OpsLog – WBRR – 12/3/2022

OpsLog – WBRR – 12/3/2022

hings on the Western Bay railroad get better and better.

We had a new dispatcher today  – he wasn’t all that versed in TT&TO (but who is – I’m giving a clinic at a convention next month on the topic). But he rolled with the punches and did very well. Three of us operated seven stations – I gotta get Al to let us start issuing train orders someday (I’ve got some ideas – also mentioned in my clinic). But otherwise the crews made their meets and switched their cars. The superintendent doesn’t trust them one bit but they are slowly learning how to keep out of each other’s way and how to shunt cars efficiently. Watching Eric and Steve switch Placerville Jct was a joy – they came in, did it with exacting moves and had to loiter in the nearby saloon until it was time to go. The station operator at Placerville warned his counterpart at Delores that there might be trouble, but the crew sobered up before they got to their next switching location – I think they stuck their heads in the tank to freshen up.

Station Operator Raymond (right) watches 123 work Dulce and likely offers insights and advice (Photo: Al S)

The Dulce station operator (right) stands by to set out the steps and empty the spittoons as train 2 eases into the station (Photo: Al S)

But yes, the crews ran pretty much on time. I could hear all the station operators making their calls correctly (actually, Al was doing a better job than I was; I changed to his format). But it’s really cool to hear a distant train operator calling an unseen train through a station, knowing it’s on its way towards you.

Really, I was lording my vast TT&TO knowledge (said with a touch of irony) over everyone. If a crew stopped to use the station loo, I’d give a clinic on plumbing. I even told Al why semaphore signals have points on their masts*. I had an answer to everything. Wasn’t I just too smart for words? I really have to tone it down a bit.

I know Al is looking for operators, so anyone who reads this blog should keep July 1st open; that’s the next Western Bay session. Come and run with us (and N-Trakers, maybe we can get a big carpool together).

After all, the more the merrier. And the more people I can explain things to.


 * Points on masts keep the birds from landing on them and crapping into your semaphore gear boxes.