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Operations on the B-and-M Eastern Route

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  • jbvb
    replied
    Since my last op session, I've visited six countries and seen a lot of model and prototype railroading. But only one op session, courtesy of the chair of Port City Rails:



    Carleton RR owner Steve (l) discusses operations in Waterville with Peter, while Jeff (r) waits for a yard crew to finish switching his train.



    Steve's two busiest yards are on different decks, but adjacent. Here Mark is in the midst of the action while Jeff continues to wait for his train. When they were finally done, it was a corker...



    I started with an inter-line passenger service using a mix of CPR and Carleton RR equipment. Here it's leaving Avondale.



    Quite a few passengers were waiting at Waterville.



    The valley of the Saint John River is well suited to potato growing, and Steve put a lot of effort into this late-summer field.

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  • Orionvp17
    replied
    Sounds like a Day of Fun, James, except perhaps for the Big Life Crisis, which sounds ominous. Hope all are well.

    I appreciate your post-mortem information-- it's helping me as I try to get a schedule going for a friend, and as I try to rebuild my latest tear-down of a Significant Chunk of my own railroad....

    Your post-mortem, BTW, sounds a lot like some of the "Wine Time" discussions out here....

    Pete

    in Michigan

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  • jbvb
    replied
    I did not manage to take any pictures of today's op session. Largely because I decided to try calling crews for particular trains.

    Previously, I'd been giving a throttle and timetable to each crew, and relying on them to progress from one train to the next.

    I liked the way 'calling' worked during the early morning hours, but was distracted by fixing operational issues as the rush hour

    was supposed to be starting, so a number of trains got annulled.

    The 9AM start led to some late arrivals. Two people hadn't confirmed so I wasn't sure which timetable to run until the last minute.

    And a Big Life Crisis afflicted one of my friends yesterday so my prep started with cleaning up in-progress scenery projects after dinner.

    A couple of people had to leave about Noon, so we didn't run the whole 12 hours. The signal system got many positive comments, so

    clearly I should get the rest of the main done as a fairly high priority.

    Post mortem: Clock stopped about 10:00 scale time. Both yard switchers had run overtime, the Lynn Goat has another scale hour of

    switching to do. The Boston - Bexley hauler ran about 45 min. overtime, and was very light on the return trip. The passenger

    trains ran well, one turnout bothered a 2-8-2 and the caboose of its train. I managed to mix a DC turn to Bexley in with the DCC,

    but I caused some glitches by leaving block switches in the wrong position. The Portsmouth Local never got called.

    I wasn't using all the available throttles to the max during rush hour. Track and wheels were clean enough.

    Next time:

    1. Cabooses and passenger cars that occupy (trip signals) are pretty but not critical when almost all track is easily visible to operators.

    2. Use the two wired throttles for the yard jobs. Maybe buy a third, for 3 wired and 3 wireless.

    3. Keep the wireless throttles in a pool so I can find a free one when a train's crew is 'called'.

    4. Some way of marking a timetable to remind crews what train they're running; If I give out separate train cards that's another thing to

    handle, and they need the view of where their train fits in with others present in the whole timetable.

    Anyway, it was fun for me and the operators and I hope I can manage another before hot weather arrives.

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  • jbvb
    replied
    Bill (belatedly, but December has been busy), almost everything I know about Bay Ridge is from one NHRHTA Shoreliner article, and I don't recall it saying much about operating it, so thanks.

    Last night four of us ran the Saturday timetable and only one train got annulled. This was because Erich kept on running the 2nd Bexley Goat well into overtime. There were only a couple of weighbill mis-reads, indicating I need to finish the job of converting them to spreadsheet output.



    Erich and Larry co-operate on moves in Bexley yard.



    Thorsten's steam-hauled Portsmouth Local approaches Bexley Tunnel. Mieke finished the skirts she was working on, but I hadn't glued this one's velcro in place yet.

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  • nhguy
    replied
    The railroad looks great. It also looks like a lot of fun to operate.

    Bay Ridge Yard in New York operated by the New Haven had a similar track arrangement. The yard was divided in half by the 4 track mains. Two west and two East. They had it worked out where in a nutshell they made transfers on each side of the yard and crossed over the mains to deliver and pick up cuts of cars during the day. Most of the regular switching took place at night as did most freight movement. Bill

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  • rca2
    replied
    Looks great, James.

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  • Orionvp17
    replied
    James,

    I agree with Mark. It looks like the guys had fun on a very nicely done layout! Congratulations!

    Pete

    in Michigan

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  • MarkF
    replied
    Those are some great overall shots of your layout James. It really looks nice!

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  • jbvb
    replied
    Three friends came over this afternoon; we ran most of the Saturday AM schedule. At a clock ratio of 4:1 with a couple of pauses for

    mechanical issues, we ran out of time for the last two passenger trains.



    Here Jeff runs a light eastbound Portsmouth Local past Rowley. I hope this area gets evaluated for the Scenery AP soon.



    Thorsten is a bit taller than the builders of my attic anticipated 215 years ago. His Lynn Goat got half again as many cars as usual,

    but there was enough track to handle them. It just earned his crew some overtime.

    The mechanical issues were a power turnout I had to adjust, an incompletely soldered rail joint and a stock rail - closure rail

    jumper which went open circuit. I'll fix that last one tomorrow. Meanwhile, after looking at and cleaning up some misdelivered cars,

    I'm making the errors into another dozen spreadsheet weighbills. Their 'block' field seems to be reducing confusion.

    Leave a comment:


  • jbvb
    replied
    During a layout tour visit at the PSW Region convention in Scottsdale, AZ, the subject of local freight operation during times of heavy

    passenger traffic came up. I mentioned West Lynn as an example, and thought it would be worth posting a few details here:



    The five tracks across the middle of West Lynn are, from the top: West Lead, Westbound Main, Middle, Eastbound Main, East Lead. All of

    these, plus the yard, existed in the prototype. One of the reasons I decided to model West Lynn was the plausible justification for a fan-out

    that made my Draw staging (left) a useful length. My Middle runs to the staging track used by Bexley-Boston haulers, the others

    are all passenger.

    West Lynn's switcher originates at Bexley (below, on the opposite side of the room). It may move cars between Bexley and West Lynn,

    but most traffic is set out and picked up by the Bexley-Boston haulers.

    West Lynn yard (upper right corner) lets the B&M switcher get things organized without entering the main and offers some other car

    spots to switch. The upper two tracks serve Acme Fast Freight and West Lynn Team, leaving 6- and an 8-car tracks for sorting incoming

    and outgoing blocks.

    Cars are interchanged with GE's in-plant RR on the two 'receiving' tracks in front of Bldg. 41. I haven't built the rest of GE's track,

    but when I do a 44-tonner will move cars between receiving and other internal spurs. If I need to liven things up, I'll add a few

    'intra-plant' moves requiring GE's loco to cross the main to the Gear Works.

    The B&M switcher usually has to foul two westbound passenger staging tracks (left upper) when switching 'receiving', but this hasn't

    been a problem yet. It only has to do runarounds when taking cars across the main to the Gear Works and Fuel spurs. Because at

    most two runarounds are needed per shift and they can be done on either side of the mains, it hasn't been a problem. Some operators

    choose to saw through the Middle track, others use the crossover at the bottom right.

    So far, the track shown has been adequate for up to maybe 12 cars in and out in a shift, while 8-12 passenger trains and one hauler

    round trip pass through.

    Leave a comment:


  • MarkF
    replied
    Looks and sounds like a successful session James! Every session with generate some sort of 'to-do' list for us. Fix one thing, and something else goes afoul. I guess it's to be expected. But all in all, it sounds and looks like a good time had by all.

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  • jbvb
    replied
    Thanks, Pete & Bob. I reduced the radio shadow issue by 1) moving the dongle to a socket closer to the edge of the layout (but still quite close to the command station) and 2) telling the operators to wave the throttle below their waists (where there's less layout in the way) if they don't get a response with it at eye level.

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  • rca2
    replied
    Congratualtions James. The yellow resin board parts look good. What did you end up doing about the chimney radio shadow problem? Bob.

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  • Orionvp17
    replied
    Sounds like a Success to me, James! Congratulations!

    Pete

    in Michigan

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  • jbvb
    replied
    Thanks, Mieke. First picture, L to R: Tom W., Bruce R., me, Thorsten E., Jack D. and Rick M's left arm. Second picture, front to rear is Thorsten waiting while Jack and Rick add the West Lynn pick-up to the Oil Job. Jack is the visiting B&M modeler I organized the session for, Bruce and Tom are very experienced operators, Thorsten has run here before and it was Rick's first time. Mieke watched, helped me do the 'host' thing and talked with us, but isn't quite ready to take up a throttle (I hesitate to draw her away from structures and into 'things that move and the electrons that move them').

    We ran the Saturday schedule; Bruce took the all-passenger throttle for his first time running the Eastern Route, Tom ran a mix of passenger & freight, Thorsten ran road freights, Jack & Rick teamed up to run the 2nd Bexley Goat, followed by the 2nd Lynn Goat. I was Towerman & Dispatcher plus a little Road Foreman, Yardmaster and Section Foreman. At 4:1, passenger operations were relaxed and the freight crews had enough time to do pretty much everything. When the main rod of the Narragansett's 2-8-4 came unscrewed in Bexley yard, we looked at the real time and decided to end the evening rather than run the Theatre Train.

    - The attic was hot but not impractically so (today's much cooler, but New England weather guarantees surprises). I'll get a second fan and install both better before trying this again.

    - The layout ran pretty well, but there were a couple of places where the track needed climate adjustments.

    - The engine terminal block had no power; today's review/repair found a feeder I'd pulled loose running the signal power buss.

    - Vacuuming the track, a trip around with the cleaning stick and cleaning locomotive wheels was enough, 2 mo. after the last session. I'd run the mains a few times in between, but there hadn't been any yard activity.

    - The yellow joint bars at block gaps helped; there was a lot less feeping from the circuit breakers.

    - No closed rail gaps, thanks to the styrene I'd glued into the joints last winter. A couple of derailments where I hadn't cleaned up the gauge well enough, but they're fixed now.

    Leave a comment:

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