January 22, 2023

OpsLog – TBL – 1/21/2023

fter a long weekend at a train convention (and two weeks of ensuing covid isolation) I was able to return to duty on the Tuscarora. The railroad surgeon cleared me for service. And back I went to the dispatcher’s desk. Also on duty was Kyle (on interlocking), his father Phil (on Scheduled trains) and Greg (on Coal). Yes, so we had a rusty lever-thrower, a rookie on the timetable and a coal guy who forgot how the tally sheet worked. I guess that’s why we ran four hours on the session. Still, Phil (even though he is a model railroader, […]
June 18, 2023

OpsLog – Tusk Hill – 6/17/2023

ilson P. Sloan tossed a leg over a knee and settled in his seat, snapping open his newspaper as his train pulled into the Tusk Hill station. Having completed his effort to meet with solicitors of a Westly-based firm, he’d managed to catch the last Up Train to London. Now his luck appeared to have run its course. What was supposed to be a three-minute station stop was dragging on. Outside, one of the last midland steam engines in existence puffed past, dragging a goods wagon. Railroad business. Sloan couldn’t be bothered. He focused on the business section of his […]
July 16, 2023

OpsLog – Tusk Hill (Annulled) – 7/15/2023

know that Kyle put in a lot of work for the first “true” run of Tusk Hill – instructions, tokens, switchlists, everything. And I know that some people drove a very long way (Jim from St. Augustine and Ben from Celebration, and, taken for granted, Greg from Satellite beach). So we handed out paperwork, got the briefing and began. Jim was working both the coal job and the tally sheet and he seemed to be getting his head around how the Tusk works and how things are represented. Greg was standing by to take the shunter position. I ran up […]
August 27, 2023

OpsLog – Tusk Hill – 8/26/2023

kay, it’s easy to cosplay some of our operators from yesterday’s session. Me, I’m the oily guy with glasses, the railroad gopher, usually called “The Professor” in such pieces. I scurry around and do a little of everything. I did just about every job (save dispatching). And usually I was on my rickety bicycle, cranking down country lanes with a satchel of tokens to deliver to Branch, Easton, Westly and Tusk Hill. And then there was Mathis, with a face (with apologies and a smile) that would look perfect under a slouch cap, powdered with coal dust, shouting things like […]
November 11, 2023

OpsLog – Tusk Hill – 11/10/2023

o in management positions on the Midland’s railroad we call Tusk Hill, we had Oxford graduates acting in all the positions governing train movements – controller (dispatcher) and leverman. That would be myself and Kyle. We were focused and studious in our efforts to keep trains moving. And in the “Morlock” positions (as we call them), the engine drivers, we had Greg, Jim M and Pete. They were boisterous, rowdy and common as dirt. So what a session this mix made for. Management wanted to see if Tusk Hill could actually run following solid rules – official communications and token […]