railroad

August 19, 2019

OpsLog – L&S – 8/18/2019

oing some final switching in the Longwood yard. Got my buddy Greg back in the caboose, going through the waybills and trying to figure how to block this local. We’re shuffling in the yard throat with one eye down those long paired rails that follow the slow rises and falls of the marshy ground through a cave of cyprus trees. The L&S runs on a very simple operations principle – don’t crash. And we’ve got a train overdue. It’s been (by my quick flip back through the blogs) four years since the last time we ran on this Southern division. […]
August 29, 2019

OpsLog – LM&O – 8/28/2019

should have known this was going to be one of those nights. I needed to clear the boosters. I needed to swap out a dicky phone. One of the clocks was fussing with the master and took a couple of tries to reset. Two people came after me (literally) with blood in their eyes about their waybills. And for some reason the overhead speaker wasn’t active (and when I did activate it, nobody thought I was asking them, specifically, to confirm a radio check). It was a relief to go clock hot. It was one of the busiest nights I […]
September 15, 2019

Pennsylvania Railroad Facilities – Volume 10 (Review)

nlike our model railroad club sectional layout, which was designed and evolved along the stretch between Jacksonville, Florida to Folkston, Georgia, our sprawling permanent layout was little-planned (with an overall concept design or two and a clay mockup). Originally it was transcontinental (which is pretty damn foolish, looking back from twenty years later). About a decade ago, we decided to shorten this to a realistic concept and modeled Bound Brook, New Jersey to Cincinnati, Ohio (still rather big, but better). In the middle (closest to the entry) we have Pittsburgh. Because that’s what it was, not because we’d actually lain […]
October 24, 2019

OpsLog – LM&O – 10/23/2019

usy night on the line. At first, we weren’t looking at anyone showing – we had about a dozen guys cleaning. But as we prepped up, more and more came in until we had a nice collection of members (and a spicy dusting of newbie visitors). My turn on the panel so I set up the clock and the computer, did the sound check and then did my usual pawn move – 202 to Zaynesville, hold the siding. It was a pretty fast-paced night. Very little waiting (at least, that’s how I saw it – out in the cabs, it […]
December 16, 2019

OpsLog – FEC – 12/14/2019

eah, this one’s late. But I also had a club Christmas party, then a Journal Box to reedit after a lot of late arrivals came in (next time, posted due-date, gentlemen. You don’t get to argue your time and track rights so don’t piss off the editor). And then there was all that other stuff. So, yeah, Ken Farnham’s FEC ops. It was an abbreviated session for the Orlando N-Trakkers since we had to be in Sanford for the above-mentioned Xmas party by 6pm. But the session was fun. We had a new dispatcher (the guy did great – it’s […]
July 26, 2020

Pennsylvania Railroad Facilities – Volume 9 (Review)

his is another picture-heavy volume of Pennsy Railroad memories, collections of snapshots presented in order of location, east to west, Antis, PA to Derry, PA, along the PRR Allegheny Division. A train club friend loaned me this one (as he had Volume 10, which I reviewed HERE). It’s a compilation of images from the early days of railroading to the near-present, showing changes to the railroad, the equipment, and the towns and cities through which this proud railroad ran. For me, the book came at a timely moment – I’m building a microlayout west of this division, out in the […]
September 6, 2020

OpsLog – TBL – 9/6/2020

ou’re sitting across from me in this diner in 1962, out in the middle of nowhere. This town, Tuscarora, isn’t central to anything. So we look outside into the snow-speckled gathering dusk and, in gratitude for what you are about to endure, I spot you another cup of coffee. You’ll need the warmth and it’s only a dime, right? Then I check my pocket watch. It’s just going 7pm. “Let’s go.” We step into the blowing cold of southwestern Pennsylvania in late November, leaving our comfortable diner to walk south down Railroad Avenue, past the fuel distributor, down to where […]
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 […]