In early June, we held our regional model railroad operating event, WOOPS 2023 (Western Oregon OPerationS). The event featured fifty “Boomer” (travelling railroad workers) Operators from around the West operating a dozen of our local model railroads. I conducted two sessions for the extended weekend event. Friday’s session was covered in the previous post: https://espeecascades.blogspot.com/2023/06/woops-2023-1.html
After a scramble to re-stage my railroad on Friday evening and Saturday, I held my second session on Sunday.
I had a full “Boomer” crew scheduled for Sunday. One last-minute drop-out cleared way for a last-minute gain of a young man from Switzerland who was touring railroad sites and activities in the West. I was glad to slip him into this operating session. A neighborhood young man also showed up (as previously invited to do when he visited a regular operating session with his mother). One of my “Boomer” crew members took him under his wing and began teaching him the art of model railroad operations.
Follow along with photos from my second WOOPS 2023 operating session.
Attached to the Dispatcher’s panel was Rick Kang’s crew nameplate. Rick taught us much about dispatching a railroad. We dedicated WOOPS 2023 to Rick Kang, Chuck Clark and Tom Dill, three gentlemen who contributed much to our area model railroad operations. All three passed in the last three years.
My in-briefing included description of the Direct Traffic Control blocks on my railroad. Rick Kang set up the mountain grade blocks in a way that allowed an up-hill train to advance without Dispatcher instruction to the next siding up hill. This has been useful when traffic (on railroad and on the radio) gets heavy.
Seth N. (rear) dispatched the morning half of the session, with mentoring by regular Dispatcher John B. (front). Seth operated here before and fell right into the dispatching rhythm.
The Eugene Yard crew discusses their duties. Jim B. (background) describes the yard work to my young neighbor, E.S. Keith S. (seated served as the RR-West end switcher. Mark S. (center, facing) worked the Eugene City Switcher, which serves the industries at Eugene against the backdrop. Jim R. (light blue shirt with back turned) served as the Eugene Yardmaster. Jim drew a high-numbered crew chit and ended up with the Yardmaster job. He did well with my limited instructions.
John W. was drafted as the Arrival-Departure Yardmaster. He did well, even without a full switching crew. Thanks John!
Traffic got quite congested at Springfield on occasion. Dave H. (black WOOPS shirt) looks on as Ollie F. (red shirt, our Swiss visitor) moves a train through Springfield. Dave H. had the Marcola Turn which at this point was occupying a Drill track at Springfield. Meanwhile, another through train occupies the mainline in the middle of Springfield. I understand why the SP eventually developed the Judkins siding between the Eugene Depot (RR-West end of Eugene) and Springfield. It was an important safety valve for heavy traffic in or out of Eugene.
Dave H. works the Marcola Turn with a significant block of cars exchanged on the Weyerhaueser Interchange tracks and other local work on spurs off the branch “main.”
Ed S. drew the Oakridge Turn. He has organized his train and has just pulled cars from Pope and Talbot in the distance behind him.
Mike C. (blue shirt) is the helper engineer assisting road engineer Doug L at McCredie Springs.
Doug L. and Mike C. have gotten their train up to Cascade Summit as local crew mentor Pete H. (black shirt, middle) looks on.
As with Friday, another happy crew on Sunday. A couple of crew members had to leave to catch airplanes home before we took this group photo. Al D. (gray shirt on the left) dispatched the afternoon part of the session.