Empire Belt RR ALcos

Empire Belt RR ALcos
Custom Painted FA / FB Units

Sunday, January 17, 2016

Ops Session Number 3 is in the Books!

Greetings All,

I'm pleased to report that the third ops session on the New York Central Train Layout is now in the books. With Special Guest Star Engineer Ed (later promoted to Yard Master Ed) an enjoyable afternoon of running trains was achieved.

Before the start of the session Engineer Ed was promoted to Yard Master Ed and volunteered to work Terminal Yard which is the command center for the layout and ops session. A challenging freight schedule was prepared beforehand and Y.M.E. needed to keep the nine track yard running smooth. Trains needed to get out to make room for trains needing to get in to be broken down into more trains going back out. A given later outbound might require two or more inbound trains to arrive and be broken down in order to fulfill that outbound trains freight consist. Some of the cars in the yard at the beginning of session were to be considered empties and were not on any scheduled trains. Challenging? You betcha!

I took on the role of road engineer and also worked the North Side Yard as needed. I had not done this before and found it to be quite enjoyable. In the first two sessions I worked as Terminal Yard Yard Master and Engineer Ed fulfilled the road engineer North Side Yard role.

At the conclusion of the session we both admitted to having a good time and look forward to a fourth ops session. Here are some photos of the session:

The Terminal Yard Freight Schedule for January 16th, 2016

The first hot shot train of the day to be addressed was Extra 3007. This 2 car train contains a priority shipment of Auto Parts for the local Ford Plant.  

Extra 3007 originated from Williams Yard on the Kings Port Division as part of a virtual interchange between the K.P.D. and N.Y.C.T.L. For more on that click here http://kingsportdivision.blogspot.com/
and stay tuned for upcoming blog entries here.

The stage is set. Terminal Yard is quite peaceful on the day before the session. 
Kind of like the quiet before the storm. 

A pair of Erie Lackawanna ALCO S1 switchers were assigned to shuttle mail and express cars from Empire City Station (Designated as 72nd Street Yard for the ops session)

An outbound commuter train sits at Empire City Station.

The temporary United States Post Office loading platform at Empire City Station / 72nd Street Yard

A boiler equipped New Haven GP9 is the power for the commuter train today

 Yard Master Ed working Terminal Yard.
We used switch lists and car cards to keep everything organized.

Penn Central Unit Coal Train UKP-3 is on track 3 and will be headed off to Kings Port Steel which will be lower level staging for today. But first PC empty hopper train UKP-2 must be shoved into Hudson Coal.

Penn Central Empty Hopper Train UKP-2 is on track 3 ready for the shove into Hudson Coal out of the picture to the left. 

 The shove moves are complete and PC engines 8024 and 7692
will be leaving to take UKP-3 to  Kings Port Steel 

 An outside loop on the lower level of the layout has been designated as lower level staging for the ops session. UKP-3 sit sat the tunnel entrance.

An Empire Belt Extra awaits departure from North Side Yard. The newly created Empire Belt is a short line that switches out industries on the upper level of Empire City out of North Side Yard. Transfers runs between N.S.Y. and Terminal Yard are performed by both railroads but 1/87th scale union agreements maintain that each railroad may only deliver cars to the other and must return light to their respective yards.

The Industry City skyline

 End of Session. Unit Ore Car Train ZM-1 is ready for departure on track 8. The Rock Ridge Transfer to the Atlantic Pacific Railroad consisting of a string of empty 60' Auto Parts Box Cars plus other rail cars sits on Track 1. 

Thanks for reading.


  1. Congratulations, you're lucky to have a kindred spirit to share operations with.

    It's also great to see more of your layout. But the temporary post office loading platform at Empire City station reminds me of the track side of Detroit's NYC station you see in so many Gulash DVDs. A little tweaking would make it even more so!

  2. Thanks John! You're right. having E.E. / Y.M.E. around makes all this very enjoyable. Thanks for more great info. I'll have to re-watch my NYC Odyssey series to get a better look at the Detroit Station USPS operations.

  3. You might get the best look at the Detroit station in the late one (4 or 5?) that mostly covers Amtrak. I'm thinking of the platform areas under the Bush train shed. The far wall of the shed toward the freight main is what I'm thinking of, and what the wall in your platform sort of reminds me of.

    1. Thanks John. You have certainly piqued my interest in this.

  4. I went poking around the web, didn't find a good shot from the main line, but did find this one from the inside looking out toward the far wall and the main http://www.forgottendetroit.com/mcs/55.htm

    As you can see, this is a lot like what you have.

    1. Very interesting album! Thank you for the link!

  5. I hope you don't mind sudden unsolicited inspirations, but another scene on your layout looks like it could be Gulash-ized: the tunnel entrance where UKP-3 is sitting in the fourth photo from last could be dressed up very easily to look like the Detroit River Tunnel portals you see in so many PC and NYC vids. A few evenings with some foamcore and/or balsa, it seems to me.

    1. John, I don't mind at all. The Detroit River Tunnel Portals are some of my favorite Gulash scenes! I can watch trains entering and leaving there for hours. I like the way you're thinking here. I will definitely check into doing this. Thanks for the inspiration!