Archive for the ‘Reports’ Category

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!


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.


Operations Report – April 6, 2008

Tuesday, April 8th, 2008

Going along with the current operating theme here, I have this report of the recent operating session on the Bayside & Tidewater. The layout wasn’t too untidy before the session. That’s surprising considering Brian and I have been working on new modules for the UMG. Most of the mess was in the crew lounge where we had a workshop set up for working on the modules. Cleaning up the lounge took the most time.

The session got underway after everyone chose their jobs for the evening – I use a first come/first choose method of crew assignment. Greg and Ken were in their usual positions working the local jobs in Stevenville and Chappellton. Mark and Curtis ran the Interchange and Transfer trains, and Brian and Derwin were on the 2 Wayfreights.

There weren’t too many remarkable events during the session. No one committed any blunders or infractions. Due to the number of pickups in Chappellton, the East Bound Wayfreight required a helper, as usual, getting over The Ridge. But the train was so long the helper from Kenville had to be cut into the middle of the train. Add to that some throttle issues on the RS2 (it wouldn’t go slow enough) and there were a few tense moments. The helper is in the shops now with the throttle assembly apart waiting for repairs.

Stevenville and Derwin’s Drop were very busy with lots of cars moving in and out. Greg managed the task quite ably adn was actually standing around waiting for the West Bound Wayfreight to arrive!

I’ll finish this post off with a new WordPress feature – an image gallery. Enjoy!


Operating – Feb. 10, 2008

Monday, February 11th, 2008

Unfortunately, or perhaps fortunately depending on your perspective, we were short a couple operators last evening. I was pressed into service on the East Bound Wayfreight and did not have time to take any pictures.

Brian wanted to give the new wayfreight instructions a workout so he ran the opposing wayfreight. His start was delayed because of, who else, Derwin wanting to make up his transfer at the same time Brian was making up his train. When he finally got on the road, Brian wasn’t long making up for lost time.

Derwin decided to run something “simple” for a change and took the Wholeinthall Turn and Transfers. He quickly realized they weren’t as simple as he first thought. Once the Wholinthall Turn and transfer from Bayside arrive in Tidewater they must be sorted into a return train to Wholinthall and the return transfer to Bayside. There is quite a bit of yard work involved with these runs.

Greg chose the local job in Chappellton. It was a slow day in Chappellton so he ended up also switching in Kenville and Derwin’s Drop and provided helper service over The Ridge.

Tom, the newbie, flew solo in Stevenville. Unfortunately for him, Stevenville was extra busy. He had about 14 cars leaving town, 10 cars coming in, as well as a couple local moves. Being unfamiliar with a town is one thing, being new to operations adds to the complexity considerably. You did great Tom!

Running a full session solo during the past week helped to identify several trouble spots. I got most of them fixed as they occurred so there were fewer problems last evening. But there were a few things, both expected and unexpected, that popped up. I think that in the 3 weeks until the next session on the BS&T I will run another solo session to work a few more kinks out.

For all we did quite well. The shift was done about 10:00 after about 2.5 hours of operating.



Operations Report – Jan. 20, 2008

Tuesday, January 22nd, 2008

Wow! What a weekend! I spent most of it cleaning up the mess that had accumulated in the train room after a month of scenery making and throttle bus wiring. I also finished putting the tiles down on the floor. What a difference those make – both in comfort and warmth!

The first part of the evening was spent in conversation, as usual, while we waited for everyone to arrive. Mark had called earlier in the day to say he wouldn’t be able to make it, and a quick call to Ken and Bruce proved they weren’t coming. But, even though we lost a couple we gained a couple as well.

Tom Gaudet is a newbie to the hobby. He called me out of the blue one day wondering if I could give him a hand with a few things. He had unpacked his old Tri-Ang stuff and immediately got hte MRR bug. He’s been operating with us the past two sessions. He’s still in the brakeman stage, but he’ll be operating like a pro in no time.

My daughter’s boyfriend, Curtis, did a little bit of operating over the Christmas holidays with my son, John, and his friends. Curtis loved operating and wanted to try his hand operating a full session. So he and his friend Johnathan spent the evening with the old guys.

We got things underway about 8:00 after the crew picked their jobs. Brian, being first to arrive, jumped at the chance to try operating the Stevenville local. We let him out of the yard a while ago and he tried his hand at running on the main line. I guess he likes the restrictions of being confined to one geological area.

Derwin and Tom took the East Bound Wayfreight, Greg took the West Bound Wayfreight, and Curtis and Johnathan worked the local job in Chappellton. I took the Wholinthal Turn and Transfers, which turned out to be less work than I originally anticipated, so I also filled in on the helper service over “The Ridge” and official photographer. I forgot to charge the battery in the camera, so even that job was limited.

The session started a little differently this time. The wayfreights “began their day” in Stevenville and Chappellton heading into their respective yards. The wayfreights had to go to the yard, put away their train, and assemble their return train. This gave the local crews in those towns a little more time to get their outbound pickups together before the wayfreights came through on their return runs. This seemed to work out quite well.


Brian gets to work pulling the west bound pickups while Greg (background) is busy putting away the previous sessions’ cars. Brian had about 5 or 10 more minutes to get the west bounds together before Greg came through with the wayfreight.


Derwin and Tom, running the West Bound Wayfreight, only had one car returning to Tidewater, so it didn’t take them long to head back out with the East Bound train. Curtis and Johnathan (almost visible in the background) being newbies barely had time to get the east bounds assembled in Chappellton. Later in the evening they said they moved the same car 6 times before realizing that it would eventually be picked up by the West Bound Wayfreight. They could have saved themselves a lot of extra work if they had studied their switchlist (they’ll learn).


Meanwhile, I made it to Tidewater with the Wholinthall Turn (on the back track). The way this session turned out, there was nothing to go back to Wholinthal with, so the same consist was used for the transfer to Bayside.


Greg has the West Bound Wayfreight built and is ready to leave Bayside.


With the East Bound train out of the way Curtis (shown) and Johnathan (hands lower left) are finally getting into the swing of things picking up the west bound freight and doing a few local moves. Looks like Curtis is having fun!


Derwin and Tom had some extra work to do this session. Normally either the Chappellton local crew works Kenville or there’s someone else not too busy to do it. Not this session! Since Derwin had a helper I figured they could do the job as they were going by. It seems like he doesn’t mind too much.

In the meantime, not pictured, I passed by with the Transfer to Bayside and arrived without too many incidents. However, upon arrival in Bayside, I discovered the West Bound Wayfreight had departed with the cars for the Transfer to Tidewater. I had no more work to do! So, I put the caboose behind my consist and headed back to Wholinthal light.


Brian’s doing the local moves in Stevenville while he waits for Derwin and Tom to show up with the East Bound train. The sidings are looking pretty empty at the moment. That’ll change!


Greg and the East Bound had a little extra work too in Derwin’s Drop. While Greg was waiting for Derwin and Tom to finish up in Kenville, Brian couldn’t get in to do the dropoffs or pickups there, so Greg did them. He didn’t have much else to do!


Finally Derwin and Tom are done in Kenville. I was so busy after that I didn’t get pictures of the events as we tried to get the wayfreight over “The Ridge”. We had to split it into sections with 3/4 of the train going ahead and me with a lone S4 struggling up the hill with 5 cars. I have another Alco that I’ll station in Kenville for these times. Anyway, we finally got all the cars to Derwin’s Drop and the Wayfreight crew went to work putting cars away.

Meanwhile, my little S4 and I helped the West Bound down the hill to Kenville. The downgrade helper is required to prevent the train from surging forward too quickly due to the weight of he train behind it. It can be tricky to maintain a slight tension on the cars without stringlining or pushing too much and making an accordion with them.


Meanwhile, The West Bound arrives in Chappellton and Curtis and Johnathan are given a ton of work to do. By now, though, they are getting used to it and don’t take long to clear the siding.


The end of the workday is close. A few more cars to put away and the shift will be done.

And so ends another operating session on the BS&T. Things went fairly smoothly. We had a few shorts caused by either loco wheels out of gauge, turnouts not throwing completely that ground throws will fix, or out of gauge turnouts. I have some work to do before the next op session.

When we were done we had a discussion about how I could make Derwin’s Drop more workable. Right now there is quite a reach to get at the mine tacks. After some brainstorming I think we’ve come up with a workable solution. Even more work to do before the next op session!

I hope you enjoyed this ops report!


Holiday Operations

Thursday, December 27th, 2007

Well, as you might expect, the holiday season brought some extra car movements to the BS&T. Fortunately, we were able to call in some extra help to handle the added work. Unfortunately, one employee decided he needed a vacation and high tailed it for a warmer climate. I hope Christmas in Orlando was worth it Derwin!!!

Anyway, we did have two guest operators for the pre-Christmas run. Steve Dickie and Ryan Nelson were on the Island for the holiday and made the trip to Summerside. I think (hope) they enjoyed their time here.

Here are a few pictures from the session…


Ryan is running the Kenville switch job.


Brian, Mark, Ryan, and Ken (hidden). Ryan has finished his
work in Kenville, for now, so helps Ken out as Brakeman in
Chappellton. Brian runs the Wholeinthall Turn as Mark
builds the East Bound Wayfreight.


Greg runs the Stevenville switch job as Steve builds the
West Bound Wayfreight.


Steve runs the wayfreight through Stevenville. There’s only
a few cars to drop off here, but a few more to pick up heading west.


The Wholinthall Turn makes it’s way through Chappellton
on its way to Tidewater.


The Tidewater Transfer makes it’s way out of Bayside.


A moment of confusion as the opposing wayfreights meet
in Derwin’s Drop.

That’s about it for this session. With the extra operator I was able to take a few more pictures than usual.

Until next time!