An Introduction To Operating On The BS&T

Over the next few posts I will provide you with a description of what happens during an operating session on the Bayside & Tidewater.  This post will be a general overview and description of the jobs and trains that run during a session.

There are 10 potential jobs on the layout.  I say “potential” because we rarely have enough crew to have a person for each job.  As a result, some jobs get combined while other jobs (trains) are canceled.

The first thing I should mention is that there are no dedicated yard jobs, crews do their own switching in the yards, for few reasons.  One is that we rarely have enough operators to dedicate anyone to a yard job.  Two, there really is not enough work in the yards to keep anyone busy for a whole session.  Finally, it provides a little more time for local jobs to get some work done before a train roars into town.

2003-03-08-bst-3.jpgThere are four local jobs on the layout.  Usually they are combined into two jobs.  The East Side Local switches industries in both Stevenville and Derwin’s Drop, and the West Side Local works Chappellton and Kenville.  Local crews are responsible to pull outbound cars and sort them for direction of travel and destination.  The crew must then make sure the cuts of cars get placed on the correct train to reach their destination.  Wayfreight trains pick up the outbound cars and drop off cars destined for the town.  The local crew must then put all the inbound cars away at the proper destinations.  There may be a few local moves from one industry to another within the town as well.

(Photo above: The Stevenville Local is getting outbound cars ready for the Wayfreight)

2003-03-08-bst-11.jpgWayfreights are used to move cars from one town, or switching area, to another.  There are two, traveling in opposite direction.  One leaves from Bayside and the other leaves from Tidewater.  They stop in each town along the way and drop off cars destined for the town and pick up cars heading in their direction of travel.

(Photo right: The West Bound Wayfreight is in Stevenville picking up the west bound cut of cars and dropping off a few to be put away)

During the summer, when the number of operators is at its lowest, the Local and Wayfreight jobs are often combined.  The wayfreight crew stops at each town and does all the local switching (pickups heading in the direction of the wayfreight as well as drop offs).  Generally, the first crew to a town does all the local moves there as well.

There is a CN Interchange train that runs from Wholinthall (staging) to Tidewater.  This train brings cars to the layout from off-layout (imaginary) destinations.  It, in turn, takes cars away from the layout to off-layout destinations.  It returns to Wholinthall with cars from Bayside, that come in on the Transfer, and cars from Tidewater.

2003-03-08-bst-18.jpgA Transfer moves cars between the two yards on the layout, Bayside Yard and Tidewater Yard.  It departs from Bayside with freight destined for both Tidewater and Wholinthall (CN Interchange).  It returns to Bayside with cars from Tidewater and cars from the CN Interchange train.

(Photo: The Transfer and Interchange crews are moving freight cars between the two trains in Tidewater)

The CN Interchange and Transfer jobs have a fair amount of interaction in Tidewater while cars are switched between the two trains.  Thiese are two jobs which are often performed by one crew – when operators are few.

There are two passenger trains on the BS&T.  These trains have only run once in the two years the layout’s been operating.  Then again, I haven’t really had proper motive power and cars for one of them until recently.

2003-03-08-bst-16.jpgThe Express is an RDC that runs from Bayside to Tidewater and back.  It primarily carries business commuters  to and from towns along the way so has frequent but short stops.

(Photo right: The Express is heading onto the station siding in Stevenville  on its way back to Bayside)

2003-03-08-bst-1a.jpgIn Tidewater, The Express connects with “The Connector” from Wholinthall.  The Connector does not stop at BS&T stations. Passengers on The Connector heading to towns on the BS&T board The Express to make it to their final destination.

(Photo left: The Connector waits outside Chappellton for a clear track into Tidewater )

So, that’s a generall overview of the traffic on the BS&T during a operating session.  Over the next few posts I’ll go into a little more detail on each job and describe the paperwork we use for car movements.



One Response to “An Introduction To Operating On The BS&T”

  1. Doug says:


    Nice write up. It gives a better understanding of the layout. Maybe some day you will do a line diagram of the layout.

    Now I will have to wait for the next in this series.

    Maybe I should be a copy cat and do the same series for the WRS :-)


    Thanks Doug! I have a rough track plan almost ready to post. Hopefully I’ll get time to finish it soon.

    Copy cat! Why you…..! I lead, others follow. HA!


Leave a Reply