It’s about time I blog about an OPS SESSION on the Eagle River Division. Last time I posted anything about a session was way back in January of this year. Hard to believe that was six months ago! This morning’s Deadheads & Donuts session began at 9:30 a.m. with a 10 question trivia contest, with the highest scorers getting first pick of available jobs.
We had a great crew for today’s session. Postponing yard work or focusing on their own layout, and/or avoiding “honey-do” lists this morning were seven experienced operators: David Woomer, Ray Wells, William Jackson, Steve Christenson, Ryan Matthews, Michael Young, and Ron White. I believe we have reached the limit to the number of railroaders we can comfortably accommodate for a session – 8 individuals with myself included. Any more than that and we would (1) have to buy more donuts, and (2) get in each others’ way.
Job Assignments for today’s session were:
- River Cement & Quarry Job – Mike Young
- Manifest Freights (Coal drag and a Piggyback) – William Jackson
- Lego Steel Mill – Dave Woomer
- Ferritin Industrial Park – Ray Wells
- Hoegaarden Local – Ron White
- Westburg Peddler – Ryan Matthews
- Oak Hill Turn & Purina Mills jobs – Steve Christeson
- Dispatcher – yours truly
This was the second session since the ERD ditched car cards & waybills and switched back to computerized switch lists. Car forwarding for all jobs is now done using JMRI (v4.4). I continue to tweak the builds, and have begun building schedules for many of the locations. So far, I am very pleased with the results. I should mention that I tried the computerized lists once before and gave up on them, but this time I am convinced they are the way to go.
It would be great if I had some photos to share with you of today’s session, but I was too busy dispatching, visiting, and rail-fanning to remember to take snapshots. It gives a layout owner a great deal of satisfaction watching his layout come to life with multiple operators. I looked away from the CTC screen several times to see 2 or 3 trains working nearby to each other, and thinking – this makes all the time and preparation worth it! Perhaps in that respect, maybe it is “about time”.