Joined: Wed Dec 08 2004, 09:01PM Location: Portland, OR Posts: 2112
Didn't realize you had had other problems with cars going on the ground with your train. I think we need to schedule a work session to get to the other half of the cars and do maintenance.
I know things immediately improved when we pulled maintenance on the first half back in January ... doing the other half ought to fix many other incidents.
The one coupler height issue you discovered with your first train was quite pronounced and we'll certainly repair that car before putting it back on the layout again. It's clear dealing with the bad cars makes a big difference ... witness the fact you had no other troubles with your first train once we bad ordered the troublemaker.
Bet it's nice to look at these faces in the op session photos now and feel they belong to real people you know! Joe Fugate http://siskiyou-railfan.net - 200,000 hits and counting!
Joe, Thanks again for the chance to run on your layout. It was an unforgettable experience. We'll have to get together to do it again sometime, hopefully people will behave themselves and not run into powerpoles next time.
As for putting cars on the ground. I didn't have too many experiences but there were a couple noted events. One was in Eugene staging as we were leaving with the first train. I noticed a boxcar with one axle on one truck off the rail. I quickly fixed that and noted no further problems along the way with that car. I would assume that it was left over from the last session or when that train was moved last. The next was caused by my engineer and I not keeping in touch. He quit relaying his progress but I think the problem was actually caused by his lashup stalling on the hill. I didn't notice the stall as we were moving very slowly and my continued pushing put the car on it's side. As for the caboose; I am at a loss as to explain that. We were moving again and I looked back at the rest of the train for problems and saw the caboose laying on it's side at a switch. As you look at the track it was the turnout on the left of the siding at whatever location I mentioned in my narrative from yesterday. We weren't jerking the train with too much power; no jack rabbit starts or the like. Nothing else rolling over that turnout had any problems so I can't explain it. If I had been looking right at the car when it happened I could probably tell you more but I didn't see what happened. Sorry.
As for the friendly faces. Everyone was great. Those who talked with me were genuinely interested in helping me or quizzing me on my layout or other matters train oriented. I wish that I had been introduced or introduced myself to others, like Jordan, but it was still memorable nonetheless. I would have liked to talk more with Jordan about his real job but that will have to wait. I did recognize the one gentleman that needed the stool from the last op session you posted along with a couple other faces that were there before the power outage. I was actually waiting for the conversation to change or pause so I could meet Jeff and get to know him a little but he beat me to it with his "Who's Dale?" and then the talk went back to the previous topics. So I'll have to settle for his website and chatting there and here on your site. But there were really no regrets at all other than not getting to run a normal session and the complete layout. Seeing it in person and running it was more than I could imagine. If you see these guys before I get to thank them on line here, tell them I really appreciate their friendliness, help and working me and with me through the session. It made it a lot less tense and more fun that way. Next time I'd like to run across the entire layout and maybe try to learn the car card system a little.....and the switching of the 70 car business, and the helper job again and the fully functional engine set and the........well you get the idea! Talk to you later. Dale Come for a ride on the Sumpter Valley Railway near Baker and I'll see you there. Dale T.
Joined: Wed Dec 08 2004, 09:01PM Location: Portland, OR Posts: 2112
By all means you need to come back and visit during a more typical op session ... maybe next spring?
One thing you haven't mentioned is the sneak peak you got at chapter 6 out of video volume 3 ... what did you think?
It's a step-by-step installation of headlights in SP7444 ... do you remember much of the preview? We went through it mighty fast, and did that in among all the other things we were doing when I was showing you around the layout and we were preparing for the op session.
Yeah, Joe, I remember a little right now, (I'm bushed and it's midnight and I have a train show to go to tomorrow for the Sumpter Valley) so everything is a little clouded right now. I seem to remember a bit about taking the cab off the body as well as the shell and some wiring, etc. The headlights do ring a bell, now that you bring it up. I absolutely love gyra lights and can't wait to have some of my own. But you need to have more on yours, too. I only got to run one unit like that and I really missed using it on the other units I ran! Odd, considering the length of our session and how much we did or didn't run. Back to the video. We were covering a lot and I was amazed at most of what I was seeing but I do remember, distinctly, being excited about seeing the whole video when it comes out. You are doing a lot of intriguing things and I just could not come up with anything inteligible to say or ask simply because I had so much going through my head. The one thing that does stand out in my mind about that video is that I can't wait to try what you were demonstrating on some of my engines. You make it look so easy. The other thing that got me excited was the size and cost of the speakers and DCC computer boards ( I told you I'm getting a fuzzy brain; I can't recall what they are really called). I can actually afford more of those than I thought. Don't give up on me though. I'll remember more if I hear a little hint now and then. But for now I'm heading for bed. Talk to you later. Dale P.S. As for all you Siskiyou fans who haven't seen a preview; 1st off, nyah,nyah,nyah! and secondly you're going to love this video! Dale Come for a ride on the Sumpter Valley Railway near Baker and I'll see you there. Dale T.
Joined: Wed Dec 08 2004, 09:30PM Location: Stayton, OR Posts: 582
Will you cover replacing headlight lightbulbs with LED's? That's one thing that I'm considering doing in the near future.
It's too bad (from my point) that you're running too far back in time to need to figure out wiring in ditch lights......... Jeff Shultz Willamette & Pacific - Oregon Electric Branch W&P RR Photo Gallery
The 1.5v miniatronics bulbs have a life of 1,000 hours if they are not driven too bright. That translates out to 10+ years of useful life as often as I operate the Siskiyou Line.
The only really tiny white LEDs I've found are surface mount, and you have to cut/file off the base housing of the LED to get something that might fit into the holes on a second generation SP diesel headlight casting. Lots of fiddling, in other words, on something already very, very tiny, and the light ends up rather bluish besides.
Here's another still from volume 3 where I demonstrate drilling out the casting with a #55 drill to fit the 1.5v bulbs ... notice the hole is just right and the bulb fits just fine into the hole.
Joined: Wed Dec 08 2004, 09:30PM Location: Stayton, OR Posts: 582
Well, I'll be watching carefully in any case - the GP40's lights are much brighter than the GP38s - the 38's lights are much too yellow as well. Jeff Shultz Willamette & Pacific - Oregon Electric Branch W&P RR Photo Gallery
Hi everyone, I hope this isn't so late as to be mindless brain fodder now but I ran through the op session pictures again and was reminded of some other points and by something else Joe said that I wanted to cover.
One thing that really stood out was the helper run I made with Ken Lass. As we started I was concentrating on trying to do as Joe suggested. I thought I understood what he meant by the coupler compression but what I understood was only part of the issue. Not only do you want to watch the compression but, moreover, what it means is to see that about half of the cars in front of you are moving forward when you start pushing and then the head end should begin taking up the coupler slack in the rest of the cars so you're actually sharing the weight distribution of all the cars in between your respective power. I don't know about everyone else but I thought it went very well until, as I mentioned in my previous post, the head end power stalled on the hill while I remained unaware. I kept pushing, consistently adjusting my throttle till I noticed the tank lay over on it's side. The fun aspect of running trains in a session aside, you really need to be watching at all times during this phase of operations or you can and will derail and/or damage something. Fortunately only the derail occured this time. This takes me to my next observation.
Radio traffic can be a nuisance when you are concentrating on the task at hand. Don't be tempted to turn the volume down as you may need it when you least expect it. When the head end power stalled ascending Rice Hill my engineer didn't call out a warning, which would have been extremely helpful to me. Concentrating so hard that you don't hear is one thing but NOT using the radio can be equally disastrous. We may not have put the tank on the ground. That was NOT due to turning the volume down on our headsets this time, but later on when dispatch was trying to get hold of me for a light movement back down the hill to Roseburg I turned mine down a little to talk with Jerry about other issues and was trying to help him put water cars in his consist when Jim Laycock stepped in and said 'Dispatch is trying to get hold of you.' OOPS! Again, don't turn your radio down so far that you don't hear the dispatcher calling. Besides, radio traffic adds another dimension to the session that made it even more fun than it already was!
As for track issues and bad order cars; well, those things happen in real life and I think trying to figure out how to deal with it is all the more prototypical. Joe jumped in and lifted the car, which was fine as we were short of operating time, but in another situation? I think letting your operators figure out how to deal with the problem by setting the car out or calling the dispatcher or yardmaster for guidance might add an element of realism to the session. It also provides more fodder for the debrief. And maybe a lead spike or a derail award or some other 'less than honorable' tag could be handed out at that time; all in fun of course!
Right now, though? Well, I'm plotting on what excuse I can use to get back over to the Siskiyou for a little redemption. Even though we were scabs operating in violation of the strike I feel like I've cracked the barrier and might have a chance to bid for a normal operator position. It depends on how the strike turns out. Any progress there, Joe? Oh yeah, one more thing. The shot of Ken and I reassembling his train and removing the helper unit is great. It didn't really seem like that long of a train BUT when you see it in the photos it amazing how long it really was. Great coverage Joe. Come for a ride on the Sumpter Valley Railway near Baker and I'll see you there. Dale T.
Michel, Your observation is right on the money. The whole day was punctuated by excitement leading to our bizarre op session! It started with not having seen Joe and his wife, Patty, in over 20 years. Also, the fact that I was going to be able to run trains on the Siskiyou, which I had only read about or seen on-line was a big factor, as was meeting the people I had chatted with there as well. You know how you get butterflies, as they say, when you're about to do something you've never done before. You're afraid you'll mess up, you're not sure how the session is going to be conducted, are you going to get along with everyone; the list goes on and on. Well, I was trying hard not to let that rule me that day and I thought I was doing very well. Then, BAM!, , the power goes out! At first you could hear the others laughing and commenting on how this was going to be a REAL night session then the realization that this wasn't a good thing set in. As the clock ticked off the seconds we rapidly became aware that this could be trouble. Everyone took it in stride and we talked, told railroad stories, asked about all sorts of rail issues; no one wanting to admit that we were probably going to have to call off the session. Now, Joe has probably dealt with all sorts of issues so I would guess that this was just another small disappointment for him not having his friends run the trains. 'Oh well, we'll get to do it some other time'. But for me, I had been thinking of this for months, the time was here, I'm all pumped up. Now there was frustration. Why do things like this always seem to happen with me? I tried not to show how dissapointed I was and I kept telling myself 'you can come over again next season and try it again.' but that didn't help much. I'm sure Joe and Patty and my wife could see it in my face but what are you going to do? So when the lights came back on...well, Joe and I looked at each other not wanting to be the first to say anything that might condemn the whole thing. We gave it a minute or so and then noticed the last couple guys, outside, coming back into the house and we beelined it for the trains! You know the rest of the story from this site. It was really a baptism of fire! But I think I did very well....for my VERY FIRST TIME ever in an op session. I'm hooked. I can't wait to get back to Joe's and try a full fledged session. Only, like I said before, I'm not telling Joe or any of his regulars when, so the power won't be disrupted. I'm going to have to rethink how I intend to run my trains; when they get up and running. Thanks for reading the post and responding. Bring us more up to date on your layout when you can. Till then, good railroading. Dale Come for a ride on the Sumpter Valley Railway near Baker and I'll see you there. Dale T.