At the throttle

Train Blog

October 3, 2021

ShowLog – Deland – 10/2/2021

his show had all the earmarks of a disaster. First off the club president was out of town and the tech officer was on an effing boat. I had a few old sweats and a buncha newbies. Day of load, we discovered that the trailer registration was out of date (I fixed that with a couple of quick calls). Day of show, I stopped over at Krispy Kreem to pick up donuts for the crew. Their donut machine was broken and all they had were three dozen donuts that nobody wanted (think about that for a minute – these were […]
September 26, 2021

OpsLog – TBL – 09/25/2021

ell, it was another run on the Tuscarora today. Unfortunately I wasn’t able to finally run the new coal job since my coal operator is out with medical issues. I posted to the club but got no takers. So it was just the hard-cores – Father and son Brian and Tyler, running with me for a nice and tidy session over two and a half hours. Gotta say this – since we weren’t running balls-to-the-wall like we usually do, Brian was able to study his timetable and actually learn the job. He began to understand why he was doing what […]
September 23, 2021

OpsLog – LM&O – 09/22/2021

feel like the guy the moment after a sledge hammer hits him in the forehead. Or he is hit with two bullets. Silver Bullets. The session started out well enough. I wrote up some warrants early on – neat meet in Zanesville, with the local coming west and ducking into the industrial trackage, 202 coming east (and taking the siding) and Silver Bullet 2 running down the main. That went down like clock work. Out east, 223 was into Calypso and the Harris Glen Local was already climbing the grade. Everything was going as planned. I actually thought maybe we’d […]
September 21, 2021

OpsLog – TBL – 9/20/2021

ery busy night at the club. First there was the work session that went on until 8pm – we worked elements of Pittsburgh, fixed two turnouts, argued about signposts (bit one off in a dare – really), and then designed the steel mill trackage. After all that, everyone left and so I pulled out my Tuscarora Microlayout and had a coal session. Why? Well, we’re going to have a live session and I’m still working out the card method that drives the coal moves. As noted in earlier blogs, an engineer pointed out that coal felt meaningless – it was […]
September 19, 2021

OpsLog – TBL – 9/18/2021

kay, ran a solo session of the Tuscarora (which I’ve done before) but only the coal side of things (which I’ve never done before). Since it was pointed out that it was a “spear-carrier” position on the railroad, I added a card game to give the operator some decision-making abilities in the session. Now there is a back story to every train. And here’s what I learned today. First off, it was a very busy session for me. I ran full switch-tower operations. And dispatcher. And the coal engineer. And the brakeman (on both sides of the layout) so yes, […]
August 29, 2021

OpsLog – FEC – 08/28/2021

o it was a training day on the Florida East Coast. Given the confusions that the new Pinetta Industrial Area has faced, Ken invited a smaller group, broke us into two teams and had us run through the AM and PM shift. This meant that I got a glare when my wife (who is perfectly happy doing the yardmaster job) got posted to the AM engineer. Me, I’d come in at that shift and dumped the inbound cars, the the mainline background job. She wasn’t very happy when she settled in her seat and started running her RS-3 up and […]
August 26, 2021

OpsLog – LM&O – 08/25/2021

here are those days where ops doesn’t seem worth it. I knew there was going to be problems when most of the club officers didn’t show up. That means I’m the sole host. I had to get everything ready and was pretty busy, setting up the computer and getting the clocks running (and bringing the phones back online, since we are evidently a club that laughs at death). Since most of the trains were signed up for, I grabbed helpers out of Calypso. Got Dusty Klauck on the front end of 223 and up the hill we went. While Bob […]
August 23, 2021

OpsLog – TBL – 8/21/2021

I’m slowly adding scenery to the Tuscarora – been busy with so many things. Anyway, had another session out at the club, a three-man job that was a lot of fun. We had John DV on the Coal and Greg running the local. Me, I took the tower/dispatcher post. It was fun but I realized how LONG it’s been since I ran it last. Man, I got the panel so tangled I had to just throw levers forward and reset. What a mess. Still, we got trains moving pretty good (though some situations arouse that had me running coal three […]
August 23, 2021

OpsLog – L&M – 8/14/2021

hat’s the worst thing you can hear when you are a dispatcher on John Wilkes’ L&M? Headlights? Ha. No. No, it’s when you are hanging around at 10am waiting for your ride-guy to show up and you get a call from another person attending today’s session. “Hey, Robert, where are you? We’re ready to start?” Ready to start? Start time was 10am? I thought it was noon! And it’s in Polk City, something like forty miles away. We’re in Orlando and haven’t even hit the road yet! What a way to not run a railroad. So I called my ride-share […]
July 30, 2021

OpsLog – LM&O – 07/28/2021

kay, let’s start with this. As the dispatcher, I goofed up last night. Extra 2007 was coming west through Weirton on Track 2. But I’d already cleared 247 West on Track 1. And unfortunately, west of Weirton, it’s all single line. When the crews started giggling like fiends, I knew I’d made a mistake. Got called to the site where both westbounds were in emergency and reviewed orders but I already suspected I screwed the pooch. My board didn’t show my updated 247 move so I’d failed to take him into account. I admit it. And here’s a picture of […]