OpsLog – LM&O – 6/22/2022

OpsLog – LM&O – 6/22/2022

y original plan was to run a through freight with my new Pennsy F’s, but it turned out I was the only dispatcher on deck so back into the office I went.

Smooth night with a good turnout. Crews were meeting their on-call times (if not a little before). The layout is running better (though the metal wheels continue to cause cursing and might result is us switching the worst offenders back unless a better alternative is found). Once I reminded people to call clear of the main, they generally did. In this, I got to focus on my panel.

My only kick-myself-in-the-ass-with-a-booted-lever-arm deal was forgetting to reset the booster. We slot-maxed early, I rushed out to reset and God knows what ops switch I actually set (maybe the water in the toilets in the clubhouse rotate the other way when flushed now). When I thought I was done, nothing had changed, not even the clock, so that was a mess. I finally did the steps slowly and carefully and got the railroad running again.

The good thing about last night was that a lot of crews did jobs outside of their comfort zones. Steve H and John W worked the yard (and did a great job of it!). Out on the main, rail-photographer John DV banged boxcars around Mingo, while Rob G did likewise down the step in Shelfton. AJ did something new (I think it was mach 2, but we didn’t have telemetry up). But best (for me) was Chris S sitting in behind me on the panel and carefully learning it (carefully-enough that I gave him the last quarter of the session, and he did great with it – a star is born and now I can play with trains too!).

A focal-straining look down Martin Yard as steel mill engines pump the air off the Mingo Turn. The Westinghouse bridge shimmers in the photographic haze (Photo: John DV)

Consolation Prize goes to young Tag, who did the “I think I can” bit with a two axle switcher, failing to get up the grade out of Calypso with the long-overdue Harris Turn. Later, he made a baffling run with 66, which ran all the way to Bound Brook, only to become the Bound Brook Turn and come back on the same trackage. I got a report that 298 saw passenger headlights somewhere in the late evening hours, leaving Chris and I to ponder the existence of the ghost train.

So yes, a great session with the guys – everything ran smooth (for a huge club layout with newbies and guests running about the place). Had a really fun time, and it looks like a lot of operators did to, and that’s our end-goal.