OpsLog – LM&O – 2/22/2023

OpsLog – LM&O – 2/22/2023

teve Hooper is going to hate reading this, but tonight we ran every train (freights, passengers, and even some units trains and extras) and we ran it pretty much on time.

Sorry, Steve.

When I took the hot seat tonight, I felt a lot of pressure to get this session down right. After all, the last one was a shambles (sorry again, Steve). We had to show that the entire thing could come together and run like a true railroad. This was doubly important because we were using our new freight flows from Nazareth. Yeah, so, no pressure but it’s got to go down right – there are no do-overs tonight.

Silver Bullet 2, hot on the tail of 202, races through Carbon Hill. 414 idles on the coal lead, ready to follow but not foul the varnish. (Photo: Jim M)

So, as everyone railed their trains for the evening, I carefully wrote out the preliminary warrants and got them to the crews. This way, the out-of-the-gate guys could launch as soon as the clock went hot, and all the other special moves (a coal train and about fifty locals) could be handled in the gaps.

So hot we went, with two westbound Martin locals calling for warrants. I wrote some slick paper to get them out, only to find that the first to leave was actually blocked by the second. This occurred several times in the evening – look, if you don’t have a warrant in your hand, you shouldn’t leave a yard track and plug yard limits.

We had a lot of confusion with guests all around the place, but as far as the operations went, outside of the derailments, the confusion, the chaos and the cussing (yes, I heard several people mention this – shame be upon the head who uttered curses within earshot of our guests), we actually ran a sharp session. As mentioned, every freight rolled tonight, and every passenger train was close to its advertised. I actually got the silver bullets to meet at Harris (as per the timetable). Everyone knocked out their jobs with skills and/or dumb luck (and Chris, you paid a horrible price for not pre-blocking, did you not? Of course, told you I did, hmmm?).

Really, I loved the coal/freight/passenger parade over Harris. I loved 202 getting lapped at Zanesville by Silver Bullet 2. I liked the Mingo Jct and Zanesville locals helpfully moving aside to let mainline traffic through. Watching the ore train fill a hole in the Harris moves was fun – he slotted right in. I liked the people who called themselves off the main. It was great that Jason came in after his run to try dispatching. It was good to see the Nazareth cars completing full circuits. I’m thankful that Jim T let me know before his run that I’d goofed up his order, and accepted the correction. I’m happy that Martin Yard seemed to be able to cope with the flow (I haven’t been told otherwise). Just many good things happened tonight.

My best moment – Silver Bullet 1 drifts down from Harris, to meet 414 and 202. This was as orchestrated as a Broadway play (Photo: John DV)

The fact that I mis-set the clocks (and exacerbated the clock crash) was not so good. That Zach caught this mistake was even less good. The clocks were not good. They were almost worse than JW’s clock.

The ore run tops the summit across a spindly wooden trestle. The LM&O doesn’t allow this talk of Rail Safety to get in the way of profitable operations… (Photo: John DV)

I need to talk to the Zanesville turn about the Tipton cars, and did that even work at all (or should we just brick up the tunnel and cut Tipton off from our rails)?

I need to get another dispatcher, one who doesn’t check into stress rehab three days before the session.

I want to run trains too.

And I want more sessions like tonight, when people seem to have fun and come in after their runs to chat about them.

It was a great night in Orlando’s best operating layout.

I had a blast!