Conductor Sutherland

Okay, so I realize people have truly fascinating footage of their lives. Births. Climbing Mt. Kilimanjaro. Touchdowns. Etc.
I also realize that seeing a train go by is a fairly common occurrence for many of us.

But THIS video coverage, to me, is like watching a space shuttle take off into space!

Since meeting Scott (er, re-meeting Scott…I never know how to phrase that), he has worked 3 hours from where I or we live. Currently we live in Kansas City and he works 3 hours north of here out of Marysville, Kansas.

So it was a rare opportunity for me last night to actually SEE him doing his job. I drove to Marysville with Scott to stay in the company hotel while he is gone for a few days. When I dropped him off at work (10:45pm), his train was just arriving. After a quick trip inside, I waited in a nearby parking lot that was next to the tracks to see his train take off. Remember the days of being able to see someone leave on a plane from the airport? This was a similarly exhilarating feeling.

I went into the station with Scott to check the progress of his train’s location as well as the other trains and to see when he was slated to leave.

There was an approaching lightning storm that was dominating the skies. And while I am NOT a fan of stormy weather, I sat and waited in the dark parking lot.

Finally, I saw Scott and his engineer come out the door and head to their train.

I put my zoom lens on my camera and took some shaky, night video of him
1. walking to the train,
2. climbing on board,
3. disappearing into the front of the engine unit,
4. slowly taking off (you can see him at the controls inside!)
5. picking up speed
6. and finally, driving right past me – with an added surprise of Scott appearing out the side door

I stayed until the final engine disappeared into the storm and couldn’t see it anymore. It was a pretty powerful soundtrack of frogs and thunder and lightning and the roar of metal on metal as 187,000 tons of train sped by me in the otherwise quiet night of a small rural town at midnight.

I was so proud of him.

And maybe the next time you see a Union Pacific train drive by, you’ll think about the conductor inside. And that somewhere, he might have a wife standing on the side of the tracks at midnight, waving good-bye as he takes off for another journey on the rails.

(watch videos from left to right)

Scott's Train
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