At the throttle

Train Blog

March 28, 2018

OpsLog – LM&O – 3/28/2018

s the forward trucks of 247 West rattled over the points of Bound Brook throat, I figured this was shaping up to be a strange run. I’d only just scrambled aboard ten minutes before – she was already four hours late (her original crew had been pulled for a coal run earlier). And strangely, 271 (not due out for two more hours) was running ahead. They were already nosing into Calypso Yard some distance ahead of me – heard it over the horn. The problem was, all our pickups were on a shared yard track, meaning they’d have to dig […]
February 28, 2018

OpsLog – LM&O – 2/28/2018

razy night at the club. Not only were we a bit short-handed but we had VIPs, namely the superintendents for the FEC of who I’ve blogged about on this very train blog, Ken and Bev Farnham. Figured it would be a good session – Cody on the panel (a firm hand) and Frank in the yard (rock solid). I rolled the Zanesville Turn out (or tried to – the DS pushed a long-range warrant against me so I idled in the yard for a bit). But once I hit the rails, everything was fine. The switching was orderly but I […]
February 24, 2018

OpsLog – FEC – 2/24/2018

t was a bit of a struggle getting over to Ken’s Florida East Coast– we fought through a pointless battle on the Beachline (five miles of bumper2bumper and no cause for it) (there, Bruce, I mentioned that). And Ken’s was understaffed – five people dropped the night before leaving him a little short. I posted the club list – last moment stuff – didn’t get any takers. So, with Bev on the yard (one person doing the job for three), Ken on the panel, the shed  held only Me, Bruce, Andy, Monty and John. But we were the gold crew. […]
January 24, 2018

OpsLog – LM&O – 1/24/2018

o now I know what having a stroke is like. Usual session. Everyone came. We cleaned. Trains went on the rails. People signed up. In the back office I booted my computer and readied the fast clock. Odd, it booted up at 15:1. Normally the club runs at 10:1. That was a problem a few years back but I easily corrected it. And then it was hot, and then we were running. Just like a chess game. 202 went into the siding at Zanesville as it had for at least a hundred times. Silver Bullet 2 stormed by on the […]
January 14, 2018

ShowLog – Deland – 1/13&14/2018

irst show of the new year and the railroad was staffed and run at full capacity for the two day Deland show.               A good group showed up on Saturday morning for the miracle (with donuts) set up – one hour from truck tailgate to basement-sized railroad. And all day we were packed. Lots of visitors. Lots of favorable comments. Lots of kids running. Lots of money in the donation buckets. And lots of lots of trains on the railroad. Like a leaky hull, trains kept squirting out of the three yard exits. When […]
December 17, 2017

OpsLog – WAZU – 12/17/2017

an’t put much here. My left hand is in a splint and I can barely type. All I can say about Doc’s session on the Wazu is this – picture an ammunition train going head on with a train carrying gasoline in the narrow dangers of Goblin’s Gate. And that was pretty much our session on the Wazu.  Had a great time, Doc!
December 2, 2017

OpsLog – WBRR – 12/2/2017

inally got a return trip on the Western Bay. And this found me on a chilly December morning sitting in that ice-cold cab of Train #2 in Denver, boots up on the boiler to warm my feet. Slid open the window and shivered in the icy mountain air to spot Conductor Vin.  His job was done for him – no passengers dawdled on the platform – all of them quickly tipped porters to stow their bags and scurried up the steps into the stove-heated coaches. At exactly 10:40am, Vin checked his watch and gave me the nod. With two whistle […]
November 22, 2017

OpsLog – LM&O – 11/22/2017

kay, this blog was mentally pre-written. We were holding our session the day before Thanksgiving because our college guys were back in town. Matthew wanted to dispatch. I already had most of the blog written in my head, about how he screwed up, how trains stacked, how we were running things twelve hours late. Actually, Matthew ran perhaps the best session we’ve ever had with a guest dispatcher. I didn’t hear phone delays. I didn’t hear horseplay. Nobody died. What I did see was a railroad that went through its paces. Good for our division. Bad for this blog. But […]
November 21, 2017

ShowOffLog – LM&O – 11/21/2017

buddy is in town for Thanksgiving. I originally thought that maybe we could get a little time to hang out (like we do frequently, once every other year). With five kids, time is certainly a luxury for him (to me, it’s a requirement). But then he caught me by surprise – “Show us your club!” What a cool idea. So in our Monday night crew set, a couple of guys helped me clean tracks – that was really nice of them, to take time to help me with this. And my buddy Bill agreed to come out and run a […]
November 19, 2017

OpsLog – Wazu RR – 11/19/2017

nlike Doc’s last session where we piddled trains around and figured out where everything was, this time we had the dispatcher program on line, a train timetable, a fast clock and committed operators. Usual interplay on the railroad hierarchy – Train 999, grinding west with a long heavy string of coal hoppers, was ordered into the siding at Aver Siding*. Opposing him was 156, an oil can train sloshing his way east. The meet was supposed to take place at Hinkle Yard but with 156 oozing along late, I moved the meet eastward to Aver to get some rails under […]