I’ll be flying to San Diego to operate on La Mesa’s massive Tehachapi railroad layout this weekend with five club-members.
How massive are we talking?
It’s 25 scale miles long. A mile is 60’ 8”, so that’s 1516 feet long. If you ran a train 60 mph along it, it would take 25 minutes to get from Mojave to Bakersfield. As track speed is about 25 mph, it will take a first class train an hour to complete a run. One time it took me six hours to move a set of cab-forward helpers (running as extras) down the hill to Bakersfield.
We typically run 100 car freights. At 5.75 inches per car, this strings out to 47 foot long trains. With live crews working engines at the front, the back, and the middle, you often have to walk back a good distance to confer with your crew.
We will run under “Time Table and Train Order”, meaning an isolated dispatcher will transmit orders to four tower operators (At Kern Jct, Caliente, Woodford and Mojave) and carbon copies of those orders will be passed to the crews. You will refer to your timetable, your 100 page rulebook, and your watch to determine if you can proceed.
30-50 operators will work the railroad across two 12 hour days.
That’s how massive. Reports to follow.