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Author Previous Topic: Scenery Topic Next Topic: Subroadbed, Roadbed and Track
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chrisbconaway
New Hire



Posted - 05/10/2015 :  5:59:25 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Thanks again for hosting a great session. Nothing brings out the gremlins like an operating session! I look forward to the next one!


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MarkF
Engineer

Premium Member


Posted - 05/10/2015 :  10:29:02 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Thanks Chris! Glad you enjoyed it and the gremlins.

Mark

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nhguy
Fireman



Posted - 05/12/2015 :  10:36:01 PM  Show Profile  Visit nhguy's Homepage  Send nhguy a Yahoo! Message  Reply with Quote
Looks like a fun time. Those gremlins sure can find their way into op sessions. Been there, still doing that. Its the same thing as running and running your train through a section of track and it runs perfectly UNTIL someone comes into the basement and I run the train through the same section of track and....... the train derails. GO figure!

Bill Shanaman
New Haven RR
Hartford Division
in Colorado.

Edited by - nhguy on 05/12/2015 10:37:45 PM

Country: USA | Posts: 4763 Go to Top of Page

MarkF
Engineer

Premium Member


Posted - 05/13/2015 :  10:17:57 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Thanks Bill. It was fun! That's pretty much what I saw that night, but again, that's why I decided to start operating. I run the railroad frequently, but its not until you get visitors really putting the railroad through its paces that you see these issues surface.

I know that maintenance will be an ongoing battle. That's to be expected. I just hope to try to stay on top of things as they surface and try to keep the railroad running as smoothly as possible.

The other thing I wanted to test was the schedule that I put together and that seemed to worked out pretty well. There are a couple of things I may tweak, but I think I'll run a couple more sessions before I make any changes.


Mark

Country: USA | Posts: 13474 Go to Top of Page

nhguy
Fireman



Posted - 05/13/2015 :  5:21:56 PM  Show Profile  Visit nhguy's Homepage  Send nhguy a Yahoo! Message  Reply with Quote
Hi Mark,

As your operations progress your schedule WILL change. Mostly out of necessity to make room in the schedule for different, more or less trains. Departure or arrival times and meets will dictate those changes. Mine has pretty much settled in. However, when I put in the New York south end staging that WILL change the operating schedule. The way to look at it is the schedule is 'evolving'. Look to the prototype railroads to guide you, especially the Pennsy. Every 4 to 6 months railroads of our era changed both passenger and freight schedules for the employees and public to accommodate changes in the railroad, equipment purchased or taken out of service, consolidation of operating districts, etc.... So it doesn't hurt as bad if you look at it from that standpoint and still have good 'play value' for your operators. Bill


Bill Shanaman
New Haven RR
Hartford Division
in Colorado.

Country: USA | Posts: 4763 Go to Top of Page

MarkF
Engineer

Premium Member


Posted - 05/13/2015 :  6:32:27 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
I agree Bill. I've set up schedules on a few of our layouts in the area and have found that the layout is what really dictates the schedule. Other factors such as operators, train lengths, etc., also play a role in the schedule, but I keep track of times and average them out to find reasonable departure times. My immediate concern was to ensure that, for the most part, trains weren't working areas that are over each other, thus avoiding operators sharing the same aisle space at the same time. I was careful in setting up what trains ran when, anticipating where each one might be at a certain time in order to avoid this, and so far, it seemed to work.

There is at least one issue that I may have to adjust. The local that serves the Wilkes-Barre branch appears to be too long! The prototype actually worked this local as two trains; one that left Buttonwood and worked trailing point businesses going westbound and terminated at Northumberland, and the other half that worked trailing point businesses headed eastbound, leaving Northumberland and terminating in Buttonwood. It turns out, I may have to do the same thing!

This is one of the parts of the hobby that I enjoy, so I'm looking forward to that challenge!


Mark

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MarkF
Engineer

Premium Member


Posted - 05/19/2015 :  10:01:20 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
A little bit of an update. After the last session, I had a 'hit list' of several items that needed attention. Several turnouts with poor electrical continuity, a couple of freight cars needing attention, etc. I have gone through the list and addressed all of these issues so that is now behind me. Now I am looking at some of the suggestions that were made to help operators.

One of those suggestions was to lengthen the outbound yard tracks in Glen Burn. When I laid out the yard, I didn't put a lot of thought into the capacity of the yard, but now that we've had a few practice sessions, everyone has said that I need to lengthen the tracks there to make blocking the outbound coal a little easier, and I agreed.

There are two blocks of outbound coal currently, and possibly a third block in the near future as I expand operations. The first block is that block to PP&L which is 12 cars. Then there is the Buffalo block which is 6 cars. There are four tracks in the outbound yard and while each track will hold 6 cars, it is BARELY 6 cars and results in cars exceeding the fouling point. In order to extend these tracks, I actually have to relay the yard ladder as there isn't any room at the far end of the yard. I started this project last night and should have this done in the next day or two.

Once this is done, I want to resume my focus back in Wilkes-Barre which is still not completed. My biggest obstacle here are the two sets of tracks that cross the WB Connecting Railroad, requiring two different bridges. The first bridge is installed (see me earlier post on page 70 where I installed the first bridge). The second bridge represents what will essentially be a switchback into the Vulcan Iron Works plant.

At the same time, since this is one of the few places with 'multi-level scenery', I am focusing on the scenery in this area as it will encompass some retaining walls, bridge abutments, etc. In addition to the two railroad bridges, I also plan to incorporate a road bridge as well that will also help to hide the hole in the wall into staging. As I install these bridges and associated abutments, I also plan to start some hardshell in this area! So yes, I will be officially starting scenery, so stand by for more pics to come.


Mark

Edited by - MarkF on 05/19/2015 10:05:14 AM

Country: USA | Posts: 13474 Go to Top of Page

nhguy
Fireman



Posted - 05/19/2015 :  11:24:22 AM  Show Profile  Visit nhguy's Homepage  Send nhguy a Yahoo! Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by MarkF

A little bit of an update. After the last session, I had a 'hit list' of several items that needed attention. Several turnouts with poor electrical continuity, a couple of freight cars needing attention, etc. I have gone through the list and addressed all of these issues so that is now behind me. Now I am looking at some of the suggestions that were made to help operators.

One of those suggestions was to lengthen the outbound yard tracks in Glen Burn. When I laid out the yard, I didn't put a lot of thought into the capacity of the yard, but now that we've had a few practice sessions, everyone has said that I need to lengthen the tracks there to make blocking the outbound coal a little easier, and I agreed.

There are two blocks of outbound coal currently, and possibly a third block in the near future as I expand operations. The first block is that block to PP&L which is 12 cars. Then there is the Buffalo block which is 6 cars. There are four tracks in the outbound yard and while each track will hold 6 cars, it is BARELY 6 cars and results in cars exceeding the fouling point. In order to extend these tracks, I actually have to relay the yard ladder as there isn't any room at the far end of the yard. I started this project last night and should have this done in the next day or two.

tchback into the Vulcan Iron Works plant.

At the same time, since this is one of the few places with 'multi-level scenery', I am focusing on the scenery in this area as it will encompass some retaining walls, bridge abutments, etc. In addition to the two railroad bridges, I also plan to incorporate a road bridge as well that will also help to hide the hole in the wall into staging. As I install these bridges and associated abutments, I also plan to start some hardshell in this area! So yes, I will be officially starting scenery, so stand by for more pics to come.



Mark,

Fortunately I didn't have this problem with the outbound tracks(yeah, right). I have a 13 track yard. Two of my tracks are arrival and departure tracks (A&D) on either side of the one main that goes through the yard. This is a stub yard with escape and runaround tracks. So I don't have another end to switch cars with as long as the south end. There is limited space, like 4 cars at a time, to switch the north end of the yard. My yardmasters are pretty creative but still had a problem with 'drilling' the cars both inbound and outbound. If you look at my last post you'll see the fix to this problem in the photos of the two additional switches. This effectively lengthened the tracks without adding any actual track. You should look at your yard and see if adding switches instead of adding track might be a solution Mark.

The problem here is in the designation of track in a yard I found out. While having dedicated A&D tracks is great that is all they were using them for until I told them that the D was also part of the equation. This left two usable track unused until I told them to use them. This relieved a lot of frustration.

Get creative. Look at the available yard space and see if you need all of the rest of the yard to hold cars. Perhaps you can do what B&O, C&O, PRR, N&W & lots of other railroads did. They would put an outbound train on two or more tracks in a small capacity yard and make two or three moves to put the whole outbound train together off of the tracks the cars were stored on. I've been to many model railroads where you had to do exactly that for long trains. Track capacities are only limited to perception of their use.

Yard operators tend to get tunnel vision when tracks are designated for one purpose or another. Maybe this might be a solution to your track capacity problem. Reusing tracks instead of lengthening them might prove to be the solution. Bill


Bill Shanaman
New Haven RR
Hartford Division
in Colorado.

Country: USA | Posts: 4763 Go to Top of Page

jbvb
Fireman

Premium Member


Posted - 05/19/2015 :  2:32:15 PM  Show Profile  Visit jbvb's Homepage  Reply with Quote
The operation Bill refers to is known as "doubling a train out of the yard" on the B&M and possibly other RRs. As in "Your buggy's on the east end of 7; double track 5 onto 7, do the air test and go".


Country: USA | Posts: 5254 Go to Top of Page

MarkF
Engineer

Premium Member


Posted - 05/19/2015 :  10:29:50 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
I probably should have clarified. The yard I am referring to is not a freight yard, but rather the outbound yard tracks at Glen Burn Colliery.

The prototype Glen Burn essentially had two 'yards' within it's complex; one for inbound unsorted coal, and the other with 'clean and sorted' coal. I've modeled this operation at my version of Glen Burn. The problem was with the outbound yard. There are four tracks, but each only held 5 cars, yet the average size of a 'block' of outbound coal is 6 cars.

The problem was really a simple fix of just lengthening the tracks by about one car length so now everything fits it's assigned track better, keeping the blocks together instead of splitting them up between tracks. I think the crews will be happier with this added capacity!

Thanks for the input though!


Mark

Edited by - MarkF on 05/19/2015 10:33:07 PM

Country: USA | Posts: 13474 Go to Top of Page

MarkF
Engineer

Premium Member


Posted - 06/14/2015 :  01:54:41 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
After six years of building, the PRR Northern Division celebrated its first official op session last night! I spent most of my time over the past month finishing up some odds and ends, such as finishing installing the industrial area in Wilkes-Barre, and also working on all of the issues that surfaced during the three trial op sessions that I held over the past few months. The effort was worth it as last nightís session appeared to go extremely well!

This time we had a full crew, which meant having a dispatcher, and also two operators at Northumberland Yard; the yard operator and the yard master. As I anticipated, Northumberland Yard has proven to be a busy place, but by splitting up the duties between these two positions, it is easier to handle. Both operators have enough to do to keep themselves busy without being overwhelmed.

Here are a few pics from last nightís session.

Here we find our two operators at Northumberland, Bruce and Bill H. Bill was the operator while Bruce handled the Yard Masterís duties. It looks like they are assembling an outbound train on one of the A&D tracks. Over the course of the session, they will handle 24 movements in the yard.



Meanwhile, at the other end of the railroad, John R. has assumed the role of the operator at Buttonwood Yard. Buttonwood handles about 9 trains over the course of the session, keeping the operator there pretty busy for most of the session.



A little later on we find PJ working train S-78, the local out of Northumberland Yard that works south Sunbury.



Here we see Rick, who seems to be enjoying himself, with train NB-6, the through freight between Northumberland and Buttonwood Yard.



Here is George W. working S-82, the local out of Buttonwood that works Wilkes-Barre industrial. This is the first time this local was run as this area was recently completed.



And here is Joe C. who just arrived back at Glen Burn with train S-273 and is switching in the empties he picked up at the PP&L plant in Shamokin Dam.



I didnít get a picture of our fearless Dispatcher who was Bob P. Bob did a great job of keeping the trains rolling through the night!

All in all, things went pretty well and everyone seemed to have a good time. I got to wander around the railroad and watch it come to life. My Ďhit listí of items needing attention that surfaced are only a few small items such as a few track work issues and some electrical issues in Buttonwood Yard, mainly due to dirty switches. These things will be easily fixed, allowing me time to start on something Iíve been anxious to; scenery!


Mark

Country: USA | Posts: 13474 Go to Top of Page

George D
Moderator

Premium Member


Posted - 06/14/2015 :  08:23:52 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Congratulations, Mark. That's a major milestone you've passed. It looks like everyone were focused on their tasks - it helps to have a good crew.

George



Country: USA | Posts: 14070 Go to Top of Page

MarkF
Engineer

Premium Member


Posted - 06/14/2015 :  08:34:25 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Thanks George! We are lucky here in south Jersey to have a good large group of operators. So yes, everyone was focused, and also provided some good constructive feedback which I will use going forward to tweak things to make the operations even better!

Mark

Country: USA | Posts: 13474 Go to Top of Page

tloc
Fireman



Posted - 06/14/2015 :  08:40:24 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Congrats Mark. It must feel great to see the guys running trains to your schedules and seemingly enjoying it so much.

Its been a kick reading and watching your progress, the scenery will be even more rewarding.


Enjoy the day
TomO
RailPro users Group: https://rpug.pdc.ca

Country: USA | Posts: 1394 Go to Top of Page

sjconrail
Engine Wiper



Posted - 06/14/2015 :  10:07:42 AM  Show Profile  Visit sjconrail's Homepage  Reply with Quote
Congrats Mark! Glad it ran smoothly and everyone seemed to enjoy themselves,

Phil



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