Dec 28, 2019

Operations in Nov

December has been a difficult and crazy month for us, including the passing of my Mom right before Christmas.  I cancelled my op session for Dec-28, but we did have a session earlier in Nov.  Here's some photos:

RGS 43 in Durango, being pulled from the roundhouse for a run to Ridgway. 

RGS 43 in Durango, being coaled and prepped for a run to Ridgway.

RGS 43 and her train departing Durango.

A mixed train is arriving at Ophir, with a reefer to drop at the depot. Here, the train crosses the main highway into Ophir.

Sitting on the siding just north of Ophir, the front portion of the train has been uncoupled, pulled forward, and then run around and coupled behind the coaches. This cut is about to be pulled backwards - with the reefer on the end, which gets pushed into the Ophir depot spur.

Reefer delivered on the Ophir depot spur! (actual depot coming soon... )

With the reefer delivered, the train is reassembled, and here is pulling out of the siding's south end - climbing over the Ophir high line toward Lizard Head.

A wider shot - the mixed train is on the upper track, leaving the high line and continuing the climb to Lizard Head. Another train is on the lower line, climbing toward Ophir.

The mixed train - now beyond Lizard Head - is descending into Rico.

The mixed train - now beyond Lizard Head - is passing thru the cut at Burns Canyon, about to enter Rico.

The mixed train at the south end of the Rico yard.

The mixed train has arrived in Ridgway, and it's power - RGS 43 - is pulling into the engine servicing area.
  RGS 71 picking up a car near the Telluride enginehouse.

 A wider shot - with RGS 71 at the Telluride enginehouse in the center, the cut into Rico at the top of the photo, and Durango in the distance.   

 The end of the session sometimes includes a rather non-prototypical of SP Daylight streamliners; here's one of them beginning the climb into Telluride, at night.

Another shot from the nightime portion of this session - here's a train waiting to enter Rico from the south end.

Oct 27, 2019

Night operations?

So, I hosted a couple sessions for the local Chicagoland RPM meet in Oct, but due to poor weather, distance, and maybe some mix-ups in signup, had no takers.  But some local guys came by to help host, and we ended up having a great time.

An early goal of the layout was to enable night lighting, and perhaps even operating at night.  With the addition of a few penlights, we actually did operate - nearly 1.5 hrs - and had a blast.  It's hard to photograph in the dark, but here's some photos.

Watching the trains climb through the dark, lonely mountains, and working to switch towns by penlight and locomotive lights was something different, and a fun change of pace.

A few shots working Dolores.

The Dolores flour mill had a pickup on this trip.  There are lights on this structure, but it's just temporarily placed, so no lights yet.

A railroad shed looms out of the darkness in the beam of a locomotive headlight, as a freight leaves Hesperus, late in the night.

Engine facility work in Durango, and engines are moved thru the coaling station and in / out of the roundhouse tracks.

Working the Ridgway yard at night.  Here, the backup light on the locomotive actually helped in reading the gon's car #.

The yard office in Ridgway appears briefly out of the darkness as a loco steams past.

Vance Junction, as a train pulls past this section house.

A meet happens at Hesperus.

Greg working Rico on the right, Gary working Durango on the left.

A mixed local in Durango, prepped and ready to power and departure - headed to Telluride.

Aug 1, 2019

More Goose runs announced for the fall!

Jun 23, 2019

Operating session Jun 2019 - photos and comments

Prototype maps and layout reference on the wall as you enter the room. Plus an authentic bolt from RGS bridge 45-A.

One of the early mixed trains out of Durango. It heads to Telluride, swaps some cars with another mixed, then continues north to Ridgway.

Train #16 ready to leave Durango. Just a single freight car this time.

Rico is nearly always busy. Here, "loaded" cars pulled from the mines are being made ready for pickup by trains departing both south and north, while a train of empties is arriving.

Hopper 924 was came in from Ridgway empty, and has been delivered to the St. Louis mine in Rico for loading. Loaded cars from this track were already pulled by the Rico switcher.

Rico switcher #22 has just finished spotting empty hoppers from Ridgway, including 924, at the (future) site of the St. Louis mine, in Rico.

The Rico switcher coming down the Enterprise branch switchbacks, after dropping a cut of empies at the Enterprise mine.

There's no wye or turntable in Rico on my layout, so trains arriving from both north (Ridgway) and south (Durango) swap engines for the return trips. Here, both inbound trains arrived early, and their power is waiting for the Rico yardmaster to finish making up their outbound trains - which are #211 (to Durango) and #312 (to Ridgway).

Train #211, which will take some of the loads pulled from Rico's mines earlier in the session, will head south to Durango, using this train order / clearance card.

Here's the car card and waybill for reefer 2183, currently at Rico and heading up the line to Ophir on the next train north.

Reefer 2183 is sitting on the depot team track at Rico. It's billed for Ophir, which is the next town north.

This is the Durango switcher, pulling into the caboose track to grab a caboose for an outbound freight being prepared.

A heavy mixed training getting ready to leave Telluride. It's heading south to Ophir, on a steep climb toward Lizard Head, and will need the Telluride switcher to help with pushing.

The heavy mixed train begins the climb to Ophir, after departing Telluride.

The Telluride switcher 51 pushing on the tail of the mixed, helping it climb the grade to Ophir and then Lizard Head.

Pushing work complete, the Telluride switcher backs thru the siding at Ophir, on its way back to Telluride.