Working “The Beer Run” – Waldo to Westburg

In this blog, we’ll explain how the engineer and conductor on today’s eastbound Waldo to Westburg to Hoegaarden to Lafayette train #77 (a/k/a The Beer Run) go about assembling their train, picking up and setting out rolling stock, and finally classifying their train upon arrival in Lafayette.

Here’s a linear map of the layout to give you a better idea of the route.  Waldo, Westburg, Coldwater, and Hoegaarden are all located on the upper level of the 2-level Eagle River Division layout.  Our eastbound train originates in Waldo, does work at Westburg and Hoegaarden, then terminates in Lafayette.


Our first order of business after receiving our manifest-switchlist from the yard clerk, is to pick up our power, MOPAC locomotive #2153, from the engine track at Waldo Yard.  We move the locomotive out to the yard lead and then begin coupling cars to our locomotive in the order shown on our computer-generated manifest-switch list.  We are building our own train this morning because there is no yardmaster on duty at Waldo yard.  Poor economic conditions have resulted in traffic being down in the nineteen-seventies, and our yardmaster took an early retirement offered by the railroad to trim expenses.  Building our train is fairly straight-forward.  We’ve pulled the cars we need for our train, and then attach a caboose from the caboose track.  We’ll double-check our train at this point to make sure the cars we’ve assembled match our manifest-switchlist.  The prototype would wait for the air pressure to build and do a break-check.  We’ll just focus on the switch moves for now.

The dispatcher has given us the okay to proceed upon signal indication.  Our signal indication is green, so we put our train in motion and proceed east to Westburg.   The Freight Depot is a facing point turnout for our train, making this maneuver a bit more complicated than if it were a trailing point turnout.


Arriving at Westburg, we’ve uncoupled the locomotive from our train and moved to the Westburg spur to pick up the light blue boxcar on the facing point spur of the Freight Depot. This is our only pick-up at Westburg, so we will not concern ourselves with any of the rolling stock parked on the other industry spurs here:


We contact the dispatcher and ask him for time and track for train #77 at Westburg, so we can make our switching moves.  We’ve coupled our locomotive to the light blue boxcar and moved it out to to the North Main, spotting it west of the Westburg spur turnout:


Next, we’ll uncouple from the light blue car and use the West and then East Crossovers to run around this car using the South Main.  Now we will push the light blue car west to couple to our train:


We need to drop off or “spot” the orange boxcar at the freight depot, so we’ve uncoupled the orange boxcar from our train and have pulled it just east of the Westburg spur turnout:


Now, we’ll use the east and west crossovers to run around these two boxcars via the South Main.  We’ve run around the cars and have coupled our locomotive to the west end of the orange and light-blue boxcars:


We’ve uncoupled the light blue boxcar, leaving it on the North main, and we are pushing the orange boxcar into position at the freight depot dock, where it will be unloaded by the dock hands:


Finally, we will use the west and east crossovers and South Main to run around our light blue boxcar.  Once our locomotive is on the east end of the light blue boxcar, we can move it west to couple to the rest of our train and be on our way eastbound to Hoegaarden:



Our train is together and ready to head east to Hoegaarden, where we will pick up and deliver cars for the Sherwin Williams Plant and Rock Bottom Brewery.  We’ve notified the dispatcher that our work is done at Westburg and train #77 is ready to depart for Hoegaarden.  Once the signal is cleared, we will be on our way:


We will work Hoegaarden in our next blog post, Working “The Beer Run” – Hoegaarden.



Mike enjoys family, friends, music, art, model railroading, trains, travel, craft beer, fine food and wine.

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