OPERATING SESSIONS

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JANUARY 18TH OP. SESSION: DÉBUT OF THE UT4R.       

I HELD THIS OP. SESSION WITH THE EXPRESS PURPOSE OF TRYING OUT THE NEW UT4R.  WITH 24 OPERATORS AND 22 UT4R'S, WE MOVED A LOT OF TRAINS TO GIVE THE THROTTLES A GOOD SHAKE DOWN.  MY DISPATCHER KEPT THE TRAINS COMING AND GOING.  THE TEST TURNED OUT TO BE A GRAND SUCCESS.  EVERYONE WAS HAPPY WITH THE NEW THROTTLE.  THROTTLE RESPONSE WAS GOOD AND THE THROTTLE PROVED EASY TO USE.  ANOTHER ADVANTAGE IS THAT WE ARE DOWN TO ONE TYPE OF THROTTLE NOW.  OBVIOUSLY I'M STILL USING TWO DT400R'S.  I NEED ONE TO CONTROL THE LAYOUT AND PROGRAM WITH, THE OTHER IS BACKUP.  I KEPT ONE PLUGGED IN NEXT TO THE PROGRAMMING TRACK IN THE SAN BERNARDINO YARD AND THE OTHER WAS KEPT IN THE STAGING YARD WHERE THE DISPATCHERS USED IT TO MOVE TRAINS IN AND OUT OF THE YARD.  EVERYONE ELSE USED UT4R'S.  

        

BRENT COURTNEY IS ON THE PHONE TO THE DISPATCHER.  SCOTT HOGENSON IS IN THE BACKGROUND WORKING A LOCOMOTIVE.  ON THE RIGHT TYLER LEES, OUR HOSTLER FOR THE EVENING ADDRESSES A UT4R.

GIL BENNETT, THE YARD MASTER IS ISSUING ORDERS - HE HAD TO GET TOUGH TO KEEP THE YARD RUNNING SMOOTHLY.

    

JON ROBINSON EASES A TRAIN INTO SAN BERNARDINO.  PETE JEROME WAS WORKING THE YARD FOR THE FIRST TIME.

TOM WINTERMUTE AND FRED MARTIN ARE DISCUSSING SOMETHING AS TOM BRINGS A TRAIN THROUGH CAJON.

    

DAVE VICKERS IS HAVING A GOOD TIME.  ON THE RIGHT EVERYONE SEEMS TO BE STANDING AT ATTENTION WAITING FOR A CRACK ATSF PASSENGER TRAIN TO PASS THE FREIGHT IN THE HOLE AT DEVORE.

QUINTEN FOSTER IS SMILING SO HARD HE CAN'T SEE - I HOPE THERE IS NOTHING IN TUNNEL NUMBER 2 UP AHEAD OF THE UP EXTRA.

BRIAN TERMUNDE IS SURE CONCENTRATING ON HIS TRAIN

    NOVEMBER SPECIAL OPERATING SESSION

IN EARLY NOVEMBER A GROUP CAME OUT FROM MICHIGAN.  SUPPLEMENTED BY SOME LOCAL OPERATORS WE HELD AN OP SESSION BOTH HERE AND AT LEE NICHOLAS'.  IT TURNED OUT TO BE ANOTHER GREAT GROUP OF OPERATORS. WE HAD A GREAT TIME.

    

JIM FRENCH IS CONCENTRATING ON HIS TRAIN AT SAN BERNARDINO.  JON ROBINSON IS THE HOSTLER FOR THE SESSION.

    

LIONEL STRANG RUNNING A TRAIN BETWEEN PINE LODGE AND ALRAY.  LENZA WILSON AND LIONEL BRING A TRAIN OUT OF SAN BERNARDINO ON THE RIGHT.

    

DOUG TAGSOLD AND  BRUCE CARPENTER ARE WORKING TRAINS AT CAJON.

    

LOOKS LIKE BAD NEWS FOR LEE, THE YARD MASTER!  ON THE RIGHT, PAT IS GIVING NEWBIE, FRED MARTIN, SOME HELP ON OPERATING THE THROTTLE.

    

STEVE NIELSON IS ANOTHER GUY NEW TO OPERATIONS.  HERE HE IS BRINGING A HELPER DOWN THE HILL.  DAVE SPRITKE JUST KEEPS ON SMILING.  IT'S PROBABLY BECAUSE I PROMISED TO GET HIM OUT OF THE DISPATCHER'S OFFICE AT THE NEXT SESSION.

I GAVE JACK OZANICH 60 DAYS FOR FALLING A SLEEP ON THE JOB - AND WITH THE TELEPHONE IN HIS EAR TOO!  ACTUALLY - IT IS ALWAYS GREAT TO HAVE AN EXPERIENCED RAILROADER IN A SESSION.  I LEARNED A LOT FROM HIS EXPERIENCE.

 

THE 2004 GREAT BASIN GETAWAY

WE JUST FINISHED UP THE 2004 GREAT BASIN GETAWAY.  IT WAS MY SECOND OPPORTUNITY TO BE A PART OF THE TRADITIONAL UTAH OPERATING GET TOGETHER.  WE ONLY HAD 45 GUEST THIS YEAR BECAUSE WE WERE SHORT ONE LAYOUT (ROB SPANGLER IS BUILDING A NEW HOUSE SO HIS LAYOUT IS IN THE TRASH BIN - FOR NOW.)  WITH 15 GUEST PER SESSION I HAD TO RELY ON SEVERAL OF MY LOCAL OPERATORS FOR SUPPORT.  THE GOOD NEWS WAS THAT A THIRD OF THE ATTENDEES WERE SANTA FE MODELERS.  BECAUSE MY LAYOUT STRESSES MAINLINE RUNNING IT TAKES A FEW MORE FOLKS TO RUN THAN THE OTHERS.  EVEN WITH 20 OPERATORS WE RAN OUT OF CREWS QUITE A BIT - JUST LIKE THE PROTOTYPE!    PART OF THAT WAS DUE TO THE EXCELLENT  SCALE SPEED RUNNING OF THE GUEST CREWS.  ANYWAY - A GOOD TIME WAS HAD BY ALL AND I NEEDED TWO DAYS TO RECOVER FROM SEVERAL SHORT NIGHTS.    THANKS AGAIN TO EVERYONE WHO PARTICIPATED.  I HOPE TO SEE YOU AGAIN AT THE NEXT GBG!!!

                    

ANDY SPERANDEO AGAIN TAKES ON THE CHALLENGE OF YARDMASTER DUTIES.  ON THE LEFT HE IS FILLING OUT SWITCH LISTS.  OTTO KROUTIL ON THE RIGHT IS JUST PLAIN HAVING A GOOD TIME.   

    

THREE OF MY LOCAL CREW, JOHN BENNETT, GIL BENNETT, AND DAVE SPRITKE ARE POSING.  JOHN IS THE CHIEF DISPATCHER ASSISTED BY DAVE.  GIL FILLS IN HELPING ME TO KEEP THINGS RUNNING DURING THE SESSION.  ON THE RIGHT DOUG WATTS BRINGS A TRAIN DOWN THE HILL.

    

GORDY SPIERING IS CAUGHT CORRECTING A PROBLEM DUE TO NOT THROWING A SWITCH WITHOUT CALLING FOR THE BIG HOOK!  8-)

    

I TOLD FRANK TREADAWAY, LEFT, I'D PUT HIM ON THE NET.  ON THE RIGHT MIKE SHAW, THE SUMMIT DEPOT OPERATOR IS ON THE PHONE TO THE DISPATCHER.

    

BARBRA GEIGER BRINGS A TRAIN LOAD OF EMPTY REEFERS DOWN THE HILL WHILE OTTO KROUTIL SHOOTS A PHOTO.  (MAYBE I SHOULD PUT A FEW RAILFAN POSITIONS ON THE CALL BOARD!)  PAT BRIMMER, ONE OF MY LOCAL CREW MEMBERS IS ON THE RIGHT.  HE IS A RETIRED ATSF ENGINEER.

    

JONATHAN JONES, ON THE LEFT, CONCENTRATES AS HE STARTS HIS TRAIN OUT OF SAN BERNARDINO.  DOUG GEIGER WAS HOSTLER ON THE FIRST DAY.  ON THE RIGHT HE IS ADDRESSING A THROTTLE FOR THE NEXT HELPER UP THE HILL.

LEN DUPAUW, SUMMIT DEPOT OPERATOR TALKS TO THE DISPATCHER.

   

KIRK THOMSON, THE CAJON STATION OPERATOR IS ON THE PHONE TO THE SUMMIT DEPOT OPERATOR.  WE MISSED HIS SON, BRIAN, AN ARMY RESERVE OFFICER, WHO WAS ACTIVATED FOR IRAQ.  OUR THOUGHTS ARE WITH HIM.  WE APPRECIATE HIS SERVICE AND WISH HIM THE BEST.

     

STEVE MAHAN EASES A GREEN FRUIT EXPRESS EXTRA OUT OF SAN BERNARDINO. 

 

 BILL KOCH IS WORKING THE ATSF LOCAL AT CAJON.

    

ED SARBER SMILES AS HE BRINGS A HELPER DOWN THE HILL.  HELMET WARMBOLD TALKS TO THE SUMMIT STATION OPERATOR, PART OF HIS DUTIES AS CAJON STATION OPERATOR.

    

JIM SENESE IS WORKING THE YARD.  PAUL BROWN, OUR HOSTLER FOR THE DAY, IS EASING AN ENGINE OUT OF THE ROUNDHOUSE.

   

I'M NOT SURE WHAT IS ON MIKE O'BRIEN'S MIND, BUT ROBIN BECKER IS HAVING A GOOD TIME.

   

JAMES PETERSON GETS THE DISTINCT HONOR OF BEING THE FIRST OPERATOR IN THE HISTORY OF OPERATIONS ON THE LAYOUT TO GET THE ATSF LOCAL PERFECT.  HE DID AN EXCELLENT JOB OF TAKING  THE TRAIN UP AND DOWN THE HILL, SETTING OUT THE RIGHT CARS AT THE RIGHT LOCATION, PICKING UP ALL THE PICK UPS, ETC.  CONGRATULATIONS!!!!

   

WHAT'S THAT PATCH WITH THE GOAT DOING IN MY RAILROAD ROOM?  8-)  NO MATTER - BILL SORNSIN IS DOING A GREAT JOB OF EASING A  SANTA FE FREIGHT UP THROUGH SULLIVAN'S CURVE.

OTTO KROUTIL SENT THIS PHOTO OF YOURS TRULY STANDING IN THE HOSTLER'S POSITION.  OBVIOUSLY I WAS HAVING A GOOD TIME.

MARCH 28TH 2003 SPECIAL OPERATING SESSION

EIGHTEEN VISITORS, MOST FROM OUT OF STATE, VISITED TO OPERATED THE RAILROAD.  IT WAS ENJOYABLE FOR  ME BECAUSE SOME OF THE VISITORS WERE MODEL RAILROADERS  I HAVE ADMIRED FOR A LONG TIME.  THE OPERATORS RAN THE RAILROAD SO WELL THAT AT ONE POINT I WAS ABLE TO SIT IN THE FAMILY ROOM AND VISIT WITH A COUPLE OF THEM AND LATER RUN OUTSIDE TO FIX A SPRINKLER PROBLEM WITHOUT BEING MISSED.  ANDY SPERANDEO TOOK CHARGE OF THE SAN BERNARDINO YARD, LEE NICHOLAS WAS HOSTLER FOR THE DAY, KEITH JORDAN, KELLY NEWTON, AND OTHERS RAN THE SWITCHERS.  THE GUYS  KNEW A LOT ABOUT RAILROADING AND IT SHOWED IN THE DECISIONS THEY MADE AS THE SESSION PROGRESSED.

     

ANDY SPERANDEO, THE YARDMASTER GIVES DEWEY PRATT SOME INSTRUCTIONS.  ON THE LEFT LEE NICHOLAS, THE HOSTLER, ASKS THE DISPATCHER FOR A CREW.

TOMMY HOLT, KELLY NEWTON, AND HENRY FREEMAN ARE RUNNING TRAINS THROUGH CAJON AND BLUE CUT.

    

DAVID BARROW AND ANDY SPERANDEO AT SAN BERNARDINO YARD. KEITH JORDAN CAN BE SEEN IN THE BACKGROUND.  CHUCK HITCHCOCK RUNS A GFX THROUGH SUMMIT.

THE TWO JOHNS, DELANEY LEFT AND BENNETT RIGHT, POSE IN THE STAGING YARD.  THEY ARE THE DISPATCHER/ MOLES FOR THE DAY.

     

DAVID BARROW AND CHUCK HITCHCOCK TAKE A BREAK AFTER A BUSY DAY

 

SCENES FROM A RECENT OP SESSION

   

MIKE NYER AND STEVE SEQUINE ARE CONCENTRATING ON THEIR TRAIN.  ON THE LEFT JOHN TENEROWICZ IS BRINGING THE ATSF LOCAL THROUGH DEVORE

JOHN LLOYD'S WIFE STOPPED BY TO PICK HIM UP SO WE PUT HER ON THE ROSTER.  HERE SHE IS BRINGING THE FAST MAIL THROUGH CAJON.

 

THE 2002 GREAT BASIN GETAWAY

SEPTEMBER 12TH, 13TH, AND 14TH MY LAYOUT WAS ONE OF FOUR USED TO HOST THE GREAT BASIN GETAWAY, AN OPERATING CONVENTION HELD HERE IN UTAH. WE HOSTED OPERATORS FROM ALL OVER THE US AND CANADA.  GUESTS WERE DIVIDED INTO TEAMS THAT TOOK TURNS OPERATING THE LAYOUTS EACH DAY.  THE FIRST GUESTS SHOWED UP THURSDAY MORNING.  WE RAN TRAINS FROM 9:00 AM UNTIL 4:00 PM.  THAT EVENING ALL THE PARTICIPANTS MET FOR DINNER IN LAYTON TO SOCIALIZE.  MANY OF THE US WALKED AWAY WITH DOOR PRIZES RANGING FROM VIDEOS AND FREIGHT CARS TO VARIOUS DIESEL LOCOMOTIVES.  FRIDAY WE RAN AGAIN.  FRIDAY NIGHT I SPENT WORKING GLITCHES IN PREPARATION FOR SATURDAY.  AFTER SATURDAY'S RUN WE HEADED UP TO LEE NICHOLAS' FOR A DUTCH OVEN DINNER AND SOCIAL.  THAT EVENING I SHOWED THE LAYOUT TO  MANY OF THE OPERATORS WHO WERE ON THE TEAM UNABLE TO RUN ON MY LAYOUT DURING THE CONVENTION.  ALL THREE OPERATING SESSIONS WENT VERY WELL.  EVERYONE HAD A GREAT TIME.  I HAVE TO THANK GIL BENNETT, JIM MOORE, DEWEY PRATT, AND MY KIDS, COURTNEY, SHAWN, AND STEVEN FOR THREE DAYS OF HARD WORK.  IT WOULD NOT HAVE BEEN A SUCCESS WITHOUT THEIR HELP.  WE RAN BETWEEN 60 AND 70 TRAIN MOVEMENTS IN ROUGHLY 5 AND 1/2 HOURS AND DID IT ALL THREE DAYS IN A ROW.  I'M SURE EVERYONE IS IN NEED OF A WELL DESERVED REST.  THE FOLLOWING ARE SOME OF THE SHOTS TAKEN DURING THE EVENT.  I APOLOGIZE FOR NOT BEING ABLE TO CONNECT A COUPLE OF NAMES WITH FACES.  PLEASE FEEL FREE TO REMIND ME OF WHO IS WHO.

    

THE WORK TRAIN COMING DOWN THE HILL ON THE LEFT.  ON THE RIGHT ANDY SPERANDEO HAS HIS EYE ON THE 3800 2-10-2 HE'LL BE USING TO PUSH A TRAIN LOAD OF REEFERS UP THE HILL.  GILL BENNETT IS OUR HOSTLER.

    

THE GANG IS HAVING A RAIL FANNING MOMENT AS TRAINS MOVE THROUGH CAJON.  ON THE RIGHT JONATHAN JONES LEADS THE GRAND CANYON UP THE HILL - NOW ROUNDING SULLIVAN'S CURVE.

    

MIKE BURGETT BRINGS A SET OF GEEPS DOWN THE HILL, WHILE DON MITCHELL CONCENTRATES ON BRINGING A TRAIN UP THE HILL TOWARDS SULLIVAN'S CURVE.

    

DONOVAN FURIN IS RUNNING THE EAST END OF THE YARD.  OTTO KROUTIL POSES FOR A PHOTO AS HIS TRAIN CLEARS THE SWITCH AT THE WEST END OF CAJON.

    

PHIL HARTUNG HOLDS A SWITCHER FOR A TRAIN INBOUND TO SAN BERDO.  ONE WONDERS WHAT BLAIR KOOISTRA IS SMILING ABOUT? THE FAST MAIL IS MOVING EAST THROUGH CAJON WITH A HELPER ON THE FRONT.

    

JACK TAYLOR SMILES AS HE BRINGS A REEFER TRAIN ACROSS THE DEVORE BRIDGE.  LOOKS LIKE THE  BOYS ARE ENJOYING ACTIVITY FROM SULLIVAN'S CURVE.

    

ED FOLEY BRINGS A UP EXTRA AROUND SULLIVAN'S CURVE.  ERNEST SCHWENKE BRINGS THE WORK TRAIN ACROSS THE UNDERPASS JUST TO THE WEST OF DEVORE.

    

JONATHAN JONES IS KEEPING A CLOSE EYE ON THE COUPLER AS HE PULLS THE GRAND CANYON THROUGH PINE LODGE.  ON THE RIGHT IS A GOOD VIEW OF THE SAN BERNARDINO YARD.

    

GARY LEWIS AND EARNEST SCHWENKE BRING THE SUPER CHIEF OUT OF SAN BERNARDINO.  FROM THE LOOK ON DAVE DOIRON'S AND GIL BENNETT'S FACES THERE MUST BE SOMETHING GOING ON IN THE YARD.  THIS WAS THE LAST DAY AND GILL LOOKS WORN OUT.

    

CHARLIE TAPPER IS ENJOYING THE SET OF FA'S.  THERE IS A GATHERING IN SAN BERNARDINO.

THE EL CAPITAN HAS JUST CLEARED THE CROSSOVERS SO BRIAN PATE  IS BEGINNING TO EASE  HIS REEFER BLOCK   THROUGH.

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                     A FEW SHOTS FROM LOCAL OPERATING  SESSIONS

   

DICK TAYLOR IS OUR HOSTLER FOR THE EVENING.  I THREW A LOT AT HIM IN THE WAY OF CHANGES BUT HE IS STILL SMILING.  MY SON STEVEN HAMS IT UP IN FRONT OF HIS INSTRUCTOR, BOB, AS HIS TRAIN ROLLS THROUGH CAJON.  THIS IS STEVEN'S FIRST OPERATING SESSION AS AN ENGINEER.

GARY HARWOOD PULLS HIS TRAIN OUT OF SAN BERNARDINO.

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ON THE 26TH OF APRIL WE HAD ONE OF THE MOST SUCCESSFUL OP SESSIONS TO DATE.  EVERYTHING FUNCTIONED VERY WELL AND OVER ALL THE OPERATORS SEEMED TO GRASP WHAT WAS GOING ON.  I JUST SAT BACK AND WATCHED THE TRAINS ROLL.  THERE WAS A CONSTANT FLOW OF TRAINS THE ENTIRE TIME.  IN FACT, MUCH TO MY SURPRISE, WE RAN THE WHOLE SCHEDULE.  IN THE LAST SESSION I INTRODUCED WAYBILLS AND IT SLOWED THINGS DOWN PAINFULLY SO I WAS NOT SURE WHAT TO EXPECT THIS TIME AROUND.  ALONG WITH THAT, WE HAD A SLEW OF NEW OPERATORS.  ANYWAY,  I GAVE A 20 MINUTE BRIEFING BEFORE WE STARTED AND AWAY WE WENT.  WE HAD THREE SWITCHERS WORKING THE YARD AND THAT HELPED TO KEEP THINGS FLOWING.  I MAY ADD ONE MORE.  IT TOOK A LOT OF COORDINATION BETWEEN THE YARD FOLKS AS THEY WORKED BOTH ENDS OF THE TRAINS AND ADDED HELPERS.  I THINK WORKING AS A TEAM MADE IT MORE ENJOYABLE.  I TOOK JUST A COUPLE OF PHOTOS BEFORE MY BATTERIES DIED.   

 

AL SCHMUHL BRINGS THE UP LOCAL DOWN THE HILL.

BOB IS RUNNING A UP EXTRA THROUGH THE CROSSOVER AND INTO THE SAN BERNARDINO YARD AS DIRECTED BY THE FIFTH STREET TOWER.

WILLARD JOHNSON BRINGS A HELPER DOWN THE HILL LIGHT.

JOHN LLOYD SHOT SOME PHOTOS OF THE SESSION AND WAS KIND ENOUGH TO EMAIL A FEW.

    

TRACY JOHNSON CONCENTRATES ON SWITCHING OPERATIONS.  ROBBIE SPANGLER LOOKS ON IN THE BACKGROUND AS STEVE SEQUINE BRINGS A FREIGHT INTO THE SAN BERNARDINO YARD.

         

THE RAILROAD SUPERINTENDENT WATCHES OVER THE OPERATIONS.  MY SEVEN YEAR OLD DAUGHTER IS THE CREW CALLER FOR THE EVENING.

    

RAIL FANS ARE ENJOYING THE HEAVY TRAFFIC.  ANTHONY CUMMINGS BRINGS A FREIGHT UP THE HILL.

DEWEY PRATT WAS ONE OF OUR TWO DISPATCHERS FOR THE NIGHT.

TRAJAN WEAVER HAMS IT UP.  HE HAS THE LOCAL AND IS WAITING IN THE HOLE WHILE A SANTA FE FREIGHT PASSES HIS TRAIN AT CAJON.

BILL SCHLOTTHAUER, ROBBIE SPANGLER, AND TRACY JOHNSON SWITCHED THE YARD THE ENTIRE EVENING.  THEY DID A GOOD JOB OF KEEPING THE TRAINS ROLLING.  I AM CONSIDERING ADDING ONE MORE SWITCHER.
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