Op Session Dec 31 2018


Today was another op session, but not so serious. This was an opportunity for friends to get time with the layout and run trains in a relaxed atmosphere, with “training wheels” as requested. A few were first-time visitors, others harkened back to A&O 1.0. We started arriving a bit before 9 AM and ran with a pizza lunch break until about 3 (maybe longer, that’s when I left due to icy roads and snow.)

Kirk “Junior” spent most of the session dispatching.

Well after lunch Craig sat down and started “training” his older brother Mark in the nuances of dispatching. When I “logged off” Mark was flying solo.

Meanwhile Cody waited for the DS to let him back on the mainline after switching interchange cars in Mount Union.

This may be too silly, but when I came around Point Vincent to see a collection of folks at the entrance to the main yards, somehow it seemed like “Washington crossing the Delaware!”

Meanwhile, in Linnwood, the yard was full of traffic for a little while. A N&W GP35 familiar to 1.0 operators runs on the passing while new Also FAs burble two tracks over.

Kirk “the Elder” switches 28 linear feet of International Paper with an SW9 equipped with a Loksound decoder and Tang Band 2008S speaker module.

David conducts a class in unloading live coal loads at the coal at the Whiting Rotaside dumper. This involves coordinated moves of 3 different locomotives, the road engine that brought the loads, an SW9 shoving loads onto the platform, and a second SW9 that trims empties and tacks them onto what was the “nose” of the road engine for a return to Ricksburg.

Rick Bacon and his son Levi brought work-in-progress buildings for downtown Mount Union. Here we see the Union Hall and interior “cassette” illuminated by battery power. They are amazing scratch-built buildings!

Rick brought over a box of blocks to build a retaining wall in Mount Union. These started out as something inexpensive he found at Home Despot, brought home, broke apart into chunks, and painted.

That’s all for now. As near as I could tell, everyone had a lot of fun during a very relaxed day of operations. Towards the end of the day, a lot of folks hit the road due to a snow storm and reports of ice building on the roads this new year’s eve.


Cool shots, looks like a lot of learning and fun is happening. I’d like to point out Cody was stopped at the red signal because Ricksburg had just gotten 2 trains in and couldn’t take him yet! Haha

Dispatching certainly doesn’t allow for many photos, so here’s a couple phone pictures I got during the session.

Here’s a panoramic look at the dispatcher’s board at roughly 10 AM real-time. From left to right, we have Craig’s coal train, 329, which has just finished unloading at the rotary. He has given me back 15 and is now crossing over to take the main up to Jay. At Jay, we have train #1, the Floridian, approaching Ridge and lined into Linnwood for a station stop and a meet with Jake’s through freight. Approaching Union Gap is train 263, which will be held at Mt Union until Ricksburg can take it.

There are only 4 or 5 people left in the whole basement as Rick Bacon pulls the afternoon PC(NYC) turn onto the Ohio Bridge. He will run around the train and make his way into staging, then I would leave.

Once Craig posts the pictures he took, I’ll post the ones I took before and after with my Nikon, when I was fortunate enough to catch the prototypes in action (and the cold!).


Well…I was just sitting down to edit some pictures, started up my conversion software (to convert from RAW to DNG files for my Elements 14). All is right in the world…deleted the old files from the flash drive and time to start editing :slightly_smiling_face:
Then I realized I duplicated the RAW import from my other folder on the camera. GAH!! So no shots from me for this go around. Sorry guys. Had some good shots too.

I’ll see what I can get figured out for the next one.

But moral of the story…don’t delete files from your flash drive until you KNOW you have the correct files converted!

(hangs head in shame!)