operations

January 7, 2021

OpsLog – LM&O – 1/6/2021

he two GP-9s of the Mingo Jct Turn rumbled out of Martin Yard at 2am. I knew we had a lot to pull from the industries since nobody ran locals last time and the spurs were packed. I guess that’s why I got assigned extra crew on this run (namely, Tom and his son Braden, who really knew how to handle trains well). Braden had expressed interest in operations and I told him he was getting it in spades tonight – we had a very tricky run. Lots of switching and lots of puzzles. But the father and son team […]
January 17, 2021

OpsLog – TBL – 1/16/2021

was rolling out of Easton on 613 in the early evening, having spotted the day’s final cars. Gave two toots to the line of glowing windows along the tower’s second floor, acknowledging the green boards I had back to Tuscarora. Ben was doing a bang-up job as the new towerman. Better than I was doing as an engineer on the Easton Turn, it seemed. I only got five miles when I realized I’d missed picking up a car. Called the dispatcher on the callbox for a quick return to pick up a pennsy box. We all have our off nights. […]
January 28, 2021

Opslog – LM&O – 1/27/2021

aybe because we had a lot of familiar faces show up. Or maybe because everyone brought all the things we needed for a good session. Or maybe because the Zanesville Local only had one car to spot. But it was a great night on the LM&O. With Cody on the DS board and Nick in the yard, the railroad organizational staffing was rock solid. Even the newbies (like Braden and his Dad) came prepared, having studied Silver Bullet Two’s timetable and walked the layout, getting a good understanding of what they would be doing. That works for me, since instead […]
February 14, 2021

OpsLog – TBL – 2/13/2021

o when you set up an ops session on get three guys willing to show, and then on the day of, two of them bail, you’re pretty screwed, aren’t you? For a moment I figured we’d cancel – it was just me and AJ. But John was there and agreed to run coal. I told AJ that there was no better time to learn the tower – we’d treat it like a practice session. I ended up with both the local and the dispatcher job so I was really going to be busy. And we started the sequential clock. It […]
February 28, 2021

OpsLog – WBRR – 2/27/2021

his kinda came up from my editing of The Journal Box. Got to looking at Al Sohl’s pictures and missed seeing his layout after a year of quarantining. Wanted to show the wife the Room ‘o Rockies and wrangled a visit for me and my wife. We showed up and the next thing I knew, Al was starting up a mini-session. Disclaimer: I knew he was going to do this but didn’t tell the wife, lest she chicken out. And so this is how I ended up rolling out of Denver with a full head of steam on 124, heading […]
March 7, 2021

OpsLog – TBL – 3/6/2021

t club ops, I don’t care. Whoever shows shows. At my home ops (so long ago) I’d put out a crew call and get an idea of how many would show. I’d usually get ten operators and told myself we could run with as few as four. On the Tuscarora Branch Line, we run best with four. We can’t run with any more than that. And with three or two, the session is much more difficult since someone (i.e. me) has to double up on jobs. I’d set up four (myself included) for a session today but there was a […]
March 25, 2021

OpsLog – LM&O – 3/24/2021

he trouble all started when I was working the Mingo interchange, swapping cuts to and from Wheeling. I asked the cub dispatcher for paper to get back to Mingo Jct (I’d already been issued a warrant to get me just to the interchange, rather than the more traditional out-n-backs Cody Case and I rely on). So I said I wanted to go back and he said “here’s yer warrant” and (given the fact that I was working with Teddy, my new engineer on the Mingo Turn, as well as rerailing other trains and pulling toppled engines out of tunnels) I […]
April 29, 2021

OpsLog – LM&O – 4/28/2021

always thought that when you accomplished some amazing feat, you’d feel this near-holy glow radiating from you. However, right now it feels like I levered myself into a dryer, sat a bowling ball on my lap and hit spin. I’m in a daze. When I left the property tonight, I got out to lock the gate and then discovered my car’s push-button start wouldn’t work. I pushed it and pushed it in the dark, only to realize that when I’d got out with the gate lock, I put my keys in my back pocket. So the ops session – from […]
May 2, 2021

OpsLog – TBL – 5/1/2021

fter a frightful eyeball malfunction and a kidney stone, I was ecstatic that I could finally host the Tuscarora Branch Line with three of my favorite operators (Greg, Brian and Tyler). Once we ran the wasp blockade (three nests in the porch roof), we were able to kick off the session and have a great time. This time, I took the dispatcher’s post while Greg ran the coal extras. Brian ran the scheduled timetable and his son Tyler, the signal tower. And this was a really fun session – the first time we ran with active signals (rather than just […]