Thursday, June 27, 2019


The second edition of Western Oregon OPerationS (WOOPS) was held June 13-15. This bi-annual event has joined other regional model railroad operating events around the country.  Our first WOOPS was held in 2017 with four layouts in operation over two days.  This year's event expanded to thirteen layouts operated over three days by an almost doubled crew of "Boomers"--visiting model railroaders.  

As with the first WOOPS, my SP Cascade Line was one of the featured layouts, hosting crews of fifteen Boomers plus five or six of my regular operators serving as mentors and filling key operating slots.  My operating sessions were Thursday and Saturday, leaving me a day in between to re-stage the railroad.  

I chose to create a "day shift" and a "night shift" for the two sessions with break points at 6 am and 6 pm.  Thursday's session then carried over onto Saturday, with several trains out on the line, "in-transit."  I also increased the local work a bit by calling the Eugene City Switcher for both sessions and ensuring three of the other locals had at least some work to do in their given session.  A returning Oakridge Turn began the Thursday session and its outbound counterpart went out to Oakridge later in that session.  This train was "caught" at Oakridge on Saturday and had plenty of work yet to do.

The following pictures from my two sessions tells much of the story--lots of action!  Yes, I did have a hiccup with Amtrak on Saturday--the lead unit failed.  That was solved prototypically by grabbing a spare helper set at Oakridge to replace the ailing locomotive.  That did cause a bit of a traffic snarl on "the Hill" up to Cascade Summit, but that was very prototypical.  

The 01-EURVY climbs up-grade over Salt Creek Trestle while the Oakridge Turn arrives in Westfir to switch the sawmill there on its way back to Eugene.  Bruce M, can't resist the photo opportunity while Bob W. reports to the Dispatcher with the Oakridge Turn.

Action in Eugene.  In the distance, Conductor Larry A. reports his departure from Eugene.  Jim R. works the RR-West end of the yard with Yardmaster Burr S. watching over.  Bruce N. is working a car cut at the RR-East end of the yard.  Closest to the camera is Ed S, working the Eugene City Switcher. This services Eugene industry spurs near the depot.

Brad T. and Mike M. confer as their 01-EUKFY rolls through Springfield.  The First Springfield job has arrived on the depot side of the mainline at Springfield and its crew is organizing their work.

A meet is underway at Cruzatte.  The RR-Westbound has taken the siding while the RR-Eastbound rolls downhill on the mainline, per standard practice.

On Saturday, the railroad was equally busy.  Scott B. watches his train depart Eugene on the main.  Yardmaster Mark S. watches as RR-West and -East Switchers, Tony T. and Joe G. confer.  Across the aisle, Tom L. can be seen in the distance conferring with his crewmate about their Springfield work.  They have just pulled in to the Springfield siding and will work aisle-side industry spurs there.  

Larry H. studies work for the Oakridge Turn while Brian F. rolls the 01-WCEUE out of town and starts up the Cascade "Hill."  Overhead, the 02-RVEUY enters Cascade Summit, ready to begin its descent toward Oakridge and then Eugene.

The 01-BROAT rolls past Montieth Rock, guided by Tom L. and Kurt S, as Larry H. snaps a railfan shot.  The Oakridge Turn was tapped to provide its power and crew as the regular helper sets had not been returned to Oakridge in time to assist this high priority train.

Meet at Wicopee.  A light helper set has pulled out of the house track and behind a RR-East (downhill) train as a RR-West (uphill) rolls by on the mainline.  <David Lange photo>

Amtrak No. 11 climbs uphill over Salt Creek Trestle.  The lead Amtrak unit failed at Oakridge and was replaced by the pair of helper locomotives available there.  <David Lange photo>

Regular crewmember Jim L. places his helper set on the point of a RR-East (downhill) train to get the helpers back down to Oakridge from Cascade Summit.  This often is the most efficient way to get the helpers back down the hill.

Regular crewmember Craig L. manages Crescent Lake staging, while Ron B. (seated) awaits 
his departure.

Boomer Dispatcher Seth N. works while regular crewmember John B. stands by to assist. 
<David Lange photo>

The Saturday crew is all smiles--a common facial expression for both days' operations. 
<David Lange photo>

Judging by the smiles, chatter and comments, my part of WOOPS was a success.  The same feelings were in evidence Saturday night at the banquet.  For my part, it was great fun showing off my railroad to peers--fellow model railroad operators and owners of operating layouts.

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