Monday, July 14, 2014

2nd Operating Session - July 12th, 2014

On Saturday another St. Clair Sub milestone was reached... the first full length operating session. Chris Palimeri, his son, and father joined me for a three hour session that I knew would put the layout through its paces and hopefully reveal gremlins that we all know exist.

Session Recap
Luckily the gremlins were minor such as plastic couplers don't do well when they are on the lead car of a 14 car train operating conventional not distributed power...... A few other items such as ground throw adjustments, rail joiners, and yardmaster lists will need some fixing but the railroad operated as intended and everyone had a great time. 

The session lasted roughly 2.5 hours operating 8 trains that constituted around 100 car moves. My sequential operations plan had 13 trains to operate and we came close to meeting this. The only trains we did not operate specifically were one manifest and four locals but the yardmaster did block them for running. I will finish up operating the layout so it will be ready to start a new car cycle with the next session hopefully sometime in August. I consider this a great success as the layout operating sequentially allows for it to be operated by 1, 2, 3, or 4 operators.

Session Resources
Helping the operators during the session I utilized many resources that I had collected from hands on experience on other layouts and other layouts.

Item A - Train Profile Card (Credit to Steve Rodie)
   Provides instructions regarding specific train operations over layout including info such as train length, HP requirements, and any special instructions.
Back on train profile card on left for M-BAPH and front of train profile card on right for L-BAUH.

Item B - Locomotive Card
   Provides operator information about the prototype and model such as horsepower, address, and functions.
Example of locomotive cards - besides the multiple DCC functions listed, the grayed "Locomotive Card" cell help differentiate between sound / non-sound.

Item C - Operators Handbook (Credit to John Parker)
   The handbook (50% complete) provides operators an overview, Subdivision timetable, and station by       station diagrams to assist with location awareness and switching assistance. The diagrams in the handbook match up with the station guides mounted on the fascia for each switching zone or station.

Here are a few pics taken during before the session..... need to do better at getting more during the session.

T-EXBA-05 "Transfer Job - LSRC Essexville to MCIS Bay Yard" with GP38-2 3823 and 3GS21B 2101 at Bay City awaiting permission from St. Clair Dispatcher to proceed out to west end of Bay Yard in order to shove in interchange cut they returned with. 

Tail end of T-EXBA-05 at Bay City. There was a larger than normal cut of cars that interchanged from LSRC. Looking at the manifest 16 of the cars originated off the Virginia Midland in Virginia. Please see the link below to take a look at these cars fresh from the contract Virginia Midland Shops (weathering / decalling) work.

Have a safe summer -


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