I had this hope that I would keep working for the train crew transportation company, but I should have used my common sense and taken the reviews more seriously. Upon being hired I was told I would never be asked to work more than 12 consecutive hours without taking a required break. I thought 12 hours sounded like a lot to work in a row, but this is what happened Thursday.

Earlier than 3AM, my trainer called me for a final training run. He said we would be driving to Kingsport, and after that he would have to check to see where they wanted us. I drove in the dark down to Kingsport (from Bristol) where we picked up a crew and started the long trek to taxi them to a small coal town near Pikeville, Kentucky. It was foggy and rainy, and the 3AM call itself was unexpected. I had been told the early hour was 4 not 2:45. I drove slow to be safe, and finally made it to the station where the CSX coal trains stop.

These are the trains that chug through deep mountains, on their way to Kingsport, where the coal is wanted so badly. It's the very track where the freight train goes over the Clinch River, on that great trestle bridge that I always seem to notice. They only go 25 miles an hour on that bridge. It takes them 6 hours to get back from Kentucky to Tennessee, mostly going 50 or 55. Unless they hit a tree...

The engineer had to check the back engine, so we planned to meet the conductor a couple miles up the road in Marrow Bone. For a while the conductor drove solo, as we drove the other engineer to that little stop.

It was getting light in Kentucky. We ate a 3.50 breakfast in the Food City there. Then my trainer drove the rest of the way. From Kentucky to Kingsport to Irwin to Kingsport up to a yard on the boarder of Sullivan and Scott County where the same crew from Kentucky waited stranded due to running into a tree. Then we brought them to Kinsport, drove again to Irwin, then went home.

It was in total a 600 mile, 15 hours that day. The boss called 1PM or thereabouts, and she told me I had to work beyond the 12 hour limit. I was given no way to not work the extra amount because I was stuck in the car, and I felt it was disrespectful and also against what I had agreed to do. So when I got home, I called the boss and quit.