It’s putting things mildly that the fall VRA NYS&W Southern Division speeder run didn’t go quite as planned. With that said, all involved worked in extraordinary circumstances to ensure the safety of all NARCOA participants. I’m proud to have been a part of that team in the capacity as a flagger, and while I hope we don’t have to test our safety skills quite so much next time, I stand behind the work we did that day to get everyone down Sparta Mountain safely.
The first detour train of the day pulls through Sparta Junction as the VRA group waits on a siding before proceeding. This westbound would be the first Metro North detour train of the day, running over the NYS&W from PC Junction to Campbell Hall, NY.
Between directing automobile traffic and helping out in any way possible, the volunteer flaggers, Chris Vitz, Steve Weiss, and Craig Hoffman all made sure things proceeded as best they could. It’s in the thick of it when the truly talented shine, and this was no exception.
Here now, are some photographs that I managed to take on the day of the run.
After taking hours to make it up Sparta Mountain, the decision came over the radio: 'we’re calling the run.' The call was made to turn the cars at Snufftown Road, since it’s the least busy crossing in the area. Here we see trip pilot Steve Weiss look on as a car is turned.
In stark contrast to the photo taken earlier that morning, the second Metro-North detour train (an eastbound this time) moves through a very wintry-looking Sparta Junction area. The motorcars again yield to the train, and are on the Eastern Propane siding waiting for the main to clear and the Form D to be issued.
With everyone safely back down the mountain, Metro North detour trains cleared, and the switches lined and locked, the motorcars make their final move of the day back onto the main. Everyone was eager to get into a warm automobile, if not so eager to drive in the foot of snow Mother Nature graced us with.