Saturday, 22 August 2015

August 2015 Ops session

Well the August ops session is now done and dusted. 

Thanks guys for making it a great night. As operations go the layout ran pretty smoothly and as far as I'm aware the administrative side (paperwork etc) worked to a treat, justifying the hard work on the lead into the session to ensure all the rolling stock was in the right location. 

Last night saw the introduction of two way radios to the ops session. What started out as a trial, soon became a milestone event and I am very pleased to have finally had a go at this next level of communications. The result was very pleasing and rewarding. I truly felt a bit like a dispatcher last night which was kind of cool!! 

Whilst our use of correct train "LINGO" needs refining, the comms via radio traffic is really cool. 

We ran for 4+ solid hours non stop and realistically only moved 40% of the trains on the layout. 1 x manifest train took 1.5 hrs to go from one end of the layout to the other, however the operator was kept busy the whole time....guess this gives a sense of distance.....hopefully.

At the end of the session Jeff ran a single flatcar with a CUBE sitting on the deck around the layout. We will post the dvd footage to my youtube and blog site when it has been edited. 

On closing we had an excellent debrief session over a couple of beers before everybody wet home.

Observations :
  • Cleaning track and engine wheels thoroughly before an ops session makes for happy operators
  • More locations for holding the clip boards
  • Turn the layout on and check the DCC system at least four hours before starting ops
  • Can now start reverting to single operator crews
  • Start an operator trainee program to be able to progress to solo ops
  • Cheat sheets required on digitrax loco acquiring
  • Yardley yard needs two switchers at times
  • Yardley yard switcher needs preview switch lists
  • Brakeman working ahead of the manifests preparing the pickups from the next location
  • Introduce...engine hustler position, Track inspection / maintenance train (vacuum car)
  • Introduce a derailment procedure (yet to be determined)
All in all I'm very happy with the session and you all can look forward to most of the above changes being introduced at the next ops session. Thanks to everybody
Laurie busy switching Walulla whilst Roger and Malcolm are sorting out there next freight run departing from West Staging 

BNSF Intermodal rounding a curve in Palouse Canyon

High up rounding a 180 degree curve nering Cheney is a UP MT coal train heading back East. At the same time a BNSF Manifest train is snaking its way down the Steep slopes of Palouse River Canyon

Some foreign road engines are a long way from home

Yardley Yard is a Hive of activity

Darren is in control a west bound ....checking his consist before departure from east staging

Jeff is checking out that his manifest train has the correct pickups before departing Spokane

Scrap steel gons to be interchanged with The Mud Bay and Southern

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