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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I'm still not sure where model operations should go...

Mike Oates came over today and we ran a couple of trains. Mike was the engineer, and also the conductor. In other words, I let him drive the train, as well as come up with the moves. I acted as a switchman - uncoupling cars, coupling cars (and airbrakes!), and throwing the switches.

First, train #2 out of Green Springs.

The train is built in the yard and moves out to Occoquan, where's there a couple of trailing point switches to get off to an easy start. It moves on to Jackson; it has a facing point and a couple of trailing points. It makes for some interesting and challenging moves.

Here Mike moves the gondola that we brought from Green Springs into the facing point siding of the Miracle Chair Company.


The train leaves Jackson and heads off to the rest of the un-modeled J&B.

What really happens, is that it pulls into a passing siding on the return loop and is done for the day. Earlier, I had staged Train #1 on the same loop. We had enough time, so we decided to run it. It runs the same path as Train #2, (there's not a lot of choice on my layout), but it runs in the opposite direction. Jackson was our first stop and wasn't as hard to switch with our current orders. When we got around to Occoquan, we had 3 facing switches to deal with, so it was quite a different challenge.

When we pulled into Green Springs, I found out I just didn't have the room that I thought I did. We had to break the train and only bring in a piece at a time to handle the limited room.


I had been working on trackwork improvements and it showed, at least to me. ;) Unfortunately, I still had a few derailments. They'll be taken care of in a future work session. Mike and I discussed the possibility of extending my yard by about only six inches or so. Right now, the sidings are just too short. Capacity of 2 7/8 cars could go to an easy 3 cars with just a short extension. It would also allow me to have the arrival/departure track hold five cars plus a caboose, instead of four. It looks like something I can easily do, so it will be the next improvement.

The key point is that we had a great time on a fairly small layout. I was quite please.
 

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Bruce,

Nice post. I always forget to take pictures when I have running sessions with friends. We just end up having too much fun to remember taking pictures..

Mark

PS- I think you were the brakeman, since you hooked up the airbrake lines, too.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Had another great operating session today. Mike stopped by about 9:30 to help set up and we finished putting everything away by 1.

We tried a few different things. Each of us took a train; Mike had train #2, I had train #1.


I set up a meet in Occoquan. Train #2 out of Green Springs was told to wait in the hole for Train #1.



My new yard extension was great. It's now big enough to accept my 5 car trains, and holds an extra car on each track.

My new yard office helps things move smoothly.


I really like the way the 10 wheeler with the BBT drive operates. Here loco #4 pulls train #1 across the trestle before entering the town of Jackson.


I had not used two sidings in Jackson before, so I put them into operation this session. One as a produce house, the other as a team track; though there are not any buildings there yet. This also gave me a reason to drop off a reefer.

I used most of my rolling stock today; 26 cars out on the layout. There's still some room, but not much. Now, I'm confident I could have 2 teams of two operate on my railroad.
 

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RE: More operations on the J&B

I'm seriously looking into replaceing my Big Hauler drives with the BBT drives. Glad to hear that they're working out for you. Are you running sound with them, what kind if you do?
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Dave,
I do have sound - I use Sierra in that locomotive.

The drive comes with 4 magnets on the driver already in place, so synchronizing the chuff is quite easy.

This one also has RCS installed. I am constantly amazed how smooth it operates; I especially like centering it on my turntable... just a single press and she slowly moves.

I am really getting even more fired up about operation. I'm just tickled that my layout is working out so well. :D
 

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Bruce

I liked your pics and writeup of a two train ops approach. You have shown that with a bit of careful planning, a whole lot of operation is possible with a modest amount of track and equipment.

Perhaps you could add a few words about how you develop the freight car movements on the J&B and also, was the timing for the meet at Occoquan working or did one train have a long wait?

Is also good to see that you have someone local who shares your interest in ops ...

Looking forward to seeing you and Jean again - the next time at Ric Golding's fall ops session coming up at the beginning of November.

Regards ... Doug
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
BTW, the timing worked out pretty well.

Mike had to wait a little bit in Occoquan, but part of that delay was because I went inside to get the Dremel and grind down some points. I hadn't used those sidings in awhile, nor had I checked them out before the session.

We ended up finishing at the same time.
 

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RE: More operations on the J&B

Bruce is being modest. A few days before this session we got hit with the remnants of a hurricane that dumped 8" inches of rain on us in a day. The fact that the J&B ran as well as it did , was due in no small part to Bruce’s engineering skills.

The way Bruce has designed the layout, there are probably several ways it could be operated and a number of schedules that could be run. Repetition will not be a factor.

Mike
 
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