Tuesday, 13 February 2018

UPBNSF Joint Division Feb 2018 Ops session

On Saturday 10th February we held the first ops session on the UPBNSF Joint Division for 2018. 14 people attended the session. 

This time to do something a little different, the session commenced with a short clinic on the virtues and possibilities of JMRI interfaced into model railroads. This was run by Martyn Jenkins. Everybody seemed to enjoy the clinic and my thanks goes to Martyn for having the show and tell.

After the clinic we had our usual Ops briefing and then commenced operations. It was a very HOT and humid Queensland day so I tip my hat to everybody for putting up with the warmth of the two sheds with minimal complaints. It must be the free beer I supply that keeps everybody happy!!!

The following personnel were at the ops session:

Darren Starkey, Jeff Grenfell, Trev Phillips, Martyn Jenkins, Steve Ord, Clive Collins, Malcolm Jenkins, Roger Henery, Anthony Palmer, Nev Ward, Matthew Batzloff, and Peter Pennycuick, James Costello.

The first thru train of the day. An eastbound empty coal train
There were no first timers this session so we got off to a fairly quick start to proceedings. The Ops ran for 6.5hrs with a break for Pizza at the 4hr mark. During this time we ran 19 trains on the layout. That may not seem like a lot but it takes a minimum of 40 minutes for the thru trains to complete their runs and the manifests can take 2-3 hrs to transit the layout. So everybody was suitably occupied throughout the session.

Malcolm and Peter are working the boardman local whilst
Mathew and Nev are negotisting the switching of the first
BNSF Manifest train at Boardman

We started the ops session just after 1:30pm. I had a dispatcher, Yardley yard master and engineer, crews for Manifests, through trains and a couple of locals to get proceedings happening. Oh and yours truly was the trouble shooter and Operations manager. 

Paperwork was issue and off we went. 

I have to say that this was probably the smoothest operations session I've had... So all the hard work that has gone on under the layout, planning the session and setting up pre session has paid off. The only real dramas during the session was 2 rail connections that caused some derailments and JMRI listening to the layout but not talking to the layout!

Rest easy guys, I've already fixed the rail alignment issue and the next session they will not be an issue. 

 Now for some Operations session photos:

Malcolm is working out his next move
by reviewing the Manifest for the Local
T2 is taking it all in whilst Jeff is assessing
the next Yardley switcher moves

Steve and Martyn have arrived at Yardley
with the WB Manifest. They will all be busy
switching for a bit

Steve is the Conductor of the Westbound
Manifest. Its just crossed Joso Trestle here

The Eastbound Manifest has made its way from Portland - Boardman - Wallula - Joso. It is now ascending the grade 1.3% grade to summit

As the session progresses the dispatcher has his hands full for short periods making sure the traffic flows across the layout. Darren Starkey the dispatcher for the night did a great job. Further - Yardley yard has to work. If it gets plugged then the rest of the division comes to a standstill. Fortunately Jeff and T2 did an awesome job of keeping traffic flowing....Great work guys!

Yardley Yard 
Another shot of the WB Manifest

Roger the dodger!!! Our resident "all things"
Malcolm and Peter have turnd their
attention to the Wallula Local

Just West of the EB Manifest a UP reefer train is
 high-balling through Wallula
Soon after the EB manifest has crossed Joso
The premier train on the layout, The Export
Potash train crosses Joso trestel

And rounds the curve along the Snake River

UP Potash negotiating the spiral. This is a 62 car train and needs special

Meanwhile back at Cheney we have a z-train
making its way westwards towards Portland

Another EB manifest heading East across Joso

Matthew is working out his switching moves for Yardley Yard

East Staging towards the end of the session

We stopped for Pizza at 6:45pm. Had a great chat and then people started to drift off back to their homes. A few guys stayed and we ran a couple more trains before shutting up shop at around 8:30pm.

Thanks to all the participants on Saturday night. I had a great time and by the looks at the smiles on your faces when you left you enjoyed ......the Pizza.
Already looking forward to the next session.

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