Thursday, April 28, 2022

April Update


There has been an increase in activities during April. I held my first Ops Session for around 5 months however it did not go as I expected due to some scheduling errors, some incorrect consisting (by me), some locos deciding not to operate correctly (loss of speed matching), out of practice operators, loco coupler damage and me being less than perfect on the control panel - an eventful day!  So another new schedule is on the drawing board. Apart from this I spent some time working with Peter J on scheduling for his EVNGR ops session, prepared the ore unloading instructions for Huntington, updated my old laptop including Win10 updates, Java Version 11 runtime and JMRI to the current release version for Wayne. I also attended Wayne's ops sessions.

Loco Damage

During my ops session the mounting for my Loco at Stanvac had the coupler including the bolster on the shell destroyed - Not sure how or by who - leaving me somewhat disappointed.

I tried making a new bolster for the screw mount but it was not strong enough so I had to drill through the frame and tap for a nylon screww which had to be trimmed back in order to get a secure mount for the coupler pocket.

Perhaps a brush with loco black will disguise the repair...

Revisiting Speed Matching

During the ops session it was obvious that some locos we not performing as expected.  When I put the on the dyno it was obvious why - some had jumped by 10 smph - they must be finally run in!  So around six locos were re speed matched and have been retyrned to the layout.

Yet Another Session 1 (Version 3)

I have had to lower my sights!

I have finally conceded that I have been trying too hard to maximise the running during my ops sessions.  After the last session and then attending Wayne's and Peter J's my intensity of movements is too high.  I have decided that I will change some stuff yet again!

The Way Forward...

Implement a Huntington Yardmaster
  • Increase frequency of trains Goods, Grain, Ore, Passenger.

Schedule Shunt crews then fill other movements – a different focus
  • Flintston, Huntington, Jimtown, Adamsville, Iron Hill, Stanvac.

Two up crews for shunting except where Yardmaster's are in place.

One up crew for mainline runs.

Reduce number of mainline movements by 5 or 6 trains per session from 30-32>24-27.   By way of comparison Wayne uses 18-22 movements for 4 operators, excluding yardmaster tasks, per session.

Some operators looking to sit during the session for 5-10 minutes to rest their backs.

New rule if >5mins to next task, then move to crew room, sit down and chat to anyone else sitting so as NOT to distract those working at Huntington.

Perhaps in the future train some people to work the control panel – Possile candidates maybe Wayne, John, Don, Barry – this would allow me to mentor and problem solve without having to stop the clock too.

So whilst watching Vic Tililng's videos I commenced the next iteration of planning.

The paperwork is finally ready, completed just before writing this.

The links to the full paperwork will be posted on my website in the future.

Ops Planning for EVNGR

I have spent some time with Peter J discussion potential approaches and option for his operations.  I have offered to do some modelling once he has collected his running and shunting times.

Peter's initial train graph

First revised train ghraph used for his ops session on April 11

Huntington Ore Unloading

I have put some instructions together for the Huntington Yatdmaster see the final draft below

Updating JMRI for Wayne

I gave Wayne my old train room laptop as his had failed.  I retrieved it from him to bring Win10 up to date and install Java 11 runtime and the latest JMRI production release.

That work has been completed so we need to set a date to connect up his SprogII and Lenz computer interface.  I know it will be a pain installing unsigned drivers for the older Sprogg but I will get there.

Ops Sessions

There were four sessions in April: Mine; EVNGR and two at Wayne's.

HCS Session 2 on 4 April

Oh what a session - it did not go as I expected due to some of my scheduling errors where staging stuff ups meant no space for an arriving train - twice!   

Following the command station having a new board I incorrectly re-entered consisting information meaning the consist was back to front and reversed instead of going forward resulting in a major derailment in hidden staging.

Some locos having not been run for around 15-18 months decided not to operate correctly (loss of speed matching).

We were all out of practice in operating so most of us made mistakes,

Coupled with all this I was less than perfect on the control panel too.

All in all an eventful day - but, at afternoon tea the comments were that we still had fun!

Peter J


Wayne & Peter R

Yours Truly


Chris, Ross & Barry


EVNGR on 11 April

We had our first run with the new car cards and Peter J was the despatcher printing switchlist on the fly using JMRI Ops.  It was an interesting session where Peter Learnt about his new schedule and a few "holes" were discovered so some operators has some "quiet times" whilst others like me we kept nusy for the entire session.

Dennis, on his first visit, getting a briefing from Peter.

Wayne with Peter S looking on


Peter S


Peter J


Wayne's on 13 April

The pictures show the crew and some of the tasks undertaken.  We had a good afternoon despite being one operator down and all scheduled movements were completed.

L-R Des, Wayne, Darren, Ross and Alan

Ross undertaking Yardmaster duties at Lowood Crossing

Darren and Des switching the local at Stokers Siding

Our Host Wayne

Alan shunting Mulga Ridge

Ross shunting Hartley Vale

Darren & Alan switching the local at Forrest Gully

Des undertaking Yardmaster duties at Dunkleigh Towers

Wayne was kept busy replacing throttle batteries during the session

Wayne's on 28 April

Chris, Des,Peter S and I joineed Wayne for the session.  Things went pretty well until about three quarters of the way through the session we started getting derailments in a hidden section of track. This eventually lead to an early finish as the mainline was blocked due to a mjor derailement and Wayne called a halt to proceedings. We still enjoyed the session and had some fun.

Peter, Des, Wayne & Chris

Wayne "supervising us"

Peter at Dunkleigh Towers

Des closely watching his train approaching Valley Junction

Peter at Forrest Gully

Wayne "looking for issues"

Afterwards we enjoyed afternoon tea.

Here is a video showing some of the running...

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


No comments:

Post a Comment