Emily "I Ride the Harlem Line" Moser went on a summer trip to Mongolia, to encounter throwback railroading.
In our previous post we got to see some trains around the Kholt area, this time we visit the small platform (complete with an old, abandoned signal house on the hill above), and get a chance to meet the local dispatcher. Trains through this area aren’t using any type of Centralized Traffic Control, instead a local dispatcher controls the siding outside, and when a train arrives nearby, heads outside to visually report its passage and log the consist’s rear car number and time of passage. On the station platform is a small, raised raised spot which the dispatcher stands on to observe the passing train.
The local train director (translating into steam-era North American terminology) has a small model board to control the turnouts at each end of the Kholt siding.

There has to be a Mongolian family name that translates as Sand, and our Eddie Sand would surely be at home inspecting the train as it rolls by and wiring the OS to the dispatcher.  It works the same way in Kholt as it used to work in Holt, Calif., on the Santa Fe, and surely the soul of the Mongolian railroad resides on a mountain pass, just as Harry Bedwell would have it.

I wonder if the train directors also serve as general agents selling tickets and arranging the setting out of stock cars in the lambing season.

But enjoy the vintage railroading while you can, as centralized traffic control with a dispatch office in Ulanbataar is on the way.

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