Remarks: Part 1 of the story of Q741's hard luck experience while traveling through Richmond and Petersburg on January 7th...
Some time after leaving Acca Yard, Q741 announced on the radio that its second unit, C40-8 7568, had shut down due to low water, leaving only ES40DC 5358 to do the pulling. The dispatcher instructed the crew to stop at North Collier and coordinated assistance from the local fire department to give the 7568 a drink. We had seen a shiny Petersburg FD pumper truck headed down Vaughan Road towards the Collier Yard office a few minutes before, but didn't get the full picture until we heard the scanner traffic and got a heads-up from a few other railfans who arrived to view the spectacle.
At 2:35 PM, the 5358 poked its nose out from under the Halifax Road overpass, lugging the 7568 and 64 cars up to the signals at North Collier and rolling to a stop right in front of our waiting crowd of railfans. The crew was friendly enough, and chatted with some of the folks until the pumper truck doubled back to our location, led by a yard clerk in a CSX truck.
It seemed that whatever evil lurked within the 7568 was contagious. The firemen had some difficulty at first in getting the pump started, and after the system was refilled and the pumper truck departed, the crew reappeared and threw their hands up in the air, shaking their heads - after several restart attempts the 7568 still showed no signs of life and the suspect was now dead batteries. The Collier yardmaster asked them to bring the train into the yard while a replacement locomotive was found, but they would first have to wait while Q409 ran around them.