After schedule and weather disappointments earlier this winter, I have been making up for it in the past month. In the wake of Winterail here in Oregon and the schedule-conflicting BayRails operating event in the San Francisco Bay Area, four “Boomers” who participated in BayRails came through Western Oregon on their way home. I was able to put together a scratch crew from among my local operators, so I could host our eastern visitors for a Wednesday evening operating session. We had just enough operators between the four Boomers and twelve locals, though we did need to do a little operator drafting, as will be seen below in a picture.
A “Boomer” is a railroader who moves from place to place, working on different railroads. This aptly describes my four visitors. They travel around the country attending various model railroad operating events. I was glad to be able to host this group of visitors under less hectic circumstances than the NMRA National Convention held two years ago in Portland.
We had a full crew at Eugene. Yardmaster Rick A. is observing and directing his yard crews off to the left (see next photo below). Rick K. is working the Eugene City Switcher. Phil M. (new to the layout, but a local operator) is working the First Springfield local.
Dave H. (L) and Ken R. (R), served as the two switch crews for Eugene. Dave is working out of the Arrival-Departure Yard as Ken looks on.
Santa Clara Tower Operator Vic N. (L) directs action in the Eugene Arrival-Departure Yard. He coached John D. (R) so John can take on this role in subsequent sessions. I have been trying to get crew members cross-trained this year. A cut of cars is being pulled from an arrival track out to the Classification Yard.
Local crew member Joe B. (L) works with Boomer John R. (R) as they move the X-SP9316W through Springfield and around the Marcola area. SP9316W is an EURVY—a Eugene to Roseville Manifest with Pacific Northwest Loads headed to the large classification yard at Roseville, CA. That traffic can go most anywhere from Roseville. Ken R. is in the background, working at the RR-East end of the Eugene Classification Yard. Overhead is a WCEUE—a lumber empty train returning to Eugene from the Los Angeles area (West Colton). Major blocks of cars for forest products is a hallmark of these trains.
Brigg F. is running that WCEUE into Cascade Summit.
John R. has gotten his train up to Westfir (below, left). Boomer Henry F. (right rear) and Bill M. are working their train RR-West up through Wicopee. Craig P. (left rear) serves as the helper engineer.
Boomers Jim D. (L) and Ted P (R) worked the Oakridge Turn. This was a big train that required most of the evening to do its work. Here they are organizing the train for more efficient switching, as it arrived at Oakridge in jumbled order—typical of local trains departing the Eugene Yard.
I got drafted into service bringing AMTRAK Number 14 down from Crescent Lake. I am passing through Cruzatte at this point. It is a rare event for a layout owner, particularly of a developing large railroad, to be able to operate a train during a regular session. Although I had a couple of minor glitches earlier that I had to attend to, the crew was humming along with their work and not needing any “help” from me, so I was able to run a train!