ops

June 23, 2019

NoOpsLog – FEC – 6/22/2019

t happens – we were in mid-ops on Ken Farnham’s fine Florida East Coast. I was dispatching, had three trains southbound trains moving towards Palm Bay. The local was out of the way. Another one was done early and could run home. JB was working the yard with a team that was having a good time. The other shed was packed with engineers. And then the layout shut down. There was a short and every attempt made to fix it blew yet another fuse. It happens. I’ve had my own Cuesta Grade conk out. Our club layout, the LM&O, has […]
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 […]
October 1, 2019

OpsLog – LM&O – 9/25/2019

hen I think of railroads in operation, I think of trains holding at the station, the crews watching the conductor who is watching his watch (all that watching) for their on-the-dot departures. Of course, if ops teach us anything, it often illustrates how railroads don’t work. Take last night’s ops (which I would have written last night had I had a computer that could reach my blogsite (I’m using the dispatching computer with no internet capability to write this)). The original idea I had was to push out of Calypso with the Harris Glen Local numberboards (we really need to […]
October 1, 2019

OpsLog – FEC – 9/28/2019

he usual opener here. Ken asks if I’d like to dispatch his CTC paneled Florida East Coast. “Sure”, I say. Yes yes yes yes yes, I think. Love running the FEC – it’s a great layout and for the four hours we run, you are very busy – I’ve run CTC boards where you aren’t and it’s a yawn-fest but this one keeps you hopping. Truthfully, at the end of the session, we had four southbounds coming through Palm Bay and I was starting to get them mixed up (not helped by the crews who seemed rather “greedy” (by which […]
November 5, 2019

OpsLog – Tehachapi – 11/1/2019

o sum up my day in a word – orange. For the first day of my Tehachapi train operations adventure, me and a Canadian named Cal were teamed up on an all-day effort, the Arvin job. For this, we picked up power off the ATSF ready track at Bakersfield and scurried through Kern Junction at 8am sharp, running for Magunden and the branch line there. From there, it’s a very short hop through the backdrop to the hidden world of Arvin, a place where evidently all the potatoes in the world come from. And that was our day, pulling blocks […]
March 1, 2020

OpsLog – FEC – 02/29/2020

don’t think I’ve ever had a more pleasant ops session. Was back on the FEC panel. It was a crisp late-winter day so the shed doors were wide open, the breezes cool and the skies cobalt. The crew was old pros so no dicking around and very sharp skills. I got the panel humming and the trains followed their timetables, meeting and working and generally not delaying each other. In the yard, the ladies (and our new engine hostler) worked as a team, getting trains in and out. All that mattered to me was that they prepped the departure track […]
June 21, 2020

OpsLog – LM&O – 6/20/2020

went back and checked – my last operations entry was back in March 1st of this year, three and a half months ago. Yes, it’s been that long since I ran in an organized session. With the possible premature opening of the state under the danger of CORVID-19, and at our club (observing strict mask and sanitizer rules) the club as started to meet again. I was thinking towards a session but I didn’t want to pack a bunch of operators in for one (we’ve run up to thirty people before). Also, I didn’t want to have our just-reopened club […]
September 20, 2020

OpsLog – TBL – 9/19/2020

he latest session of the TBL was held at the club today. Again, Greg Wells and I gave it a shot. This was the sixth session and the second live session. So this time we ran the full effort with coal extras pulling through Greg’s choreographed local moves. The interesting thing here is to realize that a 2×4 foot layout is so small, you need to be keenly aware what the other train is doing. Here, the dispatcher (me, in this case) needs to look at his lineup sheet and make sure that when a coal extra comes into Tuscarora, […]