Approaching the MP5 derail, it was obvious that if we stopped we would never get the train moving again, so I ducked into the cab and grabbed my keys. Running out the door I yelled at my crew to slow roll as best they could, and off I went, down the long hood end of the locomotive, down the steps and onto the ground. I ran ahead of the train to the derail and removed it, then jogged back toward the locomotive, which was out of sight around a small curve from me.
But the slow roll wasn’t working. We had lost too much momentum and the locomotive was losing traction. My engineer was running ahead of the train, carrying the hard hat, and trying to get enough sand on the rails to keep us moving. But the hard hat ran empty just one car length short of the derail. We had to tie the train down in place and ease the locomotive onto the siding, where we waited for the bigger motive power of the NS to come and pick up our cars and take them North.