June 16, 2019

OpsLog – WBRR – 6/15/2019

n my real job, nobody listens to any suggestions I have to offer. And it’s a cock up there. But on the Western Bay Railroad, at least some of the things I say get put into practice. Like today – I’m sitting in the small office (more like an outhouse with the hole boarded up) in Placerville Jct. I can see train 315 toiling up the long grade from Ute Jct, a steam engine on the head end, another behind the tail end passenger car*, shoving. The last times we did this we met with various levels of success. Usually […]
September 22, 2019

OpsLog – WBRR – 09/21/2019

‘ve got to admit I don’t know how they would cuss in 1935 (or so). Specifically, way up in Rocky Mountain towns, muddy little burgs with careers in mines, laundry and dry goods. Oh, and railroads. I’ve got the only railroad job in the town of Dolores. Well, no, there is a guy working East Delores. So there are two of us, plus any engineers and conductors passing through on their rickety tea-kettle D&RGW trains. So I’m out on the boardwalk watching the chaos. We’ve got a westbound general freight shying back from the platform, a long fifty yard walk […]
June 4, 2023

OpsLog – WBRR – 06/03/2023

he teletype was idly clicking a slow message, a new dispatcher getting an OS report from Navajo down the line about a train coming east. Since I’m at Dulce, I shouldn’t even see that train – he’ll swing off my line at Ute Junction and head to the other division, through Placerville and Dolores. But really, it’s not my problem. I’m checking over the paperwork of a westbound peddler train standing in my station, ready to depart. Yes, it looked good. I don’t remember what pulled me away from my Dulce job. With long arms and a sneaky manner, I […]
December 3, 2023

OpsLog – WBRR – 12/2/2023

kay, now that I got your attention with this beautiful shot by Jim Mathis of D&RGW #475 steaming through the miniature (but not as miniature as I’m used to) world of his Western Bay Railroad, let’s get into the details. Four members of the club got invites to head down to Port St. Lucie to run on his O-scale narrow gauge layout that captures railroad action in the Rockies in 1932. As usual, I was station agent at Dulce, Dolores and that shack of a place, Placerville Jct (located way outside of Placerville proper – it’s a long cold walk […]
June 9, 2024

OpsLog – WBRR – 6/8/2023

itting in my muggy dispatcher’s office in Denver, the windows open and a fan chattering on the desk, I can only imagine what it’s like in flat, faraway, hellish Navajo in June as the telegraph slowly confesses that 391 has puffed into town an hour the hot side of noon. Easy to imagine the dozen or so passengers stumbling out of their hellishly hot combine, to stagger over the mainline rails to the little cantina while the steamer uncouples off the front end and idles over to the tank to fill its empty boiler. The passengers drink their warm beer […]