Custom Painted P-2000 units

Saturday, June 28, 2014

Operations Session #1 is in the Books!

Greetings Blog Followers,

The New York Central Train Layout hosted it's first Train Operations Session yesterday, June 27, 2014 at 1500 hrs. The operators were myself and engineer Ed W. Ed is an O scale modeler with former employment on the Penn Central and Frisco under his belt. The session lasted a bit over two hours and started with a basic get to know the layout and block system for Engineer Ed.

The prep work paid off well even if we did not get to run all the trains that were scheduled. Basically with no real first hand knowledge of how much time it would take for certain trains to run, be switched etc. I felt it better having more trains on the schedule than too few.

All in all it was a very pleasurable experience and both Engineer Ed and I enjoyed the afternoon. The time flew by and we had to rejoin the ladies. If not for that we would probably still be down there running the trains through the night!  I look forward to doing this again.

Staging Yard / Terminal Yard just before the start of the op session. The New York Central Passenger Train in the foreground was annulled. In it's place we ran two commuter trains from that track into and out of Empire City Station. The commuter operations went very smoothly with Engineer Ed at the controls. 

2 NYC F7As on pull into Empire City Station with six express and mail cars on the head 
end trailed by four coaches. 

The back end of the NYC train sits on track 2 while a bulk mail train waits to depart on track 3 The train on track 2 had it's head end cars swapped during the session and basically ran continuous on the outer main while the mail train ran back and forth to Staging / Terminal Yard with the commuter trains. 

Cars are spotted at their respective industries. A switch list was printed out for our local train. This train however ran late and the cars did not get switched out. 

A Grain Train Extra that I left on the inner loop to start the session.

West Side industries wait for the railroad to switch out their cars. These rail customers were a bit disappointed as the RR was late.

The Furniture Factory with two loads ready to go 

North Side Yard with two trains ready to go and waiting for crews. 
These 2 trains did make it all the way to staging. 

Caterpillar with two loaded cars ready to ship

A mock up Grocery Warehouse with 4 cars waiting to get pulled

Cargill with a loaded train ready to go. The train of empty hoppers arrived on time and the loads were pulled and empties spotted. The inbound empties from Staging / Terminal Yard was train #CG-1 The outbound loads were designated Train TY-21 and they made it back to Terminal Yard.  

3 Reefer Cars sit on the Heileman Brewery track 

Hudson Coal waits for a RR crew to arrive and take out the loads. The crew goes on duty at Hudson Coal and pulls the loads from there to the scale at North Side Yard. The train then heads to Staging / Terminal Yard. The crew then takes available empties to Hudson Coal and spots them. Depending on traffic the switchers can be reassigned or if Hudson Coal is loading quickly Coal Extra may be needed. For the first operating session the loads made it as far as North Side Yard. I hear the phone ringing  as the Hudson Coal brass want their empties ASAP! Better get down to the basement this morning!  

Trains spotted at various industries on the aptly named Shelf City. Really needs a better name.

Sunday, June 22, 2014

Upcoming Operating Session Part 2

Greetings Blog Followers,

The big event, the first operating session on the New York Central Train Layout, is one week away. A busy work week has kept me out of the train room but will correct that this weekend. I've been going over in my head a list of trains and the sequence that they will run in order to have a good amount of railroading without fouling up the mainlines or the yards. A few other ideas have also cropped up some which may or may not be implemented. Here is a short list of trains I hope to be able to run for the operating session and some ideas that I may incorporate as well.

Keep it Simple!!! Plan is to use diesels with four wheel trucks only. More nimble and less likely to derail.

Prototype will be Penn Central. If / when derail occurs it will be prototypical. Will put Work Train with crane on siding that will no be used for this session.

Freight Trains:

CG-1   9 covered hoppers (empties) from Staging Yard to North Side behind 2 diesels and with a caboose.
            Engines will run around train and put caboose on front to "protect the shove from" the yard to  

TY-21   Loaded Hoppers from Cargill back to staging also known as Terminal Yard which will be our                       connection to the rest of the world.

Lackawanna Transfer: 6 to 8 car freight train from Staging to North Side Yard. Engines return to staging                                         caboose light per union agreements.

 HC-3            Hudson Coal train, 12 empties from staging to Hudson Coal. 12 loaded  hoppers from                                 Hudson Coal to North Side Yard for scaling. Train will depart for Terminal Yard as an                                 "Extra" when time permits.  

GF-5             General Freight. Staging to North Side Yard with cars for West Side Industries.

TY-52           North Side Yard to Terminal Yard. Outbound cars going to Terminal Yard using GF-5,s                              engines and caboose.

North Side Local:      Switches North Side Yard and local industries.

Shelf City Turn:         Staging Yard / Terminal Yard to industrial area on shelf portion of layout. Switches out                                 Cars as needed. Returns to Terminal Yard.

ME 10            Mail and Express Train from Staging Yard to Empire City Station on lower level. Pick up and                       drop cars at Railway Express Agency and Post Office. Returns to Staging / Terminal Yard

NY 4              Meat Products Train. A string of 40' Reefers. From Staging to North Side Yard.

That's it for now. I'll update as the week progresses.



Sunday, June 15, 2014

Upcoming Operating Session

Greetings Blog Followers,

The New York Central Train Layout will be hosting it's first operating session in about two weeks. I have been busy making preparations for a smooth and simple session with little to no paperwork. I was also able to consult with a fellow modeler and friend Neal M, C.E.O. of the A.P.R.R. who was generous with his time and knowledge. Thank you Sir Neal for the wise tips you have provided.

Some of things I have been doing to make the operating session hopefully go smoother are actually running the proposed trains to and from there destinations. A little tweaking was definitely needed and the pre-planning will hopefully pay off. One potentially embarrassing issue that has since been solved comes to mind. I was running a string of covered hoppers through my Cargill Grain Elevator as I have some numerous times over the years. Well, the first few batches of five rolled through w/o incident. On about the fourth batch a crash was heard. Seems some the Athearn BB 56' ACF covered hopper round covers sit just a bit higher than all the other cars I have and did not clear the loading shed. Situation corrected by raising structure slightly. Didn't need that to happen during the op session!

Another item on the to do list was labeling all the control switches on my switch panels. As I run in DC there are several panels with DPDT switches. Even I was beginning to forget what switch controlled what track. So I tested each DPDT switch and labeled them. A track diagram was also added to assist the operators.

Industry City (needs better name) on shelf portion of layout will be a busy part of the ops session. 

Looking at the Hudson Coal lead. 3 tracks can handle about 12 cars. The basic empties in and loads out. Loads will head to North Side Yard for scaling. From there to Staging.

T&R Gravel should see some action. The ore cars were upgraded with body mounted couplers so no more slinky effect during shove moves.

West Side Industrial Area. Hudson Coal is on back wall. Staging Yard is in adjacent room to left. Industry City is on back wall to right.

A trio switchers work the West Side. The old Heileman distributor is now Neubaum's Coffee Importers.

A close up of some of the West Side rail served industries. Pay no attention to that man next to the bar.

Monday, June 9, 2014

Fauna and Flora at North Side Yard

Greetings Blog Followers,

Been busy in small spurts this past week adding some fauna and flora to the area around the North Side Yard. I like the look of a little overgrowth, gives the impression the RR had to defer maintenance due to lack of funds. Which I totally understand!

A New York Central  F7 A-B-A lash up is on track 1 and a pair of NYC GP20s occupy track 3. The four Penn Central cars to the right are some of my custom painted fleet. 

A Penn Central RS2 switches the Caterpillar dealer. A through freight is on the inner main while two trains await crews and departure clearance from North Side Yard. 

Looking from left to right 3 track North Side Yard, Outer main line (unoccupied), Inner main line (occupied), freight siding servicing Caterpillar, King Midas Flour (Red Wing Milling) and Prestage tool and gear at lower right. 

A rare sight, no freight car inside Neal's Hardware and Lumber. Have to look into that. Hopefully just no expected delivery this morning! A NYC Pacemaker boxcar should be there later this afternoon. The fauna and flora are slowly creeping to this area. 

Sunday, June 1, 2014

Emergency Track Repair

Greetings Blog Followers,

This past week the New York Central Train Layout had to briefly suspend operations due to a bad track joint in Empire City City in front of Mama and Papa's Restaurant and not far from Neal's Lumber and Hardware. The staff at Neal's Lumber heard the train banging over the joint earlier in the day and notified N.Y.C.T.L. management of the problem. Unable to send a track crew N..Y.C.T.L. management informed Neal that they would send a rail contractor over to fix the problem. Rail Contractor! relied Neal. Heck me and my guys know more about laying track than any of your Rail Contractors. The N.Y.C.T.L. quickly assessed Neal and his staff's repair skills and available equipment and hired them on the spot. Rail traffic was stopped and Neal and his men sprang into action

N.Y.C.T.L. newest rail contractors the staff at Neal's Lumber and Hardware. 1/87th scale Neal , in blue coveralls, inspects the bad joint. 

The work begins

With the street safely blocked and all personal protective gear in place our newest rail contractors are hard at work. N.Y.C.T.L. management was quite surprised and very impressed with the amount of track laying equipment Neal and his men had available to them. Train Lifers however were not in the least bit surprised.

The repair has been made and the men begin to take up their equipment

The repair work has drawn the attention of the local Police Precinct commander and an officer on the beat.

N.Y.C.T.L. management has been notified that the rail joint has been repaired and the track is now in service. A Penn Central RS-2 has just traveled over the newly repaired joint to deliver a box car to Neal's Lumber and Hardware. 

A short time later came the big test. A freight train with four engines on the lead, 43 freight cars and a caboose will put the repair to the test. No surprise that everything traveled over the newly repaired joint smoothly