Big Blue in the Blue Ridge
At one point in time, a mighty operation that loaded daily. Now, traffic is sparse and they only see a few trains a month. Way back in the corner of Pike County, Kyber is more or less the problem child of the Pocahontas Division. The loading is slow, the track is bad, and the journey is long. Once the empties arrive in Weller, it takes three crews before the train is ready for departure. One to bring the train down the branch and begin loading, one to finish loading, and one to bring the train back to Weller.
Here the 80R job spots the train under the batch loader to begin the loading process. They are four hours into their shift already, and the next four will be filled with the frustrating sound of the conductor saying “hold and check” every two cars. The next crew’s shift will consist of the same. Although this site is a thorn in the side of many, it holds a very dear place in my heart. And there’s just something about that blue color.