Over the past month, I made and reported on a couple of enhancements to my railroad aimed at improving and enhancing operations. Notable was the track realignment at RR-East Springfield (https://espeecascades.blogspot.com/2019/01/track-realignment-at-springfield.html) aimed at clearing a chronic source of derailments. Another project created moveable track assignment tags (https://espeecascades.blogspot.com/2019/01/track-labels-for-operations.html)for use by yard crews. Both projects needed testing by my operating crew. I am happy to report both enhancements were resounding successes!
No new trouble tags were generated at RR-East Springfield. This marks clearing a major trouble spot. The moveable track use tags received even more glowing reports. The yard crews working in both the Eugene Classification Yard and the Eugene Arrival/Departure Yard were quite enthusiastic about those tags. Switch crews no longer needed to refer to the car card slots with their destination tags or ask the Yardmaster. As noted in the earlier blog post on this topic, the ends of these yards are away from the car card slots. Indeed, they asked for additional destination tags to cover destinations or classifications not provided in the initial set of tags. They also resolved the question of label tape format. Conventional black lettering on a white background was more easily read and comprehended than white letting on a black background.
Chuck C. (near) and Brigg F. (far) work both ends of the Eugene Classification Yard. Destination track tags are placed at the near end of tracks 2 and 3 (Right to Left count). Indeed, two destinations have been designated for Track 2. In the far distance to the right of this view, a through freight effortlessly passes through the RR-East end of Springfield.
The Eugene Arrival/Departure Yard crew (Santa Clara Tower job) composed of Scott B. and Craig P. is all smiles as they keep their work organized and efficient through use of the track tags.
While the big news of the just-completed 33rd full operation of my SP Cascade Line was the improvement made by this pair of operations enhancements, the rest of the operation provided plenty of enjoyment and satisfaction for the full crew. Herewith additional photos from this Groundhog Day session.
Early in the session, the Oakridge Turn worked Westfir (left, lower) on its way back to Eugene. Meanwhile, the LABRT crosses over Salt Creek Trestle (right, upper) as it descends toward Eugene and then Portland (SP BRooklyn Yard).
An EULAY winds its way around the Marcola Branch area on its way up the mainline toward Westfir and Oakridge. The S-curve in the mainline is a favorite railfanning spot.
Tom D. and Jim M. work the Springfield-A job on the depot side of the mainline at Springfield. The Springfield jobs are split by the mainline and phased to keep both the mainline and a passing siding clear for mainline traffic.
The EUKFY works through Westfir on its way to Oakridge while traffic on the mountain grade is at Wicopee and working through Tunnel 12 and Salt Creek Trestle.
The EUKFY gets a helper placed mid-train in Oakridge. Dick K. serves as the helper engineer.
The helper power is removed from the EUKFY at Cascade Summit. At Dispatcher's discretion, this move often is most easily done by using the Lake Siding (outer edge--left), allowing easy access for the helper into the Beattie Spur (actually a double-ended siding) where it can rest awaiting Dispatcher permission to return downhill to Oakridge.
A helper set returns light downhill crossing Shady Creek Trestle.
As my railroad, equipment, track, and operations mature, I find myself hosting full operating crews to the point where I must turn away late responders to the crew call. This is a happy condition to be in!