 9:30 lookin for him, I told her that the “Loafer” left the shop at 7 he must have stopped off somewhere, She thinks she can find him at Guffer Murphy’s Pub, that ought ta be a good row when she gets over there. What a damn day!!
At least nobody’s job was gone and the fuse brought the juice back to the controls and the guys will have the pre-set controls back up in a few hours
“Oh well, ya gotta love workin on the railroad”!!
Boss, typin this report is a pain, can’t we get somethin better than this old Underwood typewriter, wish I still had “old Haggy Maggie” in the office but there just ain’t enough to keep her busy nomore, gawd, she must be drivin old Earl nuts being underfoot all day, ouch!  OK boss, I hope you’re plannin on buyin lunch next month, when you get up here I’ll fill you in on the rest of these jokers we got workin here, it’s a wonder any of this stuff even runs!
Gotta run boss, I just saw old man Cutter sneakin out of the yard with Pierce, what a pair them two are, if I catch e’m off the property the’re toast!
Y.O.R. Ajerk
Chief of Maintanance

AC&E RR

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