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Would you like fries with that [train] order?

In most situations, T&E crews approached train order boards with a measure of dread, for encapsulated within the wad of flimsy tissue papers hanging on the post was your life story for the next few (& hopefully not more) hours. Sometimes you came out as a winner - but sometimes you were sunk - one simple line of instruction buried amid twenty pages of orders was all it took to turn your run into a a series of seemingly interminable waits for the other guys. And, in anticipating a quick trip, you forgot to bring a sandwich.

A bum trip would have been easier for me (anyway) to endure had we crews received some sort of advance consolation prize from the dispatcher based upon the degree of 'suckiness' that they would have to endure. The setup seen in the above photo of the Durango & Silvertion Railroad just may be this concept in action. Had SP adopted this merciful approach (note: "merciful" was not in SP's dictionary), dispatchers may have composed Train Order Form McD's akin to the following:

Train Order #911
To: C&E SP X1313 East at Sandfly

Due to the future occasion of X1313E being hung out to dry at Milkweed each crew member is entitled to a Big Mac (or equivalent) and a large drink. Because of extra-special crappy circumstances, you may add fries to your orders.

In deepest sympathy,
/s/ TD 6

In other words, if you were at most entitled to one of those awful McRib sandwiches sans refreshment, you stood to have a pretty good day. Otherwise, Durango & Silverton seems to be one of those rare "kinder and gentler" railroads.