Results 1 to 6 of 6

Thread: First Session on the A&C

  1. #1
    Join Date
    May 2015
    Location
    Parker, CO
    Posts
    43
    Thanks
    9
    Thanked 154 Times in 23 Posts
    Mentioned
    2 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)

    Default First Session on the A&C

    I finally held the first official operating session on my N Scale Arizona & California Railroad on Dec 15, 2018. The session consisted of a two man crew switching the town of Blythe on the branchline. We only ran one train, the Blythe Local, but it took the crew about 2.5 hours to run the job, plus about half an hour of work before moving the train getting familiar with the trackwork, writing their switchlist, and prepping moves. I'm really glad they took the time to think ahead and didn't just grab the throttle right away.

    We had a few equipment issues, but overall things ran very well and the crew really enjoyed the job. We had one switch that had the a point pop off the throwbar, so I had to break out the soldering iron mid session. I have another switch which gets picked by the lead loco truck only in the diverging route, the only thing I can think of is guage on the loco, so that work order has been put in. Lastly, we had some couplers that didn't want to play well. All cars will be coming off the layout before the next session to make sure trucks roll properly and that couplers are greased and moving correctly. The locomotives ran beautifully and we never had any issues with power pickup or dead spots. It's definitely worth it to have a feeder to every piece of rail and to have powered frogs.

    The Blythe Local job mimics the prototype operations of the Arizona & California. The day starts with power staged in Blythe. The crews generally do all of their pulls in the morning and get cars classified by outbound destination, either Phoenix (EB) or Cadiz (WB). They should also spot any off spots that were left. Once they've got that done, they run up to Rice, CA to setout their cars for a mainline train to pick up later. At Rice, they'll find cars that were setout by yesterday mainline train destined for Blythe. They pull these cars back to town and get to work spotting the inbound cars. They'll either finish the work or die on the clock at this point.

    The car forwarding is a single CC&WB system that I developed in Excel. Each car on the railroad has a single waybill with all the information needed on it. This single waybill follows the car from staging until it is delivered. Once delivered, I pull the car card, and possibly the car off the layout, and replace with a new single sided waybill for the move back to staging. I mention I may pull the car... I've come to the conclusion that some open cars will have loads that are not removable; I enjoy modeling the rigging, chains, ties, etc... and it's easier to glue these things onto the cars/loads than to make them removable. In this case, once a loaded car is delivered, the car is then removed from the layout. With a single sided waybill, there is no need to put an empty car back on the layout, unless I want too. The same is true for empty cars that are loaded after being spotted. To determine the actual car forwarding, my Excel sheet randomly selects a number of cars from an industry to be spotted/pulled and I simply flip through the waybills and grab that number. This gives me some flexibility in the loading time of cars at industries and the spot/pull frequency. Everything is free flowing so I'm not dependent on trains arriving at certain locations at certain times to keep the car forwarding correct, as many computer programs do.

    Waybill by Douglas Midkiff, on Flickr

    This waybill shows that KCS 146, a three bay covered hopper is to be spotted at Arizona Grain. That industry ordered an empty car for loading, so this single sided waybill is an "Consigned Empty" waybill. Once spotted, and loaded, I'll replace the waybill with a "Transit Freight" waybill that shows loaded contents.

    I'm also using a single waybill box at a location rather than one at each industry. This simulates a yard office where everything is stored and then the crew gets only a switchlist to work. I hate shuffling car cards when I operate, but love the freedom of the system, this is my compromise. This one box has four slots: Pickup, Off Spot, Hold, and Setout. Hopefully these are pretty self explanatory, but as I found out, there are still questions as the operators didn't quite follow what I was trying to accomplish. Pickups are cars that are already at the industries and need to be pulled on this job. Off Spot cars are cars that need to be spotted at the industry, however, the last crew had no space at the industry, so they are waiting in an off spot; these have priority over anything coming inbound on other trains. Hold cars are cars that are located at the industries and need to remain. Setout cars are the cars that the crew has spotted during this session. At the beginning of a session, the setout box should be empty. At the end of a session, the Pickup box should be empty. Of course, if a crew dies on the clock, there may be work left undone.

    Car Card Box by Douglas Midkiff, on Flickr

    Onto some photos of the session..

    Blythe Flyover by Douglas Midkiff, on Flickr
    An overview of Blythe. The tracks to the right going into the wall are the end of line and Arizona Grain, a real industry. Moving back along the line, you can see Five Star Pallet, another real industry, where the boxcar is spotted. Opposite that is Grothe Scrap, a fictional industry. The large warehouse with the two boxcars is Searls Appliance, another fictional industry. The line curves around Searls and heads toward Blythe Yard. Hard to see from this angle, but Bol Concrete is behind Searls on the interior of the peninsula, a fictional industry. RDO Equipment is also behind Searls, inside the curve to the wall, a real industry. The line continues down the wall and curves above the helix in the back, where you can see the inbound cars sitting in Rice.

    Blythe Local Power by Douglas Midkiff, on Flickr
    Today's power, a pair of GP35's.

    Blythe Yard by Douglas Midkiff, on Flickr
    This is Blythe Yard. The foremost track is Toshin Trading, a real industry.

    RDO Equipment Bol Concrete by Douglas Midkiff, on Flickr
    A shot of RDO Equipment on the left and Bol Concrete on the right.

    Searls Appliance by Douglas Midkiff, on Flickr
    This is Searls Appliance with four doors spaced to receive up to 60-ft boxcars.

    Inbound Outbound by Douglas Midkiff, on Flickr
    I unfortunately do not have the trackwork completed at Rice yet. So, the crew had to pull the inbound cars into Blythe before pushing the outbound cars out. This exchange should be done in Rice, not Blythe, but it worked out for the session. The inbound cars are on the far track, and the outbound cars on the near track.

    Pushing outbound cars by Douglas Midkiff, on Flickr
    Here the crew is pushing the outbound cars through the crossover and back up the line.

    I've also got a couple of videos from the session up on my Facebook page. If I can find a good host for them (welcome to any suggestions), I'll link them as well; I may end up creating a YouTube page at some point...

    Let me know if you have any questions. It was great to see the railroad come to life and watch a couple of other operators work the job after I've done it so many times, both in my head and with the throttle.

    Doug
    Doug M.
    Modeling the Arizona & California Railroad in N Scale


    Visit my blog at parkerlocoworks.blogspot.com to see more of my models
    Visit my Facebook page www.facebook.com/nscalearzc to see more of my layout build

  2. The Following 20 Users Say Thank You to parkerlocoworks For This Useful Post:


  3. #2
    Join Date
    Feb 2013
    Location
    Sequim, WA
    Posts
    3,096
    Blog Entries
    1
    Thanks
    10,297
    Thanked 4,509 Times in 1,825 Posts
    Mentioned
    92 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)

    Default

    Thanks for the glimpse of your railroad! I've been looking forward to seeing something of it.

    Based on the quality of your locomotives, it's no surprise to me that the layout operates so well.

    Are the switches nos. 8-10?

  4. The Following User Says Thank You to Paul Schmidt For This Useful Post:


  5. #3
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    Nebraska
    Posts
    4,991
    Thanks
    6,960
    Thanked 8,686 Times in 2,810 Posts
    Mentioned
    183 Post(s)
    Tagged
    2 Thread(s)

    Default

    Doug,
    Thanks for posting your Op session. Congratulations on a successful session
    Like Paul mentioned, It's good to see the detailed photos and the explanation of it, helps to understand it better.

    Looking forward to more pics and more sessions. Maybe one day I can make it to one of them.
    The Little Rock Line blog


    “Never argue with an idiot. They will only bring you down to their level and beat you with experience." George Carlin

  6. The Following User Says Thank You to Allen H. For This Useful Post:


  7. #4
    Join Date
    May 2015
    Location
    Parker, CO
    Posts
    43
    Thanks
    9
    Thanked 154 Times in 23 Posts
    Mentioned
    2 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)

    Default

    Thanks Paul. I much prefer getting work done on the railroad as opposed to writing posts like this, but I do need to be better about it. The whole point to share the layout with others and have them operate. It’s always open to anyone that wants to see it. The switches here are all different sizes and are custom laid to fit the space. Most of the tangent switches are no. 6, they look larger because they are proper geometry from FastTracks. The curved switches are anywhere from no. 6 to no. 10, just depends on what flows well.

    Thanks Allen. I’m glad I got this post up, but what a pain! You’re always welcome, and the best part of my system is that an op session can be staged very quickly for anyone that wants to come play/work.
    Doug M.
    Modeling the Arizona & California Railroad in N Scale


    Visit my blog at parkerlocoworks.blogspot.com to see more of my models
    Visit my Facebook page www.facebook.com/nscalearzc to see more of my layout build

  8. The Following 2 Users Say Thank You to parkerlocoworks For This Useful Post:


  9. #5
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    Nebraska
    Posts
    4,991
    Thanks
    6,960
    Thanked 8,686 Times in 2,810 Posts
    Mentioned
    183 Post(s)
    Tagged
    2 Thread(s)

    Default

    @parkerlocoworks
    This was copied from your FB post using "copy image address"


    The Little Rock Line blog


    “Never argue with an idiot. They will only bring you down to their level and beat you with experience." George Carlin

  10. The Following User Says Thank You to Allen H. For This Useful Post:


  11. #6
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    Location
    Lexington, KY
    Posts
    16,788
    Blog Entries
    16
    Thanks
    4,630
    Thanked 12,869 Times in 5,375 Posts
    Mentioned
    232 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)

    Default

    Congratulations! Looks like a very fun operating session. Thanks for sharing
    Never mistake a guy who talks a lot for a guy who has something to say...

    CH&FR Site and Blog: http://www.chfrrailroad.net and http://blog.chfrrailroad.net
    Appalachian Railroad Technology: http://www.apprailtech.com


Similar Threads

  1. Asigning jobs for an ops session
    By Allen H. in forum Operations
    Replies: 45
    Last Post: 15th Aug 2017, 08:28 PM
  2. How to use an interchange in an op session
    By OutOfTheArmchair in forum Operations
    Replies: 10
    Last Post: 5th May 2016, 03:42 PM
  3. coke works video, op session!
    By DJSTRAINS in forum Layouts, Design, & Planning.
    Replies: 2
    Last Post: 7th Apr 2016, 11:31 PM
  4. Good Operating Session
    By TwinDad in forum Operations
    Replies: 0
    Last Post: 3rd Aug 2015, 11:34 AM
  5. First personal op session
    By bnsf6951 in forum Operations
    Replies: 17
    Last Post: 1st Mar 2013, 07:50 PM

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •