Part 3 - Dawn of "The Move"
On the morning of the PLA move,
espeeboy and tracktime set off from Berzerkeley at around 6:45A. About
later and after a quick Mickey D's pick-up (oh yeah, hash browns), we
arrived at the old Oakland Army Base. There at Knight Yard, both black
widow locomotives sat online with the train air pumped up. Lead unit
SP5472 greeted us with a classic SP gesture with red MARS light
Museum equipment sat ready for the 40 mile move having been inspected
and checked the many days, weeks and months before.
This was now my third visit to
the scene of this parked equipment
within a 12 hour period spanning back to late Friday afternoon. I think
this was some kind of record for me in frequently visiting some RR
equipment parked and idle, something sitting under gloomy skies and
something with three entirely different light conditions. We were
somewhat surprised to get there before most of the crew although a few
early bird PLA members were stirring about. Actually, when we pulled up
infamous railfan Evan Werkema was hurrying about shooting the train
like crazy. Knowing this serious foamer, he probably arrived on the
scene before anyone ;) Guess the crewmembers that did show up a little
later were a bit smarter in maybe getting some more shut-eye. They knew
it was gonna be a 12+ hour day out there.
On a side note seriously,
there aren't a lot of events that can get
me out of bed this early in the morning. I am one of those guys lucky
enough to wake up at official office clock-in time (9am), show up 45
minutes to an hour late and not get in trouble (well most of the time).
I think in last year alone, I experienced only enough pre-dawn
awakenings to fill up the fingers on my right hand. Point is, you can
bet espeeboy was jumping out of bed (even before the alarm clock went
off) to get set for this day's special events! Felt almost like back
when I was a young railfan waking up early to wake my dad up so we
could get an early start on conquering Tehachapi for a day. You know
the feeling, like Christmas morning - well almost?
It's not everyday you get to
witness a museum train made of various
40 to 80 year old time equipment led by one schnazzy sharp Black Widow
Cadillac. It ain't everyday you see UP agree to allow for this kind of
move either! Most of us were expecting the worst weather-wise with a
storm passing through. But rain or shine there was a good deciated
group of railfans up and out there early that Saturday morning
(Furtado-Man included!) to catch this special train. Probably a good
showing because this was a movement of a lifetime.
May have said this already,
but major props to the PLA crew,
various volunteers and UP for allowing this move to go as planned. Not
sure how it would have been if the slow Oakland Sub along BART had been
used instead, but this day's events went off without any major