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July 25, 2019

OpsLog – LM&O – 07/24/2019

am in the waning days of my career, but I’m still needed it seems. Had a kid in my team who has spent two days inert because the people he needs in another team are out of the office. Finally he came in today and I marched him right down to their manager (whom I’m friends with). Tossed some intros, told her about our missing SMEs, asked for help. She smiled. “Oh, yeah, I can get someone on that right away.” Problem solved. Deadlock broken. I’m pretty proud of my problem-solving abilities, and it stuck with me tonight as I […]
February 2, 2020

OpsLog – L&N – 2/1/2020

idway through the session, the two dispatchers (Southern and Louisville & Nashville) switch. We’ve only got a couple of minutes to update our replacement on the status. I don’t know how it was exactly explained to me but it was something like “Train so-n-so is in Norton and will need to go to Blackwood” makes me think that he didn’t have a warrant. But that word “need” seemed to mean something different between Tom and myself. It turns out he actually did have a warrant and was waiting for other traffic to clear before he started down. Fresh on my […]
November 26, 2020

OpsLog – LM&O – 11/25/2020

t seems that Geep-9 of mine roams around like some sort of Flying Dutchman. A week ago, I was riding it back and forth through Tuscarora, dragging coal one way and dust the other, pretty amazing since we’re in Pennsylvania and it’s a Southern Pacific unit. Now I’m eighty miles north, up in Martin Yard, rolling down track 9 with engines and a caboose, getting ready to pick up my cut off 1 and head over to Mingo Jct. 927 is holding on track 2, ready to roll, but he’s waiting for a silver bullet to go by on the […]
August 23, 2021

OpsLog – L&M – 8/14/2021

hat’s the worst thing you can hear when you are a dispatcher on John Wilkes’ L&M? Headlights? Ha. No. No, it’s when you are hanging around at 10am waiting for your ride-guy to show up and you get a call from another person attending today’s session. “Hey, Robert, where are you? We’re ready to start?” Ready to start? Start time was 10am? I thought it was noon! And it’s in Polk City, something like forty miles away. We’re in Orlando and haven’t even hit the road yet! What a way to not run a railroad. So I called my ride-share […]
November 19, 2021

OpsLog – TBL – 11/19/2021

ad to go out to the club and wait for the alarm guy so I decided, since I haven’t run since thousands of people required my assistance for every little thing, I’d run a switching session on the Tuscarora. And to make it fun, I’d run the full tower (using signals) too! The main thing was to see how my SW-7 would work. Right before the NMRA convention the chip croaked (three weeks out of warranty). I originally had a Paragon 3 sound decoder installed (it’s what it came with). New ones are shipping with 4s – Craig LeVasseur noted […]
December 16, 2021

OpsLog – LM&O – 12/15/2021

ast time we did ops, we got a couple of people to attend and ran a handful of early trains. I groused about it in the blog and nobody liked that move either. This time we decided to pick up at 6am (a quarter of the way into the session) and just run the balance. And now EVERYONE showed up and the layout was jammed. Hopefully you’ll like the blog. So yes, it was a pile on. We ran the rest of the trains, all the passengers (who were probably pissed at the LM&O’s excuses for the horrible service delays […]
January 8, 2022

OpsLog – VSW – 1/6/2022

‘ve got a friend who like to play psychoanalyze-games with me. All of her questions are pointed and reflective. Anyway, the other day she asked, “What was your greatest accomplishment for the week?” I didn’t even have to think that one out. “I got three trains by at Ramsey.” As mentioned in my other blogs, John Wilkes Virginia SouthWestern is a great railroad with two main lines. For the Protorails convention, I was invited in to  dispatch the L&N and Tom Wilson grabbed the Southern desk. Since the L&N has a higher density, we usually give the CTC panel (kinda […]