Friday, June 24, 2022

June Update


The activities during June included my Ops Session which did not go to plan, more maintenance issues, operating changes in main yard, yet another reset of the operations strategy, local exhibition and some operating sessions.  Due to sickness, I will be unable to complete the planning for the next session so it has been deferred.


Another locomotive started squeaking during my latest op session, a couple of troublesome freight cars and some coaches kept uncoupling.

U50 Locomotive

Started squeaking like the GP38-2 4812 did last month so to the workbench, body off and lubricated the moving parts, returned to track and tested and sqeaking all gone!

Freight Cars

1st Hopper car - This one missed getting metal wheels and screws to hold coupler covers.

New trucks with metal wheels fitted, coupler height adjusted with one red washer each end and 2-56 screws to hold coupler covers in place fitted.

2nd Hopper car - This one kept derailing

I discovered three of the four axles were right on the minimum back to back tolerance - they are have been adjusted to be in the middle of the tolerance so hopefully the car will perform better.


The grey Athearn SP Coaches have given trouble since I got them and despite tweaking I have been unable to make them operate reliably.  For now they will be removed.

Hornertown Yard Ops

After having problems of conflict on track usage by the Yardmaster and Assistant Yardmaster a thorough review of how the operations are conducted was undertaken.  I produced some process maps and shared them with the current operators.  Following our interactions, I have formalised the processes so hopefully a better solution will persist as we go forward.

See the examples below:

Assistant Yardmaster - Local Freights Shunt

Yardmaster Local Freight Consists & Caboose

Express Goods East Shunt

Assistant Yardmaster


New Sessions - Version 4

I have resorted to getting the whiteboard out and jotting notes on flashcards in order to develop a better system for operations in and around the main yard and through the system.

I have modelled yard movements to streamline tasks and division of duties between the yardmaster and the assistant.

Thanks to Wayne, Peter S and Peter R for providing feedback along the way as I shared my ideas.

AMRE Exhibition

Don's new exhibition layout I was supposed to work on but my son contracted COVID and I had been in contact during the previous seven days so out of abundance of caution it was decided I should stay away.

From Don's Facebook page (and published with permission) "Running a AMRE Exhibition Layout today by yourself due to health issues from two operators doesn't give you a chance to look around, did that yesterday, so some views of my Alamosa & Western O scale, narrow gauge layout based in New Mexico."

4-4-0 #7 on the local passenger

The Galloping Goose School Bus

Stockyard area, Pedro the stock man coralling the cattle for loading

Cattle and pigs waiting for loading

3D printed ram

3 D printed goat with beard

The General Store

The mine transfer point

Shovelling salt from the salt lake to ship by rail

A&W 2-6-6-2 #10 passes La Jarra station

The local 2 car rail bus

School Bus Galloping Goose arrives to pick up school kids

The back area

Rio Grande 2-8-0 #268 passes the salt lake with a goods train

Over view of a busy station

Some operating trains..

That's the last two I have missed - I am hoping for better luck next time!

Darren has put some footage of the exhibition on his youtube channel

Ops Sessions

There were three sessions this month and I made two of them.

HCS Session 2 V3 on 6 June

Barry, Dennis, John, Peter J, Peter S, Ross & Wayne joined Me for the session.

L-R Sitting Peter S, Dennis, Ross & Barry. Standing Wayne, Joen & Me.  Photographer Peter J.

Well things didn’t go how I expected I was disappointed that I failed to foresee a scheduling conflict in the main yard which derailed the start of the session, and we did not recover.  We ran overtime and some members missed afternoon tea maybe I should have pulled the pin a bit earlier.   Note to self watch the actual time too!

The division of duties in the main yard whereby the assistant yardmaster, being under control of the yardmaster, but operating independently, did not to eventuate.

A new strategy will be required to ensure the separation of these duties occur.

My manually produced waybills were also out of balance which saw layout industries lacking cars and Hornertown Yard being way too full.  I will need to work on this over the coming sessions.

Unfortunately, no action photos were taken this session.

Afterwards most of us enjoyed afternoon tea however other had to leave due to time constraints.

Wayne's on 8 June

Alan, Hugh, Murray, Des & Me joined Wayne for good session.  I was assigned Lowood Crossing again and the workload was "not as intense" and last session. I even got time to take some video and photos!

L-R Murray, Wayne, Des, Hugh & Alan

Des & Alan at Forrest Gully

Hugh at Red Rock

Wayne & Murray at Stokers Siding

Hugh at Dunkleigh Towers

Murray at Eden Park

Des at Mulga Ridge

Wayne & Alan at Valley Junction

Hugh and Murray at Dunkleigh Towers

Afterwards we enjoyed a chat and afternoon tea

Some running action

Wayne's on 23 June

I was sick, so I missed out, but Peter J sent me a few photos and I had a chat to Wayne.


Des with his Job Card

Peter J

Wayne, Peter S and Darren

Barry & Des

Reports were that Peter S did did really well for his first time managing Lowood Crossing, I might loose my job!  They were a few gremlins in the hidden areas but they also had some fun.

That's it for now so until next time.....