Rocky Op North, May 4, 2019

Saturday, May 4th, 2019 witnessed another milestone for A&O 2.0. It was 16 years ago, 2003, that A&O 1.0 hosted the Operations SIG event known as Rocky Op. Since then due to the travel distance and number of operations oriented layouts along Colorado’s Front Range, the event has been divided into alternating venues.

Being in northern Colorado, this was our year! The A&O was one of 15 layouts that enabled approximately 70 operators to enjoy three days of operation, a true “Op 'till you drop” experience.

Eleven visitors from near-and-far gathered about 9:15. We played for 3 hours, had Sloppy-Joe’s in the 70 degree weather on the deck, and continued into the afternoon. Seven A&O “regulars” were on-hand to assist to ensure that a good time was had by all.

While playing host, I did manage to squeeze off a few shots as the day progressed. I do wish I’d taken more. Anyone else with photos feel free to pile on to this post. And I do hope I got all the names correct. Sincere apologizes if not. Thanks to all for coming and being a part of special day!

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Lenza Wilson from Utah was our guest dispatcher for the day. Bob Sobol assisted him in the process. Really great job Lenza!

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Chris King railfans as #262 crosses the Ohio River and into the Buckeye State. Meanwhile on the opposite riverbank, an empty coal drag works it’s way up Coal Ridge Grade. Kayford coal branch, here it comes.

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Tom Gregory throttles back Millport bound #262 crosses Ohio Bridge, preparing for the stout River Grade descent. Vince Griesemer had just recently installed the remaining portions of the arched thru truss. Now to completing the portals and inner-connecting truss members. A urethene masterpiece!

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Kirk “Junior” Orndorff enjoys the view of the #400, the “Scarlet Shifter” as it crosses the St. George River bridge and is swallowed up by Franklin Tunnel. By now, the head end power is experiencing a downpour in Linnwood.

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Mark Linn works the International Paper Mill, supplying much needed wood chip and pulpwood. Across the aisle is Mt. Union and Rick Bacon’s amazing town project. Now to get the Poobah to finish the background scenery.

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Ricksburg Yard was managed very nicely by Gary Jordan. Vince worked Morrison and provided Gary with any needed assistance. Chris King (middle) watches his arriving train.

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#501 works it’s way thru the coal yard ladder in Ricksburg with raw coal destined for the prep plant at nearby Morrison. Yardmaster Gary Jordan in the distance.

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Chris King throttles down A&O GP30 #410 as he brings the King Coal Turn, a Ricksburg to Kayford run, to a stop. This Turn occupied much of Chris’ time on the A&O.

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Dean Ferris enjoys #328 up close and personal. This is a favorite railfan area as trains lean into the gentle curve cresting the Coal Ridge Grade. These hoppers are bound for barge loading at Glenn Forge, Ohio, but 328 still has some challenging terrain to cover before that happens.

Here are a few more shots. As far as I could tell everyone had fun.

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An Alco FA-1 leads a string of empty hoppers into Linnwood.

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Dick Zeren with 261 in a nearly empty Linnwood yard.

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Steve Ackerman calls dispatch to unlock a switch so his PC Transfer can enter the mainline.

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Greg runs the hump yard assisted by Junior while Levi takes a break.

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Ricksburg yardmaster Gary Jordan has lined switches for Chris King’s GP30 that is heading back to the barn.

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Mark Linn clowns for the camera.

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Meet at Union Gap.

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Mill job.

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Steve runs the Appliance job in Glenn Forge.

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Dean Ferris dumping coal at the Hatfield rotary.

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No job is complete until the paperwork is done. We do it prototypically. We don’t need no steenkin’ magnets!

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Dispatcher Lenza finally had a chance to run a coal train behind an Alco C424M.

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Tom has almost finished the Fillmore Heights switch job.

Looks like a great time guys!! And the bridge looks awesome too! Great job Vince.

Check out Dean Ferris’ Oregon Joint Line videos on YouTube, a very impressive N scale layout in Texas. Looks like everyone had a great time. Smiles all around

Craig -
Here’s a short video of your beautiful GP35 running downgrade with the dynamic brake through the Overland pin-connected truss, headed for Ricksburg. This engine saw a lot of use.

Link to short video at Bob’s Smugmug account

Thanks for sharing that Bob. Looking forward to the next op session :slight_smile:

Good stuff from everyone! I didn’t do much in terms of camera stuff this time, so I’m glad you guys got some. Here’s the two I got from the briefing.

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~wko