August 12, 2000 10:03PM
BNSF#8845 in Dobbin Texas
At about 9:15 PM the wife and I headed for the Conroe Tx. interlocker to catch the famous Conroe Tx. coal train. Running empty from the Nelson power plant in Sulphur, La. BNSF trace showed it departed Silsbee bound for Temple at about 6:52PM. Guess what. It made good time. It was passing the interlocker as we arrived. Missed the power. Asked the wife if she wanted to chase one, She never has. She didn't say no so off we went heading West on FM2854. By time we got out of town it took several miles to catch the end of the 120 unit coal train. Unfortunately we ran out of trackside highway before we caught the power. I have always ended my chases here where the track veers from the highway. But tonight I decided to try to catch it on the other side of Montgomery, Tx. towards Navasota. Remarkably when we were once again trackside West of Montgomery we caught the train. Passed it and tried to find a spot to get some #s. Told wifey that I knew a spot in Dobbin Tx. that may be tough to find off the highway at night that the Conroe Sub and the old CRIP BNSF cross at grade. Got there ahead of train. In fact at about 10:03PM 8-12-2000 when it was finally in view it was going real slow and stopped right in front of me by a rural crossing. There just a few feet away was a big beautiful BNSF# 8845 SD70MAC in Heritage II colors. Also BN#9673, BN9451 both in Cream and Green, and BNSF#8810 all SD70Macs. The front door came open and a gentleman got off and as he approached I thanked him for the great photo opportunity. Too bad it was night. When he motioned to another man getting off and said he might be having a heart attack. They had radioed for assistance and we got the engineer in the back seat. My wife was already on the cell phone with emergency trying to give them directions out in the boonies. They wanted to talk to the patient who was feeling better but had been experiencing pain in his left arm and shortness of breath as well as tightness in chest. My wife who, is a Red Cross CPR-First aid instructor, was lamenting the fact we had no aspirin when the conductor remarked he had some Bayer and went and got them. There was concern as to how the rescuers would find us but a few minutes later the "First Responders" from Montgomery arrived. As they put an oxygen mask on him I eased over along the road by the locomotives and got the road #s. A few minutes later the ambulance arrived and took the engineer to Conroe Regional Medical Center. We stayed awhile with the conductor and heard them telling another Westbounder to tie down at Honea siding. The New Orleans to Belen NM. with about 110 cars, I believe the plan was to get that crew to take the coal train to Temple.
We told the conductor we would stop at the hospital and check on the engineer and call him with the news. On way back home sure enough we stopped at Honea_Egypt Road and NWOBEL was on the siding and passed the crossing about 11:43PM. I believe Warbonnet BNSF#8263 SD75M was on point. They cut the cars at the crossing and were waiting for limo to get them to the MONJRM.
Stopped at the hospital and saw the engineer. He said he was feeling great then. His supervisor from BNSF had already been there and went to get his bag off the coal train. What a great bunch those guys are!
So the moral is in addition to my Haz Mat book, railroad emergency phone #s I'm adding a little tin of aspirin to my stuff. Even though I'm allergic to the stuff. Ya just never know. Oh yes I need to get recertified in Red Cross CPR. Good thing I know an instructor. Trace car on MONJRM was :
EGSX,950535,E,SILSBEE ,TX,TD,08122000,185400,BNSF ,GUERNSEY ,WY,08132000,002656,HD,GUERNSEY ,WY,,,E MONJRM0 22,018,
And on NWOBEL was:
ATSF,621291,L,CLEVELAND,TX,TD,08122000,223000,BNSF ,LAMIRADA ,CA,08172000,015500,CP,LAMIRADA ,CA,,,H NWOBEL1 11,009,
BTW it amazed me the reason they picked the spot they did to stop was to avoid blocking crossings. What professionals!