Thursday, March 27, 2014

Roper Sez: | 8 Comments - Click Here :

Who'z the new kid? Is there room for two blog mascots?

Beau's first day on the job!

8 weeks old and Beau has a keen sense for the barn animals already.

Thursday, March 20, 2014

First Operating Session - Finally! | 18 Comments - Click Here :

    This last weekend marked a milestone for my current layout; as after two years of basic construction, I was able to complete the first mini operating session. The layout is designed for multiple types of operating schemes for one or two operators. But until I finish the two staging cassettes, I'm limited to a simpler solitaire system. Thus, I operated on Saturday morning using the Inglenook puzzle scheme. You can read more about how an Inglenook operates here:

    I modified the scheme as a 6-4-4 Inglenook. This was great fun! And operating with prototypical procedures at scale speeds, it consumed an hour and a half to complete the work. I cannot express in words the feeling of what it is like to have finally reached this milestone. 
    I was able to snap a few pictures of the action with my mobile phone. I still have absolutely no artistic talent when it comes to backdrop painting (Do you? Call me!), so please imagine pretty mountains in the background and follow along if you'd like!

This was the situation when the crew arrived after a hearty breakfast at the section house. Nine assorted cars resided on three tracks. Six of them are going to be put in order for a run up the line and set-out at Breckenridge. The other three will be set aside for the next westbound freight. The index car-cards are only temporary, as I will eventually make permanent ones from prototype photographs. The cards rest on custom made molding designed to hold Scrabble game tiles. 

The motive power for this mornings extra to Breckenridge is consolidation number 71. The first order of business is to top off the tank. The coal bunker was filled the night before at the coal dock a few hundred feet farther down the line (not modeled).

Number 71 and crew set about making up today's extra. This operating session was made possible by my other brother Derrell. He sent me a half dozen cars on loan until I build up more of my fleet.

Complicating things this morning (part of the planned operating scheme) are some section men working to repair the lead rails of a switch.

The switch repairs will limit the number of cars between the two turnouts to four.

All of this mornings maneuvers are performed on the three tracks coming off of the three-way turnout and head shunt. A couple of bad order passenger cars limit two of the tracks to four cars each, while the mainline can hold six. Here we see all six cars in their completed order on the mainline.

The three remaining cars are set aside and are to be picked up by the next westbound freight to Leadville.

 After about 90 minutes of real-time work, today's extra awaits clearance for departure to Breckenridge once the switch repairs are completed by the section gang.

~ Cowboy Up!

Monday, March 3, 2014

"Along the Blue" #25 | 1 Comments - Click Here :

Denver Public Library

Summit County Journal; Feb 21, 1899
Park Road in Ill Luck
   The High-Line division of the Colorado & Southern railroad was practically tied up this week for a period of four days.
    On this side of Como, snow drifts and ice did the knock-out act, to which might be added the calamity of a half dozen engines off the track at various points and several"gone dead" for want of coal and water.
    In fact, this has been a disastrous week on the Park, commencing Sunday with the wreck of a freight coming down from Climax toward Robinson. The train was composed of fifteen cars and was too heavy for the engine to control it on the grade. It ran away and crashed into another locomotive near the bottom of the hill. Anderson's engine and the fifteen cars were derailed and piled in a tangled mass of splintered wood and twisted iron on the track.
    And from that hour till Thursday morning one accident has followed another. Between Monday noon and Thursday morning no mail was received by or dispatched from the post offices between Como and Leadville.
    Not alone on the High-Line was traffic tied up, but the Fairplay, Alma and Gunnison divisions were in like condition.
    During Wednesday and Wednesday night the rotary plow succeeded in opening Boreas Pass, and on Thursday traffic was resumed, and now business is rolling on as usual; but the tie-up and various accidents cost a great many thousand dollars.