An interesting thing!

July 23rd, 2010

Reviewing the comments from the Black River Road post with this photo in mind, I see that someone didn’t take his own advice. This photo shows what can happen when a load is just a little too tall. I won’t say who is responsible, but he’s pretty tall as well. Ha!

Fortunately for him he is not responsible for replacing the equipment or repairs to Chappellton Station.  It’s a good thing the roof supports were strong enough that the street above didn’t cave in!

Thanks for the photo, Greg!


Black River Road

May 9th, 2010

Not even Sheriff Tom drives down Black River Road.  Everyone in Chappellton, including the Sheriff, knows what the Rowan gang have down that road.  It’s one of those things that everyone keeps their noses out of.   They don’t bother the Rowan Gang and the Rowan Gang won’t bother them.  Besides, a lot of folks are actually very good customers of the Rowans.

There are a few signs on the road warning anyone thinking of traveling down Black River Road.  Anyone from the area would know better, but a few new comers to the area have gone down the road while out touring.  Some of them have taken heed to the “No Trespassing” signs, some have not.   As the stories go, the bolder, more curious people seemingly “leave town” very quickly – without a good-bye to anyone.

If the first two signs aren’t enough to turn someone around the “third sign”, just around the bend, certainly will.  Old Charlie is a member of the Rowan Gang.  He can usually be found “hunting” just before the railway crossing.  When anyone asks why he’s always hanging around there he just says the rabbits always cross the road at that spot and he’s always ready for them.  If you ask me it’s not rabbits he’s after.  He’s one of Rowan’s guards.

I wanted to find out if the rumours were true, so I took my new camera for a walk along the highway hoping to be able to see what was going on.

It was risky, but I was able to get some photos from the highway using my best telephoto lens.  This shot was the most risky, since I was standing just above Old Charlie.  I had to be very quiet and be sure I didn’t disturb any gravel along the edge of the road.  I didn’t want him catching me taking pictures!  He’s just tell Sheriff Tom he thought I was a rabbit.  Anyway, I couldn’t get a very clear shot of what was going on so I walked along the road and away from Old Charlie.

I found another spot where I could get a bit of a better view through the trees.  There he is, Guzzlin’ Greg.  Apparently he’s one of the Rowan Gang’s “quality control technicians”.   From what I’ve been told he’s always out here, pretty much in that same spot, every day!

I thought I could see a few more people around so I walked a little farther up the highway hoping I could get a better view of what was going on.

I was a long ways from Old Charlie so I was getting a little braver.  I could see Big Barry (red shirt and coveralls). BB, as they call him, is the leader of the Rowan Gang.   A couple other guys were unloading something from an old green truck but I couldn’t tell who they were or what it was.  The trees were just too thick!  There were a couple other fellows working on something too, but I couldn’t get a good view of it.  I decided to go a little farther along the highway.

Bingo!  This was the perfect vantage point!  I guess Big Barry was also doing a little “quality control” too.  I could see the bags in the back of the truck.  They look like big sacks of sugar.

The two guys working on the gizmo in front of them are a couple locals.  One claims to be an “engineer” of some sort and the other is the local Mensa wannabe.  Derwood something or other and Chris Smeer or something.  Anyway, I’m sure between the two of them they are almost smart enough to fix any contraption – even this whatever it is.

I think the guy behind Big Barry is his second in command – Krazy Kenny.  He’s a little guy but you have to be careful around him.

I recognized the red and white car too.  It’s THE fastest car in town.  I’ve seen it zooming through town many times after pulling out of Black River Road.

Well, I hope you’ve enjoyed my story.  I was lucky I wasn’t caught.  Here are a few more pictures I took after I was a little farther away from the danger zone.

I made it home in time for supper and to catch my favorite TV show. Perhaps you’ve heard of “Dukes of Hazard”? Anyone know where I can get an HO scale General Lee? How about a Daisy Duke?



It’s Playoff Season!

April 26th, 2010

Yes, it’s that time of year again! Wouldn’t you know it, the only team that didn’t make it into the semi finals is the Stevenville Stalkers!  The three other local teams: Tidewater Titans, Chappleton Crushers, and the Bayside Bashers all made it as well as the rival Wholinthall Wolverines.  Operations on the BS&T have seen an increase in passenger traffic from all the local fans that want to attend as many games as they can.

Photo: The Milk Train passes the “Hockey Specials” on it’s way to Wholinthal. The RDC is heading to Bayside with Titan fans while the larger train carrying Wolverine fans is heading to Chappellton.

Last night the Titans played the Bashers in Bayside and the Crushers were host to the Wolverines.  Fan specials ran from Wholinthal to Chappellton and from Tidewater to Bayside.

The Wolverines won against the Crushers 12 zip.  Local fans could see the defeat coming so left early and jumped on the late combine.  They knew it would take longer to get home, but felt safer than if they had traveled on the special with the Wolverines fans!  I think it was a good decision since, judging from the amount of cleanup and repair the maintenance crew will have to do, Wolverines fans are rather rowdy.

The Titans were bashed by the Bayside Team 6 – 3.  It was interesting to note the difference in fan disposition between Wolverines and Titans fans.  The RDC that carried the latter received very little damage in comparison  I guess they were not in much of a celebratory mood after their loss.

Next week should be interesting!

The Wayfreight crews doubled as passenger crews last evening.  In keeping with Union regulations those operators received bonus pay – 1 extra Kimmie Treat at break time!  Barry ran the Wolverines fan train while Ewen ran the RDC with Titan fans.  After taking the fans to the games those guys had to run over and grab the local switch engines to get their Wayfreight trains ready.

Photo: Tom stands back to watch a rare sight on the BS&T. The Special Passenger run carrying Wolverine fans to Chappellton rolls through Stevenville.

Tom ran the local job in Stevenville.  It’s been a while since he was able to make it to an operating session on the BS&T (since he tried to take a picture of me – and failed miserably).  It took him time to get into the swing of things, but once he got on a roll he did a fine job.  I haven’t gone through the switch list to make sure everything got delivered to the right places, of course, but I’m sure there were no mistakes.

Photo: The East Bound Wayfreight cleared the west switch a few minutes ago so the Interchange from Wholinthal is able to leave town heading for Tidewater. The local switch crew has a string of cars ready for the Wayfreight.

Ken was late arriving so Chris grabbed his usual place switching the local industries in Chappellton.  I’m not exactly sure what Barry is doing (running the East Wayfreight).  Perhaps it’s some new hand signal system that Management is not aware of.

Derwin is running the CN Interchange train from Wholinthall into Tidewater.  You can see it just leaving town in the distance.

Photo: The East Bound Wayfreight is heading onto the station track in Stevenville as the Transfer from Bayside waits on the mainline.

Here’s a rather common pose for Derwin.  Ha!  I guess I should say, in all fairness, that he is waiting for Barry and the East Bound Wayfreight to finish swapping cars with Tom in Stevenville.  It’s just coming through into the station now so Derwin will soon be on his way.

Photo: The Combine has just cleared the switch so the Transfer is able to leave.

Unfortunately Ken missed a lot of the early activity on the railroad.  I was just getting the Coal train into Chappellton when he arrived so I handed that task off to him.  He completed that and then performed local switching in Kenville and Derwin’s Drop.  Sorry,  I was too busy turning trains for their return runs and I did not get any photos of those areas.

I didn’t get many photos of Ewen either.  He must have been behaving himself, otherwise I’m sure I would have gotten a photo or two of him.  He ran the West Bound Wayfreight in the first half of the session and the East Bound in the second half (Barry ran the second East Bound).

All in all it was a great session.  There were the inevitable equipment failures – tank car fell apart after it was knocked by a big hand (wonder who!) and a few coupler springs went “sproing”.  Barry lost a loco for a few minutes after the decoder in it reset itself.  Thank goodness for DecoderPro!  I had the loco reprogrammed and back in operation in a few minutes.  Unfortunately it was not until AFTER he had to get helper service over “The Ridge”.

So next week (May 2nd) we are back at Derwin’s “Canadisle Rail”.  The following week is Mother’s day so we will not be operating.  We’ll be back on the BS&T on May 16th!  Derwin and I will be just returning from the MFMR Annual Convention on May 23rd, so we will not be operating that evening.

Remember, if you are planning a trip to Prince Edward Island you should contact me to set up some layout visits or an operating session.


Operating Session #84

March 22nd, 2010

Well, give or take a few.  The program I use counts the number of sessions printed and last evening was the 84th set.  There have been a few dud orders due to a messed up database so it’s probably somewhere between 75 and 84.  Still, it’s a pretty big number for a layout that’s been operating for only 4 years.  Yes, next weekend marks the 4th anniversary of the Bayside and Tidewater Railway!  We’ll be operating at Derwin’s so the residents of the towns served by the BS&T will have to celebrate without us.  HA!

So, last evening’s session started with some harsh words from Management.  Management’s wife had to leave for work by 10:30 so the crews couldn’t waste time socializing.  Management was pleased that it can still put fear into the hearts of its employees since they were done in record time – shortly after 10:00.  Good job guys!  You’ve earned your bonus of extra cake or cookies at the next session!

We were all pleased to see Tom was able to make it last evening.  For the first weekend in a few months he wasn’t driving a bus somewhere.  Because of Tom’s appearance we were able to fill the position of Local Switcher in Kenville & Derwin’s Drop which helped to make the session run smoother.

Derwin has been getting a lot of practice running the Interchange and Transfer jobs and last evening was no different.  He’s just pulled into Tidewater with the Transfer in the photo on the right.  Now he’s getting ready to sort out which cars are to be put on the CN Interchange and which are to remain in Tidewater.  Then he has to sort cars to build the return Transfer to Bayside.  Fortunately he will have the yard to himself for a little while so he can get it all worked out.

Ken ran the Chappellton Local, as usual.  He’s becoming very familiar with that job as well.  During a typical session he moves close to 50 freight cars to and from industries in the town.  The second East Bound Wayfreight (Barry) is in town to pick up and drop off some cars to provide Ken with more work.  Barry’s spotted the passenger combine at the station platform while he switches cars with Ken’s assistance.  When he’s done here Barry will take the Wayfreight to Kenville where Chris is waiting with the Kenville switch job.

Chris took one of the easiest jobs on the layout working as the Local Switcher in both Kenville and Derwin’s Drop.  The job does requires a lot of running between the town, but there aren’t usually a lot of car movements to and from each town.  I was not able to get a photo of what he did during his off time, but suffice to say he discovered my stack of Model Railroaders.  Anyway, the Wayfreight has pulled right into town to spot the combine at the station while Chris pulls off Kenville cars and adds the east bounds.  Then Barry will have to back onto the main and head up the hill to Derwin’s Drop.

He’s made it to Derwin’s Drop.  While he’s waiting for Chris to arrive to run the local switcher he checks the line ahead to see what’s up.  Normally he would meet the West bound Wayfreight here but it’s nowhere in sight.  He’s a little concerned that he might meet it before Stevenville.  A quick call to the Dispatcher tells him the West Bound is a little behind and will wait for him in Stevenville.

A rare meet in Stevenville as the West Bound wayfreight waits while the East Bound passes on the main.  Ewen is looking a little disgusted since he knows he’s usually in Derwin’s Drop by now.  A little fetch up with the Bayside Yard crew has caused him to be behind. He was the Bayside Yard Crew, of course.  Once the East Bound is clear the West bound can continue on to Derwin’s Drop, finally.  Then Tom (running the Steveville Local Job) can pull the combine off the East Bound to spot it at the station platform.  Then Tom and Barry can get on with the job of swapping freight cars.

In the meantime, Derwin is struggling over The Ridge with the Transfer returning to Bayside.  It’s a long one tonight so we had to get the Kenville Switcher to run as a helper.  Derwin met Ewen and the West Wayfreight in Derwin’s Drop.  That meant there was nothing in Ewen’s way for the rest of his run to Kenville, Chappellton, and Tidewater.  Or was there?  Hmmm… I think Management had a little surprise for the BS&T crews…

A rare sight on the BS&T indeed!  A special passenger run made an appearance.  Here it is snaking it’s way back to Wholinthall after making a run from there to Tidewater.  Management decided it was time this train made the run to pick up the passengers that have been stranded for months in Tidewater!  (Operations were actually going quite smoothly so I thought I’d stir things up a bit.  I didn’t even care that I was running a C-Liner – almost an F unit!)

Apparently someone had a surprise for me.  I like being THE photographer not completely because I like taking photos.  I like being THE photographer because it is then impossible for me to be IN any of the photos.  I heard a familiar click as I was rerailing the passenger train in Wholinthall.  The person responsible for this act of, dare I say TREASON! has been brought onto the carpet and dealt with.  I know it should have been in a less public setting, but it was a heat of the moment thing.  TOMfoolery such as this will not be tolerated.  Fortunately the photographer was not very talented.  On another note, stay tuned for a new business on the BS&T – Tommie’s Drive Through Sewer Sucking Service will added in the near future.

With his work done in Kenville and Derwin’s Drop, Chris was assigned the task of the return Milk run.  He’s backing into the milk platform in Kenville as Derwin brings the US Interchange into Wholinthall (upper track).  Things are beginning to wind down as most jobs are almost finished.

As you can tell we had a lot of laughs as usual.  We also had plenty of socializing time even though we were under a bit of a tight schedule.  It shows the advantage of having one or two more crew members.

Here is the full gallery of photos from the evening – some did not make it into the post.



A Great Day in Saint John!

February 21st, 2010

We made our annual trip to Saint John, NB for a day of operating with friends.  This year a crew from Moncton joined us to round out the operating crew.  Only Derwin, Ken, and I were able to make it from the Island.  We met up with Jim, Milne, John, Murray, Doug, and Ben just outside Moncton.

The ICR Crew - Feb. 20, 2010

Our first stop was to Doug Devine’s Island Central Railway.  An operator with considerable seniority on the Island Central, Bob Kane, was on hand to help keep things under control.  I guess Doug expected to be a little too busy to look after everything on the layout.

After a brief introduction for the newbies, and refresher for the ones that hadn’t operated there in a while, we lined up to sign up for morning job assignment.

Derwin worked with John in McAdam Yard – a decision that apparently bought them a lot of free time.  At one point I took a moment from my very busy work schedule to grab a quick snack in the crew lounge.  There weren’t many cookies left, but plenty of evidence of the amount of work Derwin was doing!

Their first (and possibly only) task was to get my train, a fast freight heading to Saint John, assembled and ready to leave.  I could not believe how long this train was!  The four locos assigned as power for the train were barely able to handle it.  After a lot of work climbing the slight grade out of McAdam I was on the ICR main heading for Saint John.  This train was quite a sight as it snaked around the room.  I had to keep a close eye on it as it would gain considerable speed on downgrades and would require more power to climb.

When I finally pulled into Dever Road Yard in Saint John I was sure there would not be enough room for the train.  As it arced around the end of the yard and headed toward the passenger station I was doubtful it would fit.  But the end of train cleared the yard throat with the locomotives only inches from the end of the line.  Whew!  Then, with the guidance of the Yard Master, Bob, we split the train up into the proper classification tracks.  That’s when I became the Dever Road assistant – and any hope of free time to beat Derwin to the cookies vanished (not to mention ability to take some pictures)!

I lost track of what the other guys were doing.  Jim was in West Saint John pulling the local cars – and generally making an annoyance of himself.  Especially when he ran smack dab into a cut of cars we had pushed onto a siding from Dever Road.  He tried to blame us, of course, but when Bob reminded him that he should be watching where his train is going he got quiet again.  Jim’s always a little more tolerable when he is quiet!  HA!

Ben apparently worked in Mill Street since he arrived in Dever Road with a cut of cars at one point, that we swapped for a fresh cut heading for Mill Street.  I’m sure Milne was able to grab a passenger run.  Doug (C.), Murray, and Ken ran a mix of through freights and way freights.

At one point someone asked when we were supposed to arrive at Steve McMullin’s Carleton Railway.  I looked at my phone and was shocked to see it was 12:30!  Where had 2-1/2 hours gone!!??  The old saying that time flies when you are having fun is very true!  Anyway, we had to finish up so we could get to the train store (Valley Hobby) and get some lunch to be at Steve’s for 2:00.

We managed to arrive at the Carleton Railway shortly after 2:00.  We were greeted with a warm welcome from Rosalie since Steve was in the basement frantically making last minute preparations.  Again, after a brief intro we signed up for operating positions.

I wanted to redeem myself in South Newbridge after the last trip when Jean and I put everything leaving there onto the same train (thinking “Well these cars are supposed to go west, your train is going west, here you go”) making for the longest train in Carleton Railway history.  The Steve asked if I had read the operating instructions,  Ummmm…. No.

Derwin caught again!

Anyway, I was so intent on making sure I did things properly in South Newbridge I lost track of what the other guys were running.  I think Derwin was helping John in the yard at Avondale.  I’m sure he thought it would be another slack job like McAdam on the ICR.  He was lounging around later in the session.  Steve caught him and suggested his time would be better spent running a wayfreight (the Newbridge Turn).  Then he made a very big mistake and assigned Jim as his brakeman.  Steve, Steve, Steve….  tsk tsk!  You’ll know better for next time!

Milne and Doug (C.) ran a couple passenger trains.  Jim was having fun derailing, err… operating a wayfreight.  Ben took the Nortondale job.

I vowed that I would “follow the rules” this year and do the job properly, but apparently everyone else was about to make that very difficult for me.  Murray decided to leave early (4 hours!) with his train.  Now this really messed things up in South Newbridge!  I had one train in 4 hours early, Ben arrived with the Nortondale train, a First Class passenger train had to get through and there was another freight train waiting to arrive.  Things were very disorganized for a little while while I tried to clear mainlines for all this traffic.  Igrabbed cuts of cars that were destined for my yard, shoved out the cars that were supposed to go on the particular trains (trying to follow the proper instructions this time!) and tried to get trains moving again as quickly as possible.  Unfortunately there were some delays and a few cars got onto the wrong trains.  But at least I didn’t make any extremely long trains this time!

The last train on the line was the one Steve assigned Derwin and Jim – The Newbridge Turn.  Good thing I checked the cards for the cars they brought in.  There was a tank car with no card that was supposed to have been left at another industry along the way.  They had dropped it off there, but then proceeded to pick it up again.  Then there was a stock car with a card that said it was supposed to have stayed where it was.  So, back on their train with them to be put back where they belonged.

Jim gets caught!

The witnesses

The tank car was going to be tough since they were facing the turnout the wrong way.  Jim was going to use one of his favorite switching tricks to get the car spotted at the industry but he was caught.  You can see the mischievous look on his face!  But there were too many witnesses.  I got back to work putting cars away in South Newbridge so I’m not sure how the car made it to its spot.  When I looked up again they had placed the stock car back at the meat plant and were about to head on to Avondale.

The last train of the day.

While we were having fun in the basement Rosalie was busy preparing a wonderful meal for us.  When these two finally arrived in Avondale we headed upstairs to talk about the days activities and enjoy some great food!

We want to thank Doug, Steve and Rosalie for being great hosts and allowing us to operate their incredible model railroads.  I hope we’ll have an opportunity to operate on their railroads when we are in Saint John for the MFMR Convention in May.  Hopefully we will see you there!


The Moncton Invasion

February 7th, 2010

I know I’m a week late, but… better late than never!

Last Saturday a group from the Codiac Operators made the trek across the bridge for a day of operating.  Our first stop was Derwin’s Canadisle Rail.  We had a great time there, and a great lunch – thanks Derwin and Shelley!

We arrived at the Bayside & Tidewater about mid-afternoon to round out the day.  I was looking forward to having a full crew, but a couple of the Moncton guys decided not to come due to the weather.  We had a snowstorm on Friday and the forecast wasn’t too bad, but they didn’t want to take a chance.  The weather can be a very unpredictable thing.

There were enough guys on hand that I was able to have a yard operator in Tidewater for the first time.  I think things went a little smoother there because of it.  Too bad for Jim I didn’t have a yard operator in Bayside.  He would have gotten out of there with the Wayfreight a lot sooner.  The poor guy didn’t understand the instructions and was going to put every car leaving the yard onto one train.  Hmmm… I seem to remember someone doing that on another layout.  Who was that?  Oh yeah!  It was me on Steve’s layout in Saint John just last year.  I guess I can’t be too hard on Jim!

Other than that there were no horrific stories – like what happened to Derwin with the CN Interchange to Wholinthall last time.  But I won’t dwell on the past, just point you to the story in case you missed it – Derwin’s ill fated run to Wholinthall.

Milne took this photo of Derwin derailing a freight car (or is he breaking something?) while John is checking out his instructions.  Using switch lists is a little new to these guys since they are very used to car card systems.  Either way, you still have to find the car at the industry and sometimes they aren’t where they are supposed to be.  Good switch crews are hard to find!  HA!

Jim finally did make it out of Bayside and is pulling into Chappellton to drop off cars and pick up a cut heading for Tidewater.  Mike has things under control and is very glad I suggested he take the Chappellton job.  There is definitely a height advantage working on the lower side of the room.

Milne took this photo as well.  It’s great to have someone else on hand to take pictures since I’m usually too busy.  It begs the question, though… Why did he have so much free time?!

Milne took this shot as well.  It’s a different perspective of just how crowded things can get when there are lots of operators on the same side of the room.  Fortunately I didn’t get really greedy for layout space and make the aisles any narrower.  People can still get by one another.

I guess I should clean the light fixtures in the ceiling.  Those lights never get used.

I didn’t run a train so I guess I’m just observing – making sure folks understand how the layout works.  It looks like Derwin is waiting with the CN Interchange (Yes, he’s running that one again!  You’d think I’d learn!) for Jim to finish in Chappellton so he can get into the yard in Tidewater.  Derwin’s glad he won’t have to do the switching for the Interchange and Transfer trains for a change.  It can get a little confusing (and we know how easy it is to confuse Derwin).  Dave has things in Tidewater under control.

Derwin took this shot of Milne running the East Bound Wayfreight into Kenville.  John took the task of doing the local switching in both Kenville and Derwin’s Drop, and providing helper service over “The Ridge”.  It’s not one of the busiest jobs on the layout, but it does keep a person occupied and provides a bit of variety.

All in all the visit went really well.  All the freight cars went to the right places and everyone had a great time.  We are now looking forward to out trip to Saint John on the 20th to operate on a couple layouts there.  It will be a joint trip with some Half Nutters and some of the Codiac guys.  I hope Steve and Doug are prepared  for the havoc we can bring!



Moncton Visit

January 27th, 2010

A group from Moncton are coming over on Saturday for a day of operating.  It should be a fun day and I’m sure I’ll have lots of stories for next week (as long as I take the time to post them).

I haven’t had much time to work on the layout but with the impending visit in mind I did take some time on the weekend to work on some electrical issues.

The track layout in Chappellton has changed many times since the layout was first constructed.  I originally had feeder wires to just about every siding in the town.  The feeders were disconnected to allow for rearranging the track and, although most of them were reattached, apparently I missed some.  So I re-soldered feeders to the passenger track where we were seeing trains slow down for some “unexplained” reason.  I also relocated some other unused feeder wires to the industrial area of Chappellton where we lost power completely during the last operating session.  Hopefully that town will run much better on Saturday.

There was a short section of track in Stevenville, between two turnouts, where we were having issues with locos stalling.  So I ran new feeder wires to that section.  Unfortunately that did not resolve the issue.  I discovered that the locos were actually losing power on the point rails of one of the turnouts.  So I installed jumpers across the riveted section of the point rails and everything works fine now.  However, I was not careful enough when I soldered the fine wires across the opening and actually soldered across the gap.  This resulted in the joint being too stiff for the Z-spring wire I had installed in the turnout’s throw bar.  I had to install a Caboose ground throw.  It’s amazing how one simple thing can lead to so many jobs.

I also started wiring a series of plugs around the layout that will be used for accessory power.  The plugs will be switched from a single location near the door using a lighted switch as a reminder that the power is on.  Since wiring the lights in the passenger station in Chappellton I have left the wall wort power supply plugged in for days.  Fortunately the bulbs do not get so hot that they melt the styrene on the street above.

There are a few more things I’d like to do before Saturday and precious little free time to do them.  As long as we have operating instructions we’ll be good to go.  The other things will just have to go undone.

Anyway, there will be more next week, I hope.  Until then – don’t drive your trains while talking on a cell phone!  It’s against the law now, you know.  You should get a Bluetooth device.


The “Incident”

January 22nd, 2010

Now, getting to what I alluded to previously.  The guys in Moncton will be pleased to hear that Derwin earned some well-deserved demerits during Sunday’s operating session.  It seems he didn’t inspect his train before he left Tidewater heading back to Wholinthall with the CN Interchange.  A coupler let go on The Ridge and the rear section of his train rolled uncontrolled down grade.  The caboose and the next car derailed at the crossover causing little damage to the contents of the box car, but almost wrote off the caboose.

The cupola is laying on the ground, the handrail between the cars is at an odd angle, and the ladder is missing.  A search crew found it the next morning just after sunrise.  They had to use a helicopter to do an aerial survey of the area.  They couldn’t believe how far the ladder flew from the scene!

It’s also amazing that no one was injured!  Conductor Ima Lukyduk was heating up some soup and pouring coffee at the time.  “I was trown onta da cot dere an a bunch a pillows landed on top o me.  They kept me from gittin covered wit the soup and coffee I was heetin’ up!  I’m glad I sleep a lot an have a good mattress (from U & M Mattresses by the way) and lots a pillows on hand!”

The caboose is now at Fixum Car Repair in Chappellton where it will hopefully be repaired before the next operating session. They already used the crane to put the cupola back on the roof.  I really hope they straighten it up!

How many demerits do you think that’s worth!?


Milk Train

January 20th, 2010

A regular Milk Train will now be part of the operations on the BS&T after receiving a couple milk station kits and 0-8-0 locomotive for Christmas. I’ve been working on the milk stations off and on and have them pretty much complete and in place on the layout.  There is a bit of scenery to be done around them.

The station in Kenville is a Tichy Train Group plastic kit.  It is a simple Milk Shed/Station but really adds to the area around the passenger station. The kit came with dozens of milk cans that I will be able to use as detail bits at all the milk stations.

The kit also came with a handcar shed and accessories that I placed to the left of the milk station.  It’s hard to get a clear photo through the trees and buildings.

The milk station is Derwin’s drop is almost across from the passenger station.  It is a Banta Model Works laser cut wood kit.  This kit was a real pleasure to build.  There was lots of strip wood – I didn’t have to worry about errors in cutting and wastage.  The walls were notched on both the sides and bottom to assure a good strong glue joint and squareness.

Because this structure is out in plain view I will be sure to add some extra scenery around it.

The power for this train is two Proto 2000 0-8-0 locomotives.  One of them has sound (Loksound).  I had hoped that the two of them together would have enough power to pull the 4 milk cars up the grade between Kenville and Derwin’s Drop.  Unfortunately they do not have quite enough weight to provide the required traction.  They start spinning about 1/2 way up the grade.  So the Kenville local switcher will provide helper service over The Ridge.

The milk train is heading through Stevenville on it’s evening return run from the dairy in Wholinthall.  The Transfer from Tidewater is waiting on the siding to get into Bayside.

The two locomotives rumble past G-Mac Transfer.  The crew will have to wait for the Transfer to clear the siding before they can back their train into the station to drop off some empty milk cans.

After dropping empties in Stevenville it’s off to Derwin’s drop.  No backing into milk stations  since it has drive up service!

The train will leave Tidewater at the start of the session and stop at the Freight Station in Chappellton, the milk stations in Kenville and Derwin’s Drop, and the passenger station in Stevenville to pick up full milk cans.  Then it will head to the dairy in Wholinthall.  Toward the end of the session the Milk train will come back and make the same stops dropping off empty milk cans and tie up in Tidewater.


Oh what a night!

January 18th, 2010

We had another operating session on the BS&T last evening.  Derwin, Barry, Ewen, Chris, Ken, and Greg made up the crew.

Derwin chose to run the new Milk Train which also got him the CN Interchange and Transfer jobs.  He’s bringing the Transfer out of Bayside in this photo.  The previous guy in the yard had made a bit of a mess and Derwin had a lot of tidying up to do so he was a little late leaving.  Ewen says he’ll pay more attention to track diagrams next time.  I’ll point out something in another photo in this post that we will refer to as the “Incident”.

I’ll have more detail on the Milk Train and The Incident in a coming post.

Barry decided to try solo ops and chose to switch Kenville and Derwin’s Drop since it would be an easier task for a newbie. When I was describing the job to him I said “You’ll be really busy if both wayfreights arrive at the same time.  No need to worry because that rarely ever happens”.  HA!  It happened – twice in the same session!  So I gave him a hand in Derwin’s Drop when the wayfreights arrived.

I think he handled the task quite well.  At the end of the evening he said he had a great time!  He also said something about it’s nice to know that there’s something more to model railroading that building a layout and watching trains go around in circles.

Ewen thought he’d also try a less hectic job that local switching and took the West Bound Wayfreight. After break he became the East Bound #2 for the return to Bayside.  He’s just pulling into Kenville with that train.  I had to put the camera down shortly after this because the West Bound #2 arrived in Derwin’s Drop.

Chris, for some reason, jumped at the chance to switch in Stevenville. He’s watching Derwin bring out the Transfer in the first photo of this post.

Greg ran the East Bound Wayfreight  He is also running the second have of his job as East Bound #2.  We finished exchanging cars and he’s just leaving Derwin’s Drop.

Ken did the local switching in Chappellton, as usual.  He got off to a slow start due to a power glitch (more below) so was behind for most of the first half of the session.

I ran the Coal Peddler and helped out (I hope I was helping!) where needed.

I mentioned a power glitch in Chappellton – the whole industrial district lost power early in the session.  It took a while to track it down to one of the turnouts from the main line into the industrial area.  It decided that it was not going to route power to the whole industrial district.  I didn’t have time to install new feeders (I should have done that years ago – anticipating a turnout failure!) last evening so Ken had to keep the turnout set for the siding.  He also had to watch traffic coming into town in case a train ended up on the poorly maintained industrial tracks.  It made for a hectic evening for him.  Sorry Ken!

Ewen is backing up to connect to the rest of East Bound #2 as he prepares to head for Derwin’s Drop.  You can also see the tail end of the CN Interchange as it heads into Wholinthall.  Wait a minute!  This is the 50’s – why is there no caboose?  I’ll have more details about the “Incident” in a future post.  Stay tuned!

Between fixing a power issue and working in the car shops I’ve got some work to do before the next operating session in two weeks.  I’m going to try to reform my procrastinating ways and get things done in advance.  Hmmm… I hope.