July 19, 2020

Coal Railroading (Review)

ven though I model the Southern Pacific in the Central California Valley, I’ve been thinking of making a smaller “fun” layout, one I can fire up casually and run without trouble. You can see more about that decision (and the plans) HERE. But in a nutshell, I’m moving my action to Western Pennsylvania (in the made-up town of Tuscarora). I’m going to be running a very short line with coal getting hauled to a powerplant, with local switching and even a tower operator (big plans for a small space). So we’ll see how this comes out. While picking up preliminary […]
September 21, 2021

OpsLog – TBL – 9/20/2021

ery busy night at the club. First there was the work session that went on until 8pm – we worked elements of Pittsburgh, fixed two turnouts, argued about signposts (bit one off in a dare – really), and then designed the steel mill trackage. After all that, everyone left and so I pulled out my Tuscarora Microlayout and had a coal session. Why? Well, we’re going to have a live session and I’m still working out the card method that drives the coal moves. As noted in earlier blogs, an engineer pointed out that coal felt meaningless – it was […]
October 5, 2021

OpsLog – TBL – 10/4/2021

t was a rough day and a rough night at the club. I worked on the gravel road outside (doing convict labor) and then traced wires in the hideous mess under Zanesville. And after all that, I wanted to run my own session on the Tuscarora, just the coal job testing out the new tally sheets. And I’d use my SW-7 switched to make sure it was all ready for my clinic/ops session next week. And of course, the chip blew. So I can make the bell and horn works, and the engine idles. But you get headlights on both […]