Op Session Feb 18 2019


Just a single photo from the Feb 18 op session. We finally had a full crew, enough to fully staff all the positions. That meant more mainline traffic to keep the dispatcher really busy.

Here Craig juggles 5 trains at the same time. By all reports he did a great job.

Vince also brought by and test fitted another section for the Ohio River bridge.


I think it was a great time, although sometimes a little hectic.

I think the biggest item to over come when it comes to dispatching is realizing you may have cross-overs that can make your life so much easier!! Bob helped me with that about half way through the session.

I gotta say too the team in Havens Yard and Ricksburg did great!! Trains were flowing in and out regularly.

I love it when a plan comes together!!


Here is my not very quality shot! John is shoving the Scarlet Shifter back to Lynnwood.


Haha, looks like nobody was taking any pictures, I know the reason I wasn’t was because of how much I was just enjoying running. With that said, a single shot of a busy dispatcher is pretty telling of how much people got to run. I even saw my first meet on the Kayford Branch!

Like the previous couple, I did get a few phone pictures while I was running Bob’s new Alco, the A&O 475.

Train 250, the Linnwood Shifter, crosses the bridge at Union Gap as it starts up after receiving a green signal

Upon arrival in Linnwood, while switching, I decided to hold an impromptu photoshoot at the Linnwood tower. The two green dots above the coupler are some sort of reflection of the headlights through a filter on my phone

A wider view of A&O 475 at the Linnwood tower, with Craigmark Transport Company looming large in the background

I also have a video of the train starting up and departing Union Gap, but will have to figure out some way of posting it here.


Okay, so since I couldn’t just upload the video directly here, I went to my only other option: YouTube. Because I had to do it that way, I went to John C and asked him to send me all the video he took at the session, and this allowed me to put together a 5:45 video of all the clips we both shot.

The video can be viewed here:

In the video, we see a couple scenes from the hump in Millport, a few scenes of train 250 between Union Gap and Linnwood, and Craig giving Kirk “the elder” a tutorial on the CTC machine. Plus, there’s one random scene I threw in from a previous session of the shay switching cars at the mine at Brooks.

I added titles for anyone who may view this with no previous info on the railroad.

Also, here’s a shot John took in the Millport aisle before starting his video.

And with that, t-t-t-t-t-that’s all I’ve got.


Wow, Junior, and John, the video is really neat. I should operate that RR someday!

Craig’s CTC tutorial with “Kirk, The Elder” is especially fun. What a great toy we’ve been blessed with. Not to mention great friends.

I’ll email the owner to get going on some scenery, as soon as he finishes his current caboose project.

Looking forward to doing it all again on the 9th.



Great video Kirk and John! I like it.

You almost made me sound somewhat coherent and almost like I know what I’m talking about. :slight_smile:


Kirk Jr -

Great video!

The two green dots are from a reflection off the highly-reflective surface of the silicon sensor in your cell phone camera. Back in the day, film had what was called an “anti-halation backing” that was dissolved during development. The purpose was to absorb most of the light that managed to get through the film emulsion without being intercepted. That pretty much stopped a reflection.

But modern CMOS digital sensors have a surprisingly reflective front surface. So light focused on the sensor can beam back and off the rear element(s) of the lens, then back to the sensor. That’s the source of the green ghosts.

You got green spots because the C425 headlights are so bright and the cell phone used a silicon digital sensor. I wanted the headlights to look like flashlights during night ops (you haven’t experienced that yet, except sort-of in Linnwood, the dark “rain room.”)

How do I claim to know this? I worked as a “color scientist” on a digital camera design team for a Fortune 500 company, Basically, I was responsible for the overall quality of the “photo finishing” internal camera firmware.


Thanks for that, Bob! That explanation makes the most sense of everything I’ve ever been given, and it also explains why in my early days of shooting a DSLR, when I was advised to have a filter on to protect my lens, I always had green dots, but never had them when there was no filter on. It also explains some of the low-light video I’ve shot.

Here’s a couple examples of the early, filter days…

A BNSF switcher in Hastings, NE, makes a pickup from JM Eagle in town. This was the only time I ever saw anything on this stretch. Also of note, the 3162 is one of only 5 BN(SF) locomotives given an extended, 5-man cab.

A Union Pacific manifest rounds a curve in Hastings, NE, near sunset. Before the line relocation in 1999, the train would’ve taken a left here and gone right through downtown, but now takes this line through the trees, and only across 1 grade crossing.

It didn’t take long to figure out why this was happening, and the filters came off quickly.


Nice photos! Yes, those are classic reflections, from the sensor to the flat rear surface of the filter, and back.

In the days of film, most camera shops tried to sell a bundle of accessories along with a camera and lens. That always included a cheap haze or UV filter for “protection.” Doing so increased the profit on the sale. All too often the practice continues today. I always advise folks to ditch the filter and always use the matching lens hood.