branch

September 13, 2020

OpsLog – TBL – 9/12/2020

ust after midnight. Greg Wells and I found ourselves standing in the cinders of the mainline through Tuscarora, his NW-2 idling behind him, my Southern Pacific GP9 rumbling at my back. We’d just gone over the day’s activity, the switching for him, the coal runs for me. But I’ll admit, for a tiny layout, this tyke has big ops. There was a long pause. I looked up at the guy in the switch tower. He looked at his watch. Acting on a hint, I asked, “Do you want to just go with the locals and leave the coal out of […]
October 18, 2020

OpsLog – 10/17/2020

nother op session at the club today, with AJ running his coal and Ben as the switch crew. In the logistics side, Greg ran the DS panel and I worked the nonlocking interlocking. And, as Greg put it, I also worked as the superintendent (and an auxiliary brakeman). First off, this little beauty was in place, my very first structure, the Tuscarora Station. You’ll notice that it’s been out of service for twenty years, that the paint is cracked and peeling. Not added yet are the boards over the windows and doors (or the roof weathering). And station signs. So […]
March 14, 2021

OpsLog – TBL – 3/13/2021

f course, if half of your crew is new and you are superintendent to a railroad with intense switching and interlocking control, what do you do? You go easy and drop the freight levels to the lowest possible settings, right? No, I cranked them all the way up. The pre-session extra freight dropped two cars on the siding (doubling the work of Tuscarora Local 1) and two coal trains had drops (one load, one empty). Brian (as the switcher) and his son Tyler (as the towerman) had their hands literally full for the session. And I’m happy to say they […]
July 18, 2021

OpsLog – TBL – 07/17/2021

nother busy day on the Tuscarora. I thought we were going to have four people but because of sweeping Covid fears, the father/son team I invited had to cancel. And that left me with 50% crew. In a normal ops session, a disaster. But the modular functionality Tuscarora Branch Line can run as easily with one as it can with four. So with Greg (my long-time engineer who has been with this project from the start) we set all signals to green, coupled in the mini-tower (which lets an operator easily run the layout) and began. He ran the local […]
January 1, 2022

OpsLog – TBL – 12/31/2021

es, I was able to round out a wonderful year of operations (with all the covid concerns) on a high note, coming back to my personal favorite, my own Tuscarora Branch Line.           Now, before moving to what happened, a quick New Years Tally. Over the last year I was able to operate at the following places (ranked in order of attendance): TBL: 16 LM&O: 13 FEC: 4 WAZU: 2 WVN: 2 L&N: 2 TY&E: 1 P&WV: 1 WB: 1 So that totals out to forty-two ops sessions, pretty good all together. The Tuscarora I ran […]
January 23, 2022

OpsLog – TBL – 01/22/2022

nother running of the tiny but busy Tuscarora Branch Line, this time with my co-creator Greg and my friends Brian and Tyler. Not many improvements for it – the new ridge top is in and I’ve painstakingly painted up the Tuscarora downtown structures in Z-scale. Funny thing – Greg (as the coal engineer) is a little pissed that the ridge prevents him from seeing his operations around the Easton power plant. Of course, I point out that now he has to rely on the dispatcher to serve as his brakeman, calling his distances back – “Two cars. One car. Half. […]