Saturday, 14 April 2018

UPBNSF JD Ops session - 14/4/18

Yesterday afternoon I held the scheduled 2 monthly operations session on the UPBNSF Joint Division. There were 16 starters for the session.

Ops session Gang. Missing Duncan Cabassi (taking photo) and Jeff Grenfell, (running late)
The session commenced at 2:30pm with the official opening of the Rogers Run branch line. A small opening ceremony was held, with the official cutting of the SIGN by no other than ROGER. In recognition of this momentous occassion , the UPBNSF JD management had a directors special available for the first run out to the PGE power plant and back.

Looking at PGE Loop
Looking back at Boardman North

None other than ..."ROGER"

Upon completion of official ceremonies, the pre-start was held and then we proceeded to get into the operations session. We ran 22 trains for the session and considering that some of these trains take 2 hrs to complete that was no mean feat!! Just ask Steve O and John B how long the Millwood turn takes!!!

It was great to see Merv Bagnall run the first revenue train on the Rogers Run branch. Merv and I go back 35+ years and it was without question that he would get to engineer the first revenue train across the branch line.

Operations ran from 3:00pm to 6:30pm where we stopped for Pizza. Some said their good byes for the night and a few guys stayed on to do another hr of ops.

The night wasn't without a couple of issues. The premier train on the layout, the UP Potash train had multiple (and I mean multiple) uncoupling issues and the engines, all equipped with sound decided to play up going up the spiral. Considering this is the most expensive train on the layout in real dollars ...yours truly is not happy!!!! I've been onto the manufacturer of the potash cars regarding the uncoupling issue previously but to date have not had any success in remedying the problem. They are MT 1015's and the reliability on this freight car is abysmal.

I also had a similar issue with a unit grain train. On this occasion I just think the weight of the grain train cars is just way to light, so I'll try and address that issue over the coming days.

All in all outside of those frustrations, the ops session went pretty smoothly. Everybody seemed to enjoy themselves and the effort put into the paperwork side of administering the ops session is starting to pay off.

Photos below of Ops session.

BNSFMWB entering Yardley

Jeff (Yardmaster) working out his moves for the next train. T2 (Far end) is performing the switching

Cheney being switched by Alan


Anthony and Iain watching UPMEB
negotiate hangman curve

BNSFMWB passing Tyson meat
at Wallula East

Anthony and Darren working the
UPMEB at Wallula

Anthony and Darren working the 
UPMEB at Boardman

Steve and Wayne switching
Boardman Industries

King Laurie (Dispatcher extraordinaire)

And then there is the paperwork!
Your truly giving the pre start speech

 Thanks to all the participants. looking forward to the next ops in June.


  1. I had the pleasure of visiting your layout as part of the N Scale convention in 2015. Problem was it inspired me to come home and redevelop my layout and operating sessions. I note the photos of the 'paperwork' and that you appear to base it on JMRI Operations with the Manifest Creator over the top. In a future post would you mind covering the paperwork you use?

    1. Reg, thanks for your kind comments. I think that is a really good idea and I will put something together over the coming weeks.
      I would like to help you out with the JMRI / MC as I've done a significant amount of work interfacing it into my operations, so please if you would like more details perhaps its best to discuss via email. You can contact me at:

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