I hadn't had an ops session since April and just realized I never posted about it. Not a lot to report though - it was Shore Line Shake Down #1 and it was all about dialing in the 33 trains that go through the Saybrook Scene in a given session. As I've mentioned before, friend BillC graphically laid out the prototype timetable I'd transcribed for Old Saybrook and since then - with some additional help from Randy, Bill, and Tom - I've been ironing out any/all remaining wrinkles in the choreography. Last April's session was the first run-through/shakedown using BillC's sheet and there was no ops session in May due to my work schedule.
But I was able to get in a June session, right under the wire. It was another Shore Line Shake Down, but this time I added the two Shore Line local freights (PDX-1 & 2) into the mix to see 1) how they'd interact with all the mainline trains, and 2) how the extra personnel would manage with my aisle space.
Verdict? Success! Things are still working out well, despite the addition of a "permanent" guy/crew at Cedar Hill Staging (Tom's our biggest guy, so yeah I figured he'd be the best guy to put in a narrow aisle to really test capacity LOL!). There's still a bit more to learn: I had only 1-man crews on the locals, and I didn't end up running the Air Line local at all (which also occupies the same room as Cedar Hill staging and most of PDX-2's run), but so far so good. At least no big problems emerged and I plan to try a "full capacity" ops session at the end of this month. That should really test things out.
In the meantime, I got another session under my belt, learned some more, added a few more punch list items, and had a lot of fun. If the photos are any indication, I wasn't the only one. . .
|PeteL - crew for PDX-1 - has just arrived from the west on Track 6 in Saybrook (aka the "Balloon Track") behind DEY-5 (S-2) #0615 and is figuring out his moves.|
|Randy played the role of A/O, Tower Operator, and Dispatcher for the session.|
|PDX-2 rolls into Saybrook from the east behind DERS-1b (RS-1) #0669 with Pieter as crew. You can just make out the "Fort Yard/New London/Points East" crew (aka "Bill") there in the far background.|
|A (admittedly poor) shot of another in the parade of westbound expresses through Old Saybrook - with PDX-1 waiting in the clear on Track 6.|
|A very rare, quiet moment between trains at Saybrook, shot from the "bleachers/viewing stand" (aka "The Basement Stairs")|
|PDX-2 does most of its work southbound from E.Haddam, since most of the sidings are trailing point southbound. Here the local is back in Essex with the "Points West" operator keeping an eye on his express train going through the Saybrook scene.|
|Not positive, but this could in fact be the train itself - stopped, for the moment, at the Saybrook station.|
Stay tuned - it's been a busy "staycation" on the Valley Line, so more updates coming in the next few days!