Wednesday, September 28, 2016

Op session no.7

We had a great visiting crew last weekend for the largest operating session, yet. Nine operators put the railroad through their expert paces. Some minor hiccups, but nothing catastrophic, so I will count that as a success.

Most (all?!) played the Brakeman! game with the newly created action figures:

The Brakeman! game is about modeling the actions of the train crew. If there is an action like throwing a switch, uncoupling or coupling a car, unlocking a gate, etc., there must be one of the crew on the ground within an uncoupling tool's length in order to perform that action. In conjunction with momentum and braking in effect on the locomotive, this slows operations down a lot.

Following are some candid shots from the session:

Keith Jordan and Lance Mindheim debate the merits of something. I think we decided the world would survive.
Tom Pearson repairs several cars in place while Denny Taylor and Larry Sternberg switch the Docks Job. Jim Diaz and Kirk Baer work the Float job. 
Chuck Hitchcock and Tom Lawler figure out the HBS yard - the hardest job on the layout...?
Maneuvering the slip switch ladder in the middle of the HBS Yard. 

Kirk eyes the next move while Jim drops float cars in the float yard.
At Maxwell House Coffee Plant: "I'm pretty sure that car goes here." "Are you really sure?" "My brakeman doesn't want to walk all the way over there unless you are sure."
Denny guides Larry to the American Export docks.
"Maxwell House has too many outbound cars for this little 44-tonner." 
Paul Dolkos weighs in on the serious discussion. 

Later that same day... the yard crew at Tommy Holt's was Kirk, Keith and Paul. The GGM, AP, EXP trick in the schedule went really smoothly. No switching on Diner Siding (Tommy was looking), but eastbound trains did depart through there to keep the B Lead clear. It was a really smooth session and everyone left with all of their fingers and toes.

Monday, September 26, 2016

Op session No.6

A quick recap of op session no.6:
Mike Barrett at 27th Street clears the car float, then fills it up again.

The Harlem Station after Barrett's completion of work before he moved over to 27th St. 
Steve Jackobs heads out of the yard to switch the HBS industries.
David Petersen (left) and Steve Jackobs (right) dropping their pickups in the HBS Yard.

Barrett, Jackobs, Petersen were on shake down duty operating the new 27th Street Lehigh station, Erie Harlem and the HBS industry jobs, but no yard this time. This was a last minute gig that conflicted with a large train show an hour away, so I didn't expect to get a lot of takers, but I needed to have trains run to find some more problems before the next session. The original idea was to have a stress test since I can now handle 11 people, which is what I was gearing up for the following weekend.

No big surprises, and mostly it confirmed work load balancing and how much time it takes to complete jobs. After this is was back to work on converting another locomotive to battery power, adding a car float and a bunch of battery charging for the next session...