It’s About Time (Not Literally)

MKT-caboose-111-at-Eagle-Jct_wideIt’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”.



Mike enjoys family, music, computers, photography, travel, trains and most all facets of model railroading, especially ops.

Comments are closed.