Sunday, January 4, 2015

Early January Update

Happy New Year everyone! This past week has been a fury of activity on and around the MCIS St. Clair Subdivision. One of my resolutions for the new year was to establish realistic schedules for operating sessions once a quarter. January 3rd marked (OPS03-15-01) operating session #3 / 2015 / 1st quarter. Overall the session went great and Uncle Murphy took it easy on us.

Op session stats:
Operators: 3 operators + me assisting as jack of all trades and extra board crew 
Duration: 4 hours : 30 minutes
Car moves: 132
Engines Utilized: 14
Trains Operated: 11 trains
Dispatching Method: Direct Traffic Control (DTC) with block signs, block cards, and verbal authority.

Balance on the layout was good and there is definitely room to add a 2-3 extra trains that can change each session such as unit train, dimensional, foreign detour, or officer specials.

Below are a few pictures taken of the session by one of the operators Jock Luckett.
Mike operating the M-BAMC-03 with a set of EMD SD22ECOs (Manifest - Bay City to Mackinaw City). To the right you can see the newly added trackage that serves the Bay Industrial Spur. That's me in the background acting as structures inspector looking for any bridge track issues. 

East end of Bay Yard looks quiet..... quite deceiving.
CSX 4842/4845 lead Q-GRPH-02 (Extended Manifest - Grand Rapids to Port Huron) up the helix. As part of a haulage agreement with the CSX this and the mirror returning Qs regularly see foreign high horsepower run through motors.
Tail end of the Q-GRPH-02 leaving Bay Yard and beginning the trek to Port Huron.

This is the upper deck 3 track east staging yard with Backdrop panel raised. For this session I kept it up for operator familiarization. In the foreground are two temporary tracks with car spotted at the Michigan Sugar Plant at Upper Huron.

Newly added this past week is the customer spur for Michigan Agricultural Commodities at Bay City. With two tracks and its own lead the facility can host entire unit trains of 12-14 cars. Normally smaller blocks are handled daily by the Y-BA04-XX (Bay City Industry Switcher)

View over looking the Bay City Division offices and main body of Bay Yard.

A nice perspective of the helix that connects the two levels of the layout. A neat part of the helix is the ability to stand up inside of it to view trains transiting and handle preventative maintenance. 
Thanks for checking out the update - check back this week for another update with layout panoramic views.


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