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rgseng
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Day in the life of a 'Rio Grande Southern' engineer.



Being such a nice day,

I figured running a train would just make it that much nicer.

So with switch-list in hand ...








We fire No. 22,

fill the tender and water tank,

and proceed to grab the 3 hoppers on the list.





2 are going with us,

and are switching in behind the other 2 cars going with us.

The third is put on the other siding for now.





We pull the caboose we need, No. 404,

along with the other hopper, which we'll put back in the siding.

 



Run around the train,

couple up,

test the brakes,

and check the switch-list to see out next assignment ...

... which is Mancos.





In Mancos we have 2 drop-offs and 3 pick-ups.





There's the 3 cars we need to pick up,

and the 2 we drop-off are the 2 front cars in the train.

Pretty easy.





Leaving the 2 cars we don't need at the station,

we pull up beyond the switch and get ready to pull the 3 cars out of the siding.





Having pulled the 3 cars we need out and backing them onto our train,

we back the 2 cars going to Mancos into the siding.





No. 22 clears the switch and waits to back up to our train.

 



Pulling in to Hesperus,

we check our list to see what needs doing here.





Hmmmmmm, looks like quite a bit ...

... but I'll leave that for another day.

Hesperus gets a bit tricky to switch !






Herb Kephart
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Hey Boudreaux-

Wasn't it you that said that the garden guys just ran round and round?


Herbie  :old dude:

W C Greene
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Herb-it is the usual practice to fire up the train and drink a cold one while the train does it's thing. However, I have seen large scale outdoor layouts built for operation, looks like this is a good un'. The switch lists are cool, Mopman has card orders now which I hope to learn about. My operation is still basic...cars to smelter, cars to mines, tourists see sights. Basic. Operation may be the most "prototypical" thing that model railroaders do, I am glad that I crossed over from watcher to participant.

Lets see some more, please..              Woodie

rgseng
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OK, you want more, you got it.

Here's a shot of the switch list.
It's generated on my computer by a program called "TrainOps".

It was developed by a couple friends of mine,
who frequent the LargeScaleCentral forums.
It's still a Beta-Program till we get the bugs worked out,
but it seems to do the job that was intended.

It's mainly for 1 or 2 man operations on branch lines or short lines,
although we have had as many as 4 operators at one time using it.

Their is another computer program out there called "RailOps",
which can handle up to 10-15 operators at one time.
There are 2 guys I know that use this one,
but they have much bigger layouts than I do,
and both have regularly scheduled operating sessions.





We've arrived at Hesperus.

Here's what Hesperus looks like.





As you can see from the picture we have a switchback arrangement here.

In order to get to Chandler's Mercantile,
we have to empty out the leads to Goldings and Bergs,
before we spot any cars at Chandlers.

The lead for Goldings can handle one loco and one car at a time.
If more than one car has to be spotted at Chandler's or Bergs,
it has to be done one car at a time.

(ya didn't think this was going to be easy, didya?)

Let's see what we have to do ...





At Chandler's we have to pick up a flat car,

and at Golding's we have to spot a boxcar,

so lets get the flat car out of there first.





It's a short flat car and we may have been able to spot the boxcar at Goldings,

but rather than making extra moves,

we'll just get the flat car out of the way.





The flat car gets left out on the main line in front of our train,

so it's out of the way for now.

The next move is spot box car 3506 at Goldings,

which happens to be at the front of the train, since we just picked it up in Mancos.





After spotting 3506 at Goldings,

we can now pick up the 4 cars going with us from the LCL track at Hesperus,

and spotting box car 8729 at the depot.





The car we need to drop off is the one in front of the two hopper cars,

so we can pull up to the switch and uncouple those 2 cars,

and back 8729 into the depot.





Having finished our assignment in Hesperus,

we pull up to the tank and top off the tender,

for the trip to the Coal Creek Lumber siding.








The Grist Mill has a loading dock out on the main line,

and is more or less, a LCL location.

The train will wait while cargo is loaded.

At the lumber company we have one car to pick up,

gondola 1838.





All we do here is uncouple,

move past the switch,

then back down and grab our car.

With that done we can proceed to Burns Jct. Interchange.





Burns Jct. acts as our access to the outside world.

It's the window above the train.

It's also the fiddle yard and car storage inside the garage.

To the left of the window is Mills Mining and Manufacturing.

Nothing to do there.

According to our switchlist, this is where our train terminates.





Due to the 3% grade, and since we're only using a light 10 wheeler,

we're only able to move 3 cars at a time
to the junction.

It's a trailing point switch, so we back up the grade.





On the last move, I cheated and took the caboose with me

(it looked like it was going to rain, so I was in a hurry)

Normally the caboose would go with the loco back to Delores Yard for servicing.





And so ends a day in the life of a R.G.S. engineer.
I hoped you all enjoyed my little presentation,
and gained a little insight on how operations can be done on a garden railroad.


Thanx for watching ... ;)

In case anyone was wondering what the fiddle yard looks like,
here's a shot ...





It extends over to the left also,
and since it gets pretty full, the only switcher here is an 0-5-0





Left side ...


Herb Kephart
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Great pix,Ken--but it looks even better in person.

I know that you are using KD's, but didn't notice any magnets between the rails-- or do you hand uncouple?

Far more prototypical operation than most indoor railroads see--including mine.


Herb  :old dude:

rgseng
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I just usually uncouple them by hand.
Though some guys use screwdrivers and or whatever to do that.
I never had any luck that way.

As for magnets, they usually end being somewhere you least need them.
Besides, outdoors they'd be a pile of rust in a few years ...

That session took a good 3 hours to do.

Granted I was taking pix the whole time.
But it's a good way to spend a nice afternoon ...
... not as boring as watching a train going round in a circle ...
... but I do do that once in awhile.

Course the wife thinks I'm nuts, but ... what the heck ... ;)


mopman
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Nice op session.

Looks like a lot of fun.

My first intro to ops. was on a LGB layout, so I felt right at home.


W C Greene
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THAT'S OPERATION! Keep it up...send more...I love it!

                                    Woodie

rgseng
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W C Greene wrote: THAT'S OPERATION! Keep it up...send more...I love it!

                                    Woodie


I think you'll have to wait till after the first weekend in November.
I'll be in Carlyle Il. then for a multi-operator session at a friends garden RR all weekend.

Even has radios and a dispatcher ...
... hopefully if I don't get too wrapped up in what I'm doing, I'll get some pix of the event.

This is from last year:





dottney
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Great description of your session !


The layout looks really good and the rolling stock is outstanding.

I'm always amazed at how small 1:20 scale looks outside.

My layout is  inside and the stuff looks huge, but when I go to an outdoor event it suddenly gets smaller.

Yep watching stuff go in circles with a beverage in hand is fine.

But operating is fun no matter what scale.


Dave


rgseng
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As promised and back from Illinois, some pix ...

This is Andy Clarke's layout, still in progress.

He hosted a run-what-ya brung session on Fri afternoon.





An overall shot from the front yard ...





Bruce Chandler's kit bashed 4-6-0 and scratch built passenger car "Camellia" ...





Andy running his "grain" train ...





And on to the operating session on Sat ...

... gathered around the fire pit, as it was a bit chilly in the morning ...





Andy's wife Jane was our "Trainmaster".
Here she is at the computer setting up the trains for the session.
Bart was the Dispatcher.





My engine headed up the log train from Consolidated yard to the KV Cabins logging area.
Here's RGS # 20 heading back with some empties ...





Andy as the yard boss in Consolidated Yard ... ( he's a grumpy ol' guy. ;)  )





Some switching action in Pin Oak ...





Our host for the weekend, Ric Golding, gets a train ready to leave his basement domain, "Southern Yard" ...





Bruce and his wife Jean started by running a sweeper train.
It put out a few cars and picked a few up,
but their main job was cleaning the switches and making sure that everything was OK for the rest of the day.








Jane was the dispatcher that day, and finally got a chance to relax by the fire.





Herb Kephart
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Thanks for the photos, Ken--looks like a good time was had by all!



Herb  :old dude:

W C Greene
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Yep-it looks like a great time! Our "op sessions" consist of a couple of old dudes drinking a couple of beers while cursing the link & pin couplers. But we still have fun. Wish we lived close by, we'd be at your place all the time.

                               Woodie

rgseng
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About a week ago, I had another operating session, and decided to video it.

I had to edit it down to a reasonable time, so it jumps around a bit.

W C Greene
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Just a great video of lots of fun outside! Certainly this is healthier than standing in a musty garage trying to switch cars underneath a hanging weed eater. Please send more videos, we all need some sunshine.
Woodie

rgseng
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OK............How about the Morning Mail Train.................

NevadaBlue
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Posting to bring this great thread to the top of the list of 'recent' topics.

Enjoy!

Bob D
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Great videos of a great outdoor layout!

I have 1 G-scale engine and 3 cars, but have no where to run them right now, the circle of track I bought is too big to run inside, maybe an outdoor RR is in my future:!:

BobD

Si.
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Hi Guys  :wave:



I do rather like this ops. Thread !  :thumb:

Helmut was asking about ops. for a potential HO layout.  ???

Whilst being a really  C :cool: :cool: L  looking outdoor line, the ops. are obviously the same.



The computer generated switching lists, might appeal to 'techie' Helmut.  ;)

They do give a 'dispatchers office' feeling to the whole affair.

Great to follow these open-air ops. !  :s:



:)



Si.



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