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mopman
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Back in the day in Model Railroader, old timers like John Allen, Whit Towers, Cliff Robinson and others used to have articles about the trains that ran on their layouts.  I thought this would be a good place to recreate some of that magic by outlining the operations of the Spadra Turn on my Missouri Pacific Van Buren Sub layout.

Our train today only has one GP35 for power and 9 cars (1 gon for Davis Salvage, 5 cars for Ozark and 3 for Spadra).  Here the turn heads east past the yard office.



Leaving Van Buren, we pass by the Farmland elevator on the east side.



When we arrive at Alma, the crew cuts off the mty gon and picks up the loaded gon at Davis Salvage.



After switching Alma, we head east for Spadra.  Here we pass along the Arkansas River about to enter the cut just east of Ozark.






mopman
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After passing through Ozark (we'll switch Ozark on the return trip) and Clarksville Jct. (more on that later) we arrive in Spadra.



This area is also known as the abyss since it is 50+ inches above the floor.  We pull down the main, uncouple the engine and run around our train to get the last 3 cars that will be spotted on the team track.



Leaving the cab on the main we shove down the siding to the team track and pull 2 mty boxcars from the team track.



We then spot the loads on the team track (2 boxcars loaded with bricks and 1 flat with a couple of dozers).  We will then pick up the mtys and run back around our train.





mopman
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On the west side of Spardra again, we couple up the cab and shove it and the 2 mtys down the siding.  We then pickup the remainder of our train on the main and put our train together for the trip back to Ozark.






Last edited on Sun Sep 27th, 2009 11:27 pm by mopman

mopman
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We pass Clarksville Jct on the way to Ozark.  This is where the branch to Clarksville leaves the main.  There will be a small yard at this location that serves a cement plant and co-op.  The branch will then continue to Clarksville where a feed mill, poultry processing plant and lumber yard are switched.



A few minutes later we arrive in Ozark



We then break the train ahead of the gon and switch the plastic pellet hoppers on the team track.



After switching the east end we pull down to the west end to switch the siding.  Right now I use the siding for cars bound for Clarksville and the jct yard while that area is under construction.  Later this siding will be used for overflow pellet hoppers.





ytter_man
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Thanks mopman, your line looks fun to operate :thumb:

mopman
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After switching the west end the crew couples up the train, runs an air test and heads back to Van Buren.



A while later we arrive back in Van Buren where we are routed down the 4 rail to tie down our train.



This operation takes just under an hour to complete.  Maybe that's why I enjoy running this train so much.  Hope you enjoy.

Herb Kephart
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Looks like fun, Jim!

How much paperwork/card shuffling is involved to decide what cars you are going to put where?

The only thing that was missing was going in the hole to avoid a scheduled train.


Herb:old dude:

W C Greene
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Yes, operating on Jim's layout is lots of fun. Jim has been into this operations thing for many years, I just fell into it a while back. The thing that makes his layout so much fun is that the trackwork is flawless (handlaid), the locos run like all good ancient Athearn diesels should, his couplers are all correctly installed and operate as they should also. In all, it is a pleasure to take the Spadra turn and see the fine scenery. I trust this will be the first of many scenes from Mopman and will inspire others to operate their trains as they were intended to be operated. Great fun and apparently, no old men were harmed during filming of this episode.

          Thank you Jim..... the Outlaw troublemaker

mopman
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Currently there isn't any paperwork.  I just decide what needs to go where.  Right now its easy as the industry type dictates the car type.  I do plan on using car cards and 4-way waybills in the future.  As for the meet, it is not unusual for the turn to have this portion of the line all by its lonesome.  In reality there are only 4 to 6 through trains a day that traverse this line.  But be patient, the days not over yet.

Last edited on Mon Sep 28th, 2009 03:43 pm by mopman

mopman
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Ok, as promised...the yard job. When we last saw the YJ, it was sitting at the yard office as the Spadra turn was leaving. We get ready to leave for the east end of Van Buren to switch the Farmland elevator.


A few minutes later we start switching hoppers at Farmland

After switching Farmland we pull the hoppers back to the yard and leave them on the east end of 3 rail. Then we pull the loaded pig flats from the TOFC ramp and spot them on the west end of 3 rail.

2 pigs that are on the 4 rail are then shoved to the TOFC ramp for unloading.










mopman
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Then we head back to the west end of the yard to pull cars from the Frisco interchange

These cars are then pulled to the east end of 3 rail. The hoppers are pulled and shoved down the 4 rail for the time being . The interchange cars are then shoved down the 3 rail and coupled to the pigs on the west end. This will be the head end of VL.

The hoppers and other cars for VL are pulled from the 4 rail and coupled to the caboose on 2 rail and shoved to the west end.

We pull forward and hold short of the yard office as the Spadra turn pulls into the yard.









mopman
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The job then heads to the 4 rail, pulls the cab and sets it on the ladder, then pulls the cars for VL from the Spadra turn.

These cars are also spotted on the 2 rail. We go back and shove the cab to the caboose track on the west end.

From there we head back to the east end and park our power on the ramp track next to VL's power and go to break.

While the car knockers check the train a crew is called for VL.

Edit: As an aside, the power used on the yard job is an r/c controlled unit. No track power required. The GP7 is an Athearn "wide body" dummy containing rechargeable li-poly batteries (11.7 volts) and the receiver. The GP35 is a "wide body" powered unit. It is controlled by a standard 27mhz r/c car transmitter. I get between 6-8 hours of operation on a single charge. These units were modified by Woodie Greene and have been great runners.







Bob H.
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Ah yes !  MOPAC, Screaming Eagles and Buzzsaws!

 When I was in HO that was THE ROAD and the only one I modeled.  Your layout looks like a lot of fun to operate on. Brings back fond memories of later days.:apl: 

mopman
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Bob, thank you for your kind comments.  There are some fond memories..my first cab ride when I was in the 6th grade, touring the caboose.  In fact if I ever get started on the Clarksville branch, I am going to model the house I lived in when I got that cab ride. We lived just up the road from the branch in Clarksville(I was there during the 6th & 7th grade).

Bob H.
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That's neat they gave you a cab ride. I used to play in the 10th st yards here in Wichita.   I walked the Mopac to  Grade school & Jr high school too.

Those old geep 7 &9s were the rage of the day. There was a string of Mop stream line baggage cars parked on a siding we really enjoyed playing in.  Your idea of your  childhood home for your layout will be a fun thing to model.

mopman
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The neat thing is I went back a few years ago and met the couple living there now.  I had a chance to photograph the exterior and tour the interior to see what had changed since I lived there (not much...the kitchen was updated though).  The big windows in the living and dining rooms, my upstairs bedroom and first train room across the hall (HO on the floor).  I had the whole upstairs to myself (all two rooms) :bg:.  But it was a great experience.

W C Greene
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As soon as the weather gets back to "normal", I will continue on with the operations on the Mogollon Railway. I love to read Mopman's verbage, I have run on his layout and can assure everyone that the operations he describes are "for real". Interestingly, Jim's layout is inside and runs perfectly so there are never any vulgarities uttered. My railroad is outside and we cuss up a storm so the neighbors keep their kids inside. Different strokes.............       Woodie

mopman
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With the weather forecast for this week (more rain), you might as well bring your equipment over here to operate or hire out as a brakie on the Mop for the week.

Sullivan
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Friday thru Monday (16th - 19th) look to be clear and sunny, highs in the 60's (as of today anyway), so perhaps the Mogollon can get a run in on Sunday once the mud turns back to dirt.

Of course, the MOP can run ANY day!

mopman
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Since I acquired a couple of "new" units, I thought I would help the break in with a run on the Spadra turn.  In this pic the turn is spotting a couple of empty gons at Davis Salvage.

The lead unit is a Hallmark brass GP18 and the second unit is a Proto GP9 reworked to MOP standards

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Having been Asst. Roadmaster on that territory 30 years ago, it was really fun to take a trip over it again. You really need to do the stone depot at Ozark, its a classic!!!

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I have pics and plan to do the depot at some future point.  As an aside the "cut" west of Ozark was a scenic draw for me to model this line


Eventually I will get the "right" structures along the ridge above the tracks.

Also, I am looking for info (pics especially) of the Van Buren yard office during the mid 70's.  I'm pretty sure that the current yard office is UP's.

Last edited on Thu May 26th, 2011 02:06 pm by mopman

W C Greene
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Very nice views. I can tell all that the cut shown in the last photo is right on for the prototype. Mopman's layout satisfies even the most ardent MoPac lovers. Scenery and structures will match the real scenes. While I model in that "netherworld" of fancified prototype, Jim is building the real thing and having a damn fine time doing so.

                             Woodie

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By the way, on the south end of the cliff at Ozark, there was a small "cave" with an iron door facing the tracks. That's where the MofW gangs stored their dynamite to blast off loose rocks from the cliffs.

mopman
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Well in all honesty Woodie, I have used modelers license in some areas to enhance local switching but I am trying to model other scenes as close as possible to the prototype.  And most important...I am having fun doing it.

W C Greene
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Well, I guess you just "outed" yourself...you ...you...you freelancer!!!

                                        Boudreaux

mopman
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That's proto-lancer to you sir.

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Hi Mopman

Just caught your operations Thread.
Looks like a great layout to run on.
How's things there ?

:moose:

Si.

W C Greene
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Howdy Si, Mopman's layout lives on and he is slowly finishing things up. Jim (Mopman) pretty much got out of the website posting business, too many outside duties and second guessers (who never build anything) trying to "advise" him on what he "should" be doing. I can't imagine who would do that??? All the track is finished (handlaid) and the branch line to Clarksville is unwired...either he forgot how to wire a layout or maybe he has a couple of r/c GP9's to operate it. Who would ever do anything like that either?
All kidding aside, all is well in southwestern Arkansas. Now, If I could just convince him to get rid of all the other wiring and r/c it all...but then I would sound like one of those numbnuts who want to tell folks how to do things.
I will convey your interest and maybe I will post new views, etc. when I get the copyrights. LOL

Woodie


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