Some of you guys have told me you wanted to hear some stories from the railroad. I have been working the yard since I've been marked up as an official employee, which isn't very interesting, but I have been thinking of stories from my student trips. The one I can remember most of is my last trip... I was coming home from Yuma, Arizona one late afternoon aboard an intermodal train. The first notable event was that the conductor was late. I was about to tell the engineer that I could fill in if we couldn't get a conductor there in time- I felt I had enough of a grasp of the job to give it a try on my own. But finally he came in. We looked at our paperwork and noted our power, an SD70M in the lead, followed by an HLCX SD40-2 without dynamic brakes, and a C40-8. We figured our speeds and whether or not we needed a helper for Beaumont Hill, and found we were good. That is, until we got on the train. We moved in all of our stuff and stowed it in our respective spots . The engineer was getting ready to run through the locomotives and the conductor was stowing his food in the ice bucket when I noticed a tag hanging from the isolation switch. I went to look at it and it said "UP Non Complying Locomotive- UP 9xxx Dynamic Brakes inoperative; use for power only." I promptly cursed and told the other guys about it. This left us with only the SD70 with dynamics. We re-figured our need for a helper and found we were still ok, but really close to not having enough braking power. The engineer suggested that when we come out of a siding the conductor and I walk back to the Dash 8 and observe the dynamic brake gauge while he puts the dynamic brakes online to see if it really did not work. So at the first siding out of Yuma we came out of we did that, and sure enough the dynamics weren't working. So we debated getting helpers at Thousand Palms, but since we were legal, we decided against the hassle. The trip was uneventful, until we got to the top of Beaumont Hill. Now was the moment of truth. The engineer set up the dynamics on the SD70, and set some air. To our surprise and pleasure, the train came down nicely. We came down the hill, and IIRC we pulled up to the crew change at West Colton to transfer crews. We made sure to tell the outgoing crew that they only had one locomotive with dynamics.