Archive for the ‘Operating’ Category

Operating in Moncton

Monday, January 11th, 2010

We’d been planning a trip to Moncton to operate with the Codiac group there for a few weeks now.  Planning a trip during the winter is a risky business.  You never know when the weather will good for traveling.   Fortunately the weather cooperated and Derwin, Tom, Ewen, and I were able to make it to Moncton yesterday, as planned.

We left my place a little after 7:00 am.  I must say this in my own defense and before anyone else mentions it – I was distracted with conversation as we came to then end of my street and, by force of habit, I turned right as I do 95% of the time.  There were a few (3 to be exact) comments about “Where are you going!” at about the same time that I realized I should have turned left.  A quick turn-around got us on the right path.  Fortunately the rest of the day went quite a bit more smoothly.

A motley crew - photo: Milne H.

Our first stop was at 9:00 at John S’s.  We had to have a pit stop at the Tim’s down the road from John’s so we were about 5 minutes late.  John, Milne, and Jim were waiting.  After a brief verbal overview of the layout for the benefit of the new guy we got underway.  I had worked in Riverview on previous visits and liked how it operated so I chose it as my job.  The work pace there is just enough to keep you busy, but not swamped.  Plus you’re not in the way of other operators so it is easier to get work done.  It wasn’t until near the end of the session that I managed to get a few pictures.

Tom has just finished his task and hands the throttle off to John.  Milne is just about finished working in Coverdale.  As you can see the layout is multilevel (3 if you count the lower staging fiddle yard).

It is always fun working with the Codiac Operating Group.  They like to joke around and have a good time while they “play with model trains”.  Jim, of course, was very quick to point out that he was not the latest recipient of the Golden Demerit Award and pointed out John’s achievement (which was prominently posted on his bulletin board).  John seemed proud, and Jim was relieved not to have received the award for once.

I apologize for the quality of this image.  I had to sneak up and take it quickly so he wouldn’t get up to avoid the embarrassment.

This was a common pose for Derwin on a previous trip to Moncton Please note photos 4 and 10 in that post.  Photo 3 of that post is a variation on the theme – I think it was the reason he took the job.

I was worried it would be a trend again this time.  My intention was to catch him in this position at each of the three layouts we visited, but oddly enough I was unable to.  I think he actually worked on the other two layouts!

The first 2 photos in that post show a very happy Jim presenting the first Honorary Golden Demerit Award to Derwin.  It is quite rare that Jim does not receive the award.

We left John’s for Dave W’s basement empire and got there, in his words, “early, but on time” and caught him in the middle of cleaning up.  John and Milne came with us and Doug C. and Ben O. joined us shortly after we started operating.

Ewen was behind the photographer. Photo: Milne Hall

Ewen was behind the photographer. Photo: Milne H.

After a brief into to the layout and his operating procedures we got underway.  No one else volunteered for the job so I took the Riverview Yard job.  The location had the same name as John’s but the level of effort was nowhere near the same!  It’s really a task for two people.  I’ve worked there before and the experience did help but unfortunately not enough.  I struggled through, but I’m afraid I left things in a bit of a mess.  Sorry Dave!

Derwin, as usual asked which job was the easiest.  I don’t think he got his wish.  I could not catch him sitting down.  Ewen worked with Jim in West Riverview and Tom helped John in Baltimore.  Doug and Milne ran mainline trains to keep traffic flowing.  It was very enjoyable and the time flew by.  It was lunch time before we knew it.

After lunch we went to Chuck’s (Don’s HO) to shop, spend money, and chat.  We were able to leave on time to stay on schedule and arrived at Doug C’s right on time.  It was the first time we operated on Doug’s layout.  It was a real treat!  Thanks Doug!

Neither John nor Milne could make it to Doug’s so there was just the four of us plus Doug, Dave, and Jim.  Murray joined us not long after we started operating.

I picked another yard job – Moncton, but Dave offered to help out. I’m not sure of the location names where Tom, Ewen, and Derwin worked, but they were as busy as I was.  Again, Derwin did not have time to sit down during the op session.

Doug’s layout is a fairly large multi-level layout.  There is quite a bit of separation between the levels making the upper level high.  Ewen worked a yard on the upper level which was quite funny since it was almost above his eye level.  Doug has lots of step stools and platforms around so Ewen found the tallest one to stand on.

Tom even felt more comfortable using a stool.

Derwin worked a job on the lower level.  He was quiet and kept out of trouble so he must have been working hard.  (highly unusual!)

Before I show the next photo I must show this one to demonstrate that Jim actually did work during the session.  I’m not sure what he’s doing but I’m sure it’s important.

Murray is keeping an eye on his train as it leaves the Moncton Yard.

I couldn’t catch Derwin sitting, but I caught Jim having fun twirling the throttle cord.  HA!

It was a long day but well worth getting up early on a Saturday and driving to Moncton.  The Codiac guys are always great hosts and really do like to have fun.

Thanks guys!


Biggest Crew Yet!

Sunday, January 3rd, 2010

I apologize for not posting here very often.  Work is going well and I’ve been busy helping other folks with their web sites so I’ve had little time for my own.  I’m not going to promise anything, but I am going to try to post items here more frequently in the future.

The Half Nuts gang has been growing this fall.  We’ve picked up a few new members and a couple potential members as well.  The BS&T operating session held on Dec. 21 saw one of the largest operating crews ever assembled.   The new guys, and even some of the old crew, are still getting used to operations on the BS&T.  I can understand the new guys having trouble, but the more experienced crew members shouldn’t have difficulty.  It’s not like I change the jobs every op session – just every 3 or 4 – HA!

I do change things up every once in a while to try to make operating more interesting and challenging.  There is more traffic on the layout now than this time last year.   I have plans for the new year that will see even more traffic, but only when crew size warrants it.

Back to the op session.  We had 8 crew members on hand with regulars Derwin, Greg, Ken, and Tom – new regulars Ewen and Chris – prospective member (just checking things out) Barry, and visiting honorary member Steve D.  Since this was Barry’s first time out he was Derwin’s Brakeman.

Greg gets the 2nd run of the East Bound Wayfreight ready to leave Tidewater.  The CN Interchange (Derwin and Barry) from Wholinthall has already arrived in the yard and cars have been set out from the Yard for it’s return run.

Ken is busy switching in Chappellton as usual.  Things aren’t quite as hectic there as they were before splitting the Wayfreights into two runs.  Ken has a little more breathing time now.

Steve is just checking things out waiting for his next job.  He ran the coal train in the first half of the session – a nice easy job.

Tom is busy switching local industries in Kenville and Derwin’s Drop.  There is so little action in each town that they hardly justify their own crews so the jobs are combined when available crew warrants it.  Usually Wayfreight crews do the local switching in these towns.

Derwin and Barry are running the Transfer from Bayside to Tidewater down The Ridge.  This train moves cars from Bayside that are destined for Tidewater and The CN Interchange in Wholinthall.  On it’s return run it  moves freight destined for Bayside and the newly instituted train to US destinations.

Derwin has the Transfer down The Ridge and is making the run into Chappellton.  Ken will be glad that it’s the Transfer since it just runs through town and doesn’t bring any work for him.  The Transfer will have to wait in Chappellton for Greg to get the Wayfreight out of the Yard.  Once the Transfer gets into Tidewater the real work begins there sorting out the cars for the return run of the Transfer and the CN Interchange in Wholinthall.

Meanwhile, things are pretty calm on the other side of the room.  It looks like Chris is running the 2nd half of the West Bound Wayfreight into Stevenville.  He’ll soon be working with the local switcher, Ewen, in Stevenville to make his deliveries and pickups.  Next stop Derwin’s Drop, where he should meet the East Bound Wayfreight.

Tom is busy in Kenville moving some freight around.  He’ll soon have to make the run over The Ridge to Derwin’s Drop to switch cars to and from the West Bound Wayfreight.  As I mentioned before, there isn’t a lot of action in these two towns so he should be able to get the work done in short order.  The one thing that does slow things down here is the lack of passing sidings, and the fact that the stations are located on the only available passing sidings.  Each Wayfreight much drop it’s Combine at the station for passengers to disembark while freight cars are removed and added to the train.  When all the work is done the Combine is placed at the station for passengers to board.

Steve has been pressed into service helping Derwin and Barry sort cars for the return runs of the Transfer to Bayside and the CN Interchange to Wholinthall.  There are a lot of cars to be sorted and management is getting really tired of re-routing cars that were placed on the wrong trains.  Ha!

The Transfer is ready to leave Tidewater.  It’s longer than normal for some reason (likely due to the new US Interchange train out of Bayside).  It will probably need a helper to get over The Ridge.

So now they are finalizing the cars for the ruturn run to Wholinthall.  Steve will run that one, while Derwin and Barry will take the Transfer.

Derwin’s looking a little worried for some reason.  Holy Hannah!  He’s talked Greg, running the East Bound Wayfreight, into being a helper for his Wholinthall train!!!!  They are putting the passengers in the Combine at great risk!  I wouldn’t want to be them when Management sees this picture!

Tom should have stepped in and told them not to do it.  It is his job to take use the Kenville switcher as a helper for trains too long to climb The Ridge.  I guess having less seniority he didn’t want to chance it.

The good news is both trains made it to Derwin’s Drop without incident.  The passengers, although a little upset with the extra noise and worry, were unharmed.  Everyone was just glad to have it done with.

The evening was quite enjoyable and was a great learning experience for me to see how the layout can operate with a large crew.  I’m looking forward to more operating sessions like this in the future.



A big operating crew!

Saturday, October 31st, 2009

All the stars and planets aligned last Sunday evening and we had one of the biggest operating crews we’ve had in a long time.  We’ve gained a couple new regular/semi-regular operators (Ewen and Chris), Ed was back on the Island from Ontario, and Brian made his return from his long summer break.  So with the other regulars (Greg, Ken, Derwin, and myself) we had a full room!

Since we had such a large crew I decided to try something a little different.  Rather than adding a milk train or passenger run I thought a local operator in Kenville & Derwin’s Drop might make things run smoother.  It seemed to, although other problems kept me too busy to really notice.

Brian wanted to try something different so he ran the local switcher in Stevenville, Ken took his usual position as local switcher in Chappellton, Greg took the new job switching Kenville and Derwin’s Drop, Ed ran the West/East Wayfreight, Chris ran the East/West Wayfreight (both rookies at the jobs but they did a great job!), Ewen ran the Interchange, Derwin had the largest trains of the evening with the Transfer runs, and I ran the Coal train.  Fortunately the coal train is never very large so it could sit on sidings while I was troubleshooting the throttle incidents we were having.

Crew-1Everyone managed to work well in the relatively tight quarters of the BS&T.  The aisles are about 24″ minimum, where the is usually only one operator working an area.  Where people could be operating back to back the aisles are about 30″.  Here we see Derwin, Ewen, Ed (Watch Your Head Ed!), and Ken working the east side of the layout.  Derwin’s just arrived with the Transfer from Bayside.  He and Ewen now have to trade cars (Wholeinthall to Bayside cars for Bayside to Wholeinthall cars) and put away the cars destined for Tinewater.  Ed is on his return run with the 2nd half of the East Wayfreight and Ken is busy putting away cars in Chappellton.

Crew-2I didn’t get a photo of Greg (he’s behind me in both pictures working Kenville and Derwin’s Drop).  The West side of the layout is definitely less crowded at this point.  Brian is busy putting away cars in Stevenville and Chris is building the 2nd half of the West Wayfreight.  If you look closely you can see that Brian’s throttle is plugged into a telephone cable hanging over the layout skirting.  This was a makeshift solution to some throttle problems we experienced on this side of the room.

It’s not often we have this many operators on the BS&T so it was inevitable that something would go wrong.  It was also the first time in a while that we’ve used more than one or two tethered throttles.  Things were going quite smoothly until Derwin’s phone battery died and he had to use a tethered throttle.  He was in the same general area as Brian (also using a tethered throttle).  The throttle displays would flash when they turned the speed dial and they had no control of their train.  So one would unplug their throttle for a few minutes while the other would do some work.  This slowed things down considerably!

The other problem we had was with a telephone/XPA throttle.  Every once in a while it would lose connection with the system.  It seemed to happen when the two tethered throttles would exhibit their problems.  Very strange.

At break time I ran a separate throttle cable from the command station to Stevenville where Brian was working and changed the system address of the problematic XPA.  These solutions appeared to work since the second half of the session went without a hitch.

I suspect that the tethered throttle problem was related to the lightweight telephone wire I used to run my throttle bus.  I think there was too much power loss close to the end of the run, where the two throttles were located.  So I purchased some heavy telephone wire and some RJ11 plugs and re-wired the throttle bus.  I tried two throttles in the same locations and could not replicate the problem, so maybe I have it resolved.  We’ll find out next week.

The XPA that caused problems was a new one I purchased used.  I have no idea what it’s system address was, but changing it to an address that I knew was not in use seemed to work.  Perhaps it had an address that was duplicated on my layout.  Hopefully that was the problem.

Anyway, throttle issues aside, I think we had a great time!  Folks seemed to enjoy themselves and didn’t mind the extra waits while the issues were addressed.

Progress on the layout this week… Re-wired the throttle bus and began adding a new business in Stevenville.  I won’t say too much about the new business for now, other than to say that it will continue the tradition of being named after people in the group.



Ed’s Up!

Tuesday, July 21st, 2009

Have you ever seen the show “Ed’s Up” with Ed Robertson from the Bare Naked Ladies?  Ed flies to GPS coordinates and meets someone that gives him a job to do (sort of like “Dirty Jobs” only not always dirty).  Well, we had our own version of that recently while Ed Cooke was back on the Island for a few weeks.  Well, almost – he drove and he’s not famous (except perhaps in Fed-Ex circles).  We managed to get a couple evenings operating while he was here.

Kenville-2009-07-13The milk trains waits on The Ridge while the Wayfreight clears the main in Kenville. Ed’s running the Wayfreight and I was waiting with the milk train (so I took photos).

There are two additions to BS&T operations evident in this photo.  The first is the milk train.  It runs in the morning (start of the session) from Wholinthal to Tidewater and back  stopping at stations and milk sheds along the way.  It may not become a regular run but it will give someone a job to do when there are enough operators.

The second addition came about by complaints from area residents that the “regular” passenger service was so sporadic they could not count on the train when they wanted to travel.  Management decided to make each wayfreight a mixed train by replacing the caboose with a combination car.  Crews grumbled considerably, as expected, about the extra work they’d have spotting the car at the train station and having to move it after passengers disembark so they can finish their switching.  Rather than taking a hard nosed approach Management offered a 50% pay increase for the extra work required.  Crews still grumble but they do get well compensated.  Passengers still can’t count on efficient travel but they do have regular passenger service.

Stevenville-2009-07-13Tom’s busy switching the industrial section of Stevenville.

Other changes to operations on the BS&T have resulted in more trains running and more frequent but smaller cuts of cars being left in towns for the local switcher.

The first Wayfreight through only picks up about half the cars they normally would.  When it reaches the opposite yard it turns around and becomes the 2nd run picking up cars the 1st run didn’t.

This means that trains are shorter so they have less trouble making it up The Ridge.  Helper service over The Ridge is required a lot less.

DerwinDrop-2009-07-13Derwin runs the Wayfreight into Derwin’s Drop.  He’ll first spot the combination car at the station and then start working on his pickups and drop offs.  After the passengers have disembarked he’ll move the combination car so he can do his run around moves.  When he’s done with those he’ll reposition the combination car at the station so passengers can get on while he finishes his work and gets his train back together.

But, I think the wait at Derwin’s Drop might be longer than usual since it looks like the crew will be on coffee break soon.  (note to self:  get better drink holders)

The addition of the passenger car certainly adds more work, especially in Derwin’s Drop and Kenville since the station is located on the passing siding.  The car must be moved to allow run around maneuvers and then repositioned in front of the station.  It cannot be moved with passengers on board due to safety concerns.

Chappellton-2009-07-13Oh oh!  Trouble is brewing.  Derwin’s trying to help Ed figure out what he has to do in Chappellton!  God help us!

Chappellton certainly looks like it is getting built up!  The addition of a few buildings from The NeverDone Railway has really made the town grow! It’ll be a shame when it’s time to give them back.  But it will mean another layout to operate on so it won’t be a total loss!

Until next time!


The NeverDone Railway is Done!

Friday, June 12th, 2009

We had our last run on the NeverDone Railway last Sunday evening.  Brian is selling his house so will soon be dismantling the layout (if it isn’t already).  I’m sure Brian will build a new one some day, but until then we will miss the third layout in our operating group.  Hopefully you find someplace with a basement real soon, Brian!

ndr-photographersSince it was such an historical event the photographers were out in full force.  There was even a guy there from the Headache Corner Telegraph (local paper).  The angle he was taking with his story was that it was the end of an era for the region.  No more will townsfolk hear the clanking of couplers and blare of diesel horns.  “We might all get a good night’s sleep for change!”, he said.  He was only half kidding since he is a train fan.  He said he will definitely miss the railway.

The evening started off as usual, but we were short a couple operators.  Again, fitting since Brian was pressed into service in the yard.  Like most of our layouts the owner rarely operates, but this was Brian’s last operating night on the NDR so he should get to operate.  Anyway, since I don’t think I’ve ever run the Island job, and I was the first to arrive, I chose it.  The Island is was a very interesting job with lots of switching and some interesting puzzles.  Fortunately for me it was a relatively slow day for freight on the Island so I was able to partake in the festivities celebrating the last run (and take some photos).

ndr-brian-1As I mentioned, Brian ran the yard.  He did a pretty good job of keeping ahead of things, but he really should operate more.  He’s a little out of practice.  HA!

Here he is switching a cut of cars onto the barge for the trip across the great divide to the Island.  His barge is was a terrific idea to solve a problem.  He originally had a section of layout on the other side of the doorway (to the right in this photo) but it was built over his oil tank.  The grade to get to it was pretty steep so he dismantled it.  Then we visited a layout that had a static barge.  A light went on and within a couple weeks the Island was born with barge service from the yard.  It adds added almost two jobs to the layout – one local job on the Island and a barge operator.

ndr-farsideGreg chose the Farside job.  Farside is at the far end of the layout (hence the name) and has lots of interesting switching requiring plenty of run-around moves.  The grain elevator and power plant are were both very active industries.  Four other businesses add added to the hectic pace.  The transfer shed, a new industry to the area, is was shaping up to be another busy spot.

It was no wonder why Greg was the last to arrive in the yard to pick up his cars for the return run to Farside.  He made pretty quick work of putting everything away.  Of course he had plenty of time to perform all his car moves since Derwin had the yard blocked up for quite a while.  Hmmm… was it Derwin or the inexperienced yard guy.  Naw, it’s always Derwin’s fault!

ndr-derwin-3Derwin was stuck in Headache Corner.  The town gets got it’s name appropriately.  The only run-around track in town is was only one or two cars long and the 8 industrial tracks are were split evenly between east and west facing.  Add to that the fact that 4 of them are were in the town proper, well away from the run-around tracks, and you really have had to have your act together when operating there.

Jim McMahon will love this picture.  It shows why Derwin and Jim like each other so much.  They are each the Demerit Kings of their respective operating groups.  I think Derwin got 50,000 demerits for this faux-pas!  HA!

ndr-theend-1After the operating was done it was time to get serious.  Since the rails were going to be torn up any day we had to pull all the freight cars back into the yard for storage and distribution around the world outside NeverDone.  A crowd gathered at the wharf to welcome the last of the freight cars and the switcher locomotives from the Island.  It was quite a momentous occassion and more than a few tears were shed as the crews said goodbye to their equipment, their friends and their neighbours!  <sniff!>

Goodbye NeverDone Railway!  Until the rebuilding….


Operating in Saint John – 2009

Saturday, March 21st, 2009

A week ago we had our 3rd annual operating day in Saint John.  Not wanting a repeat of the last few late starts I created a healthy competition to make sure the guys were on time.  Brian and Derwin were actually early!   We were on the road pretty much on time!

We stopped at the local Tim’s/Esso to fuel up.  I did the gas pumping duties while Brian and Derwin went inside.  I got my coffe and we were on our way. We had one stop in Moncton to pick up Jean and Ryan.

The conversation in the car was pretty normal until I mentioned something about Brian paying for the gas (we were using his car).  He said he thought I was paying for the gas (from our group travel fund).  Nope, I didn’t pay for the gas.  It was the first time I ever did a “gas and dash”.  If I had known we were doing it I wouldn’t have been able to.  We had all kinds of thought of “APB’s” and roadblocks set up looking for us.  It didn’t happen and we did settle the bill after we got back.

Anyway, we picked up Jean and Ryan and made it to Doug’s place by 10:30.  Besides Doug we were joined by a couple of N-scalers that wanted to play trains with the big boys – Lawrence and Mark performed duties that required knowledge of the layout, like dispatching and yard work.  It was Jean’s first time there so he was happy to partner with me for the first couple of jobs.  We drew the daily container train from Dever Road Yard to McAdam for our first train.  It was a great way to see the whole layout at a leisurely pace.  Although, Doug did come around shortly after we left Dever Road and made an off-hand comment referring to our lack of speed and the profitability of the railroad – so we moved a little faster after that.

Our second train was a wayfreight so we had a little more work to do than with our first one.  There was something to do at just about every stop.

Derwin got lucky and drew a track maintenance job – just a loco and a rail cleaning car.  He didn’t get to do a lot of switching, but he did watch a lot of trains go by while he was thawing out frozen point rails and cleaning flanges.

At some point Derwin must have got tired of every one else doning something profitable and he finished up his maintenance job.  He and Ryan then took a train out of McAdam bound for Saint John.

I’m sure Brian ran something there, but I’ll be darned if I can remember now.

About 1:00 we decided it was time for lunch and a stop at the train store before heading to Steve’s.  We found the train store easy enough and spent only a little bit of money.  I picked up a CP 1/2 ton truck,  some Woodland Scenics people, and a couple other odds and ends that you’ll see photos of over time.

Then we unleashed ourselves on Steve’s “Carleton Railway”.  He had no idea what kind of havoc we would bring.  Jean and I ran the local switchjob in South Newbridge.  The task was to pull cars from the local indistries, sort them onto the departure tracks, put the on the approriate train through town.  It seemed easy enough so we got down to business.

Brian was running the first train into town.  Since he was heading west we gave him all the west bound cars in South Newbridge and gave him a push up the hill.  We thought it was really cool to have long main line runs to make long trains look good!  Next train through was Ryan heading east so we did the same with our waiting east bound cars.  We were done, except for a few cars to put away.

Eventually Steve figured out why we were done so quick and why Ryan’s and Brian’s trains were so long.  We weren’t supposed to give them everything we had – only certain cars (empties I think).  The other cars were supposed to go on trains that would come through town later.  I guess we should have read the instructions so conveniently posted on the fascia.  Oops!  It really was Derwin’s fault, but I haven’t figured out a good way to explain it yet.

We had supper at Steve’s and after supper we finished up the rest of the work and left for home about 7:00.

We always have a lot of fun when we visit Doug and Steve.  We really appreciate their hospitality and calmness when we screw up!  HA!

Thanks guys!


An Operating Day With the Moncton Guys

Sunday, February 1st, 2009

I know I said a couple weeks ago that my next post would be about operating at Clayton’s, but I’m going to do things a bit out of order.  My next post will be about Clayton’s (yeah, right).  This evening I want to tell you about our operating day with the guys from Moncton.

Jim spoke to the weatherman and threatened him with great harm if he didn’t make it a nice day.  It seemed to work because Milne, Jim, John, Murray, and Dave made the trek from Moncton to Summerside this morning.  We arrived at Derwin’s a little after 10:00 this morning and ran a set of orders before lunch and one set after lunch.  The session went fairly smoothly, even though the yard guy was a little slow and had the yard so congested that, well let’s just say it wasn’t a pretty sight.  Then again, Dave’s yard didn’t look to pretty when I was running it either. Demerits all ’round except Derwin and I, of course.  I can’t remember who but someone got 100,000,000 demerits there.

The next stop was to Clayton’s layout.  Jim and John had visited there a few years ago, but the layout was new to Murray, Dave, and Milne.  I think the guys found most of the humorous scenes on the layout, like the murder in the town and the outhouse built out over the cliff (for easy cleaning).  This layout really has a lot of train action for moderately small space.  Even though there was a lot of traffic John and I were able to keep up with the work in the yard and even had time to relax and do some railfanning.  I’m not sure if that was because we were so efficient or if it was because the other guys were slow.  I doesn’t really matter since everyone had fun

The last stop was at the BS&T for supper and then more operating.  Things went quite smoothly.  Derwin didn’t even mess up my new MRC sound equipped Alcos! Since I did the local switching in Kenville I didn’t get a chance to take photos until later in the session. So I don’t have evidence to support the demerits handed out.  But the layout owners in Moncton can rest assured that sufficient demerits were given to the right people (person?).  A little bit of glue will fix that highly detailed old-time passenger car that hit the floor.

Anyway, here are some photos from the BS&T part of the day…

I knew Milne had been chomping at the bit  to run a passenger train all day.  So after the regular work was done I gave him his chance.  Unfortunately the RDC developed a shotgun start so while I reprogrammed it I let Milne take the C-Liner and coaches from Wholinthall to Tidewater.  Derwin got to run a rarely seen 0-8-0 powered excursion train, with the aforementioned old-time coaches (sans one – ha!).  The RDC was back in operation by the time Milne made it to Tidewater and he jumped (literally) at the chance to run it from Bayside to Tidewater.  Meanwhile, Jim made the return run to Wholinthall with the C-Liner.

All in all I think the Moncton crew had a great day.  I know we certainly did.  we’re looking forward to doing it again in another few months (after time to recuperate – ha!)



Operating – November 2, 2008

Friday, November 7th, 2008

Sunday was the first operating session on the BS&T with my new camera (arrived on Friday).  So I had a great excuse to try it out and take lots of pictures.  Check out the gallery below and click on a photo for a larger version and description.


Visiting Operators

Tuesday, June 10th, 2008

I’m sorry I haven’t posted in a while. It’s a long story but it involves finishing up a fence project (full size 1:1 scale), cutting boards, and a table saw. I’m now typing mostly one handed, but my left thumb is on the mend.

Anyway, my injury didn’t stop us from hosting a few guys from Halifax for a model railroad weekend this past Saturday and Sunday. Bruce Castle, Doug Murray, and Doug Whitman made the trek to the Island on Saturday primarily to give us some advice on planning an MFMR Convention – since we’ll be hosting next year and have never done one. The side benefit was that they’d be able to operate our layouts while they were here.

So, as soon as they arrived we went to Derwin’s Canadisle Rail for a quick operating session. There are a couple pictures provided by Derwin in the gallery at the bottom of this post.

Then we headed into Summerside to visit and operate on Brian’s NeverDone Railway. Brian had some photos posted of the operating portion of the visit, but I don’t see them today. I’m not sure what’s going on with that.

Anyway, after operating at Brian’s we came back to my place for supper and to discuss all that’s involved in organizing an MFMR Convention. I think we learned a few thing we hadn’t anticipated so the visit was worth it from that perspective. Then we finally got to do some operating on the BS&T. Brian had to leave so I was pressed into service. As a result I didn’t get any pictures, but Derwin sent me a few (he must have been slacking off).


BS&T CN Interchange

Friday, May 9th, 2008

Continuing from where I left off weeks ago on the operations theme…

The CN Interchange runs from Wholeinthall (staging) to Tidewater. The purpose of this train is to move traffic east and west to and from off-layout destinations.

The report from my program calls this a “Mainline Train”. It’s just a generic term used to describe trains that run from staging to a yard.

The report shows that during the last operating session the Interchange train carried four cars from Wholeinthall to Tidewater. Two of them would stay in Tidewater and two would be routed to Bayside on the next Transfer.

Then the train returned to Wholeinthall with four cars. Two came from Tidewater yard and two arrived on the Transfer from Bayside.

Traffic to and from Whoeinthall varies quite a bit from session to session. I’m trying to find ways to increase this traffic to make the train more realistic, but I am limited by physical space in Wholeinthall. My next major project will be to extend the yard there to allow longer trains.

The Interchange waits in Chappellton.

The West Bound CN Interchange from Wholeinthall, sporting two CN Green and Gold locomotives for power, waits on the passenger siding in Chappellton for the East Bound Wayfreight crew to finish getting their train together.

The Interchange doesn’t usually have to wait very long on the east bound run. But, if they are early leaving Tidewater on the westward return run they can run into problems with the Wayfreights.