Sunday, March 3, 2013

March 3, 2013 Op Session

 Another VBR&S Op Session is done, and I hope everyone enjoyed it.  The pictures are no particular order.
 Bob Burke is at the Montview control panel preparing to bring his train in (or out).
 Over in Monroe, Dan Mulhearn was our Yardmaster, and here is consulting with Derek Wimberly.
 Jerry Ritter and Phil Taylor's trains are passing at the future Buffalo River bridge.  It's on of those as yet unmarked places that only I know about.
 Ketih Stillman ran the VBR today, but was concerned about the profitability of the short line with only a very few cars moved.  I told him that was pretty much the way the real VBR felt lots of the time.  To make up for it, I saved 153 for him, a hefty 1st class freight making it's way south through Charlottesville.
 The new guy!  Ron Ritchie a friend from Monroe, the real Monroe.  Here Jerry Ritter is showing him what we do at these op sessions.
Steve Robbins ran the Lynchburg Switcher and here he's studying his switchlist at Lynchburg's Lower Basin.
I dispatched this session.  It wasn't the professional job Keith and Bob usually do, but we got the trains pretty much where they were supposed to go.

Saturday, October 13, 2012

October 13, 2012 Op Session

It was a beautiful fall day, and the aviation enthusiast in me was really tickled to see the AEP contracted helicopter trimming tree limbs near the farm, BUT I knew that they sometimes cut limbs that fall on power lines. You guessed it, 10:30am, the power went off!
I scrambled to try and get a generator hooked up to the above ground basement for the op session, but it wouldn't work! But, by 12:30pm the power was back up...whew!
By 2pm we were operating at last. Here Steve Robbins gets his train at the Rio hidden holding area.
Phil Taylor choose the VBR, and that of course is mostly a sit down job.
Keith Stillman was Monroe Yard Master, and he has it under control in this shot.
His assistant was Dan George who has stepped out for a second to watch a southbound just past Tye River.
Just around the bend Jerry Ritter watches the Monroe crew handle his train's switching duties.
We had two new guys operating this day. New to the VBR&S, but obviously not new to operating. Here Doug Barry switches at Charlottesville.
And here Dick Munnikhuysen handles a passenger train about to cross the James River Trestle....well one day there will be a trestle here I hope.
Cary Campbell has his southbound out of Charlottesville heading into Red Hill.
Our Dispatcher was again Bob Burke who is demanding overtime since he began Dispatching this "Day in 1956" in March of 2011, and finally finished the "day" in October of 2012. He's got a point. I will really try to have another session very soon. I hope everyone had fun. I even manged to run the Southern and C&O Charlottesville Switchers between "fix it duties" on the layout. It was fun!

Saturday, March 5, 2011

March 5, 2011

After almost a year, the VBR&S was back in action.
Bill Cox, the owner gave his briefing before the session began, and as usual forgot some key things that gave operators some problems later, but hey this is supposed to fun, right? Jim Hogan and Cary Campbell are giving Bill their full attention.
A bit later Cary is showing Donnie Smith, one of our new operators how it's done at Rockfish.
Our dispatcher this time was Bob Burke, who did a splendid job as usual.
Cary Campbell found himself in the camera's lens again as he watched his train at Kemper Street Station, Mike Cathy's watching his across the aisle at Tye River.
Jim Hogan and Dan George share some railroading stories in front of the Lower Basin area.
Clint Foster grabbed his usual job on the VBR and here has come into Tye River to meet the Southern local.
As usual the hardest working guys were at Monroe Yard. Rick Lull, Yardmaster Robbie Burns, and Tom Buckingham did a fine job keeping the Railroad's hot spot from becoming a parking lot.
Here's a better shot of Tom switching local industries around Monroe.
Another new operator (to us) was Rick Lull's dad, Scott. Obviously he, like Donnie Smith had operated elsewhere before. Here Scott and Dan George plot a move.
Wayland Moore was taking so many pictures, I decided to just use his for this post. I even managed to take one of him with his camera. Thanks Wayland and nice shirt!
We had a few derailments, a few shorts, and even one "Unstoppable" freight, but all and all I hope everyone had fun.

Sunday, April 18, 2010

April 18, 2010 Op Session

Our first session of 2010 is done. We had a few dead spots in my track to contend with, and radio problems, both communication radios and Digitrax radio throttles seemed to have minds of their own. We're blaming a Solar Flare unless I can find something else. I have this feeling its going to work fine for me tomorrow...we'll see.Keith Stillman was our dispatcher and did a super job, and this after hosting a session on his Easton & Potomac yesterday.
Our Monroe Yard crew is in deep discussion over where cars should go. They are left to right Tom Buckingham, Wayland Moore and Derek Wimberly.
Jerry Ritter has a northbound leaving Kemper Street Station in Lynchburg.
Dan Mulhearn has a train going through Rockfish, VA and Jim Hogan is minding his train as well.
Dan George and Steve Robbins both have work in Charlottesville Yard, and seem to be enjoying it.
Clint Foster is working the Virginia Blue Ridge in Piney River.
Bob Burke was our man in Charlottesville working both the Southern and C&O yards there.
I hope everyone had a good time, and tomorrow I'll get to work on the glitches.

Sunday, October 4, 2009

Oct. 4th Operating Session

Another VBR&S op session is on the books! I hope everyone had as much fun as I did. Time flew by as there were a number of issues I had to address, but trains ran, and everyone seemed to be enjoying themselves.
We had a new crew at Monroe Yard, and it looks like they did a fine job. In fact the only real problem I was aware of was that I forgot to explain the detector operation for the Wye to our Yard Master, Wayland Moore. Here with Wayland (middle) is Jim Hogan (front), and Dan Mulhearn.
The Yard guys even employed a fourth member to assist in some of the more mundane jobs like checking the air and MU hoses between diesel units. His name is Stink Bug, so naturally they called him "Stinky" I understand he did some walkway walking on moving freight cars, so watch for more pictures of the "Fourth Yard Crew Member".
Deep in discussion around Charlottesville we find from left to right Clint Foster, Mike Cathy, and Steve Robbins.
Dan George decided to take a break from the yard and run trains this time, and here he has a southbound Southern Railway Varnish at Charlottesville.
Bob Burke was our dispatcher again, so he got to play with all the new stuff that controls the signals at Rio and Montview. He seems pleased.
Cary Campbell is ready to find his train at Montview.
Derek Wimberly is ready at Rio, just waiting for the time to roll south with another train.
After running some passenger trains Mike Garber and Howard Heltman ran the Lynchburg Switcher. Here they're waiting for the Monroe Yard crew to work their train so it can return to Lynchburg.
Finally, the best part of the whole afternoon as we descend upon Tina's kitchen to see what's for dinner.

Sunday, June 7, 2009

One Hot Operating Session!

Saturday afternoon I discovered the train room air conditioning was not working. I had just had it serviced the previous Monday! An e-mail was dispatched advising VBR&S operators to dress to sweat. Not only did they come but we had a really good session.
I convinced Bob Burke to try dispatching, and he jumped right in and did a fine job.
Dan George, our Yard Master at Monroe, drank lots of water to deal with the least we think it was water. Every time I walked over to see what was going on at Monroe, someone would say, "Here comes Sir Topham Hat, don't do that right now."
Derek Wimberly has a southbound xtra coming into Tye River.
Gary Quale had both the Southern and C&O yard jobs covered at Charlottesville.
Gene Browning has a southbound loading passengers at Charlottesville.
Howard Heltman has a N&W passenger train rolling out of Kemper Street Station in Lynchburg heading for a loco and crew change at Monroe.
Jerry Ritter has northbound freight rolling through Kemper Street.
Jim Hogan is performing some complicated switching moves in Charlottesville's Southern Yard.
Keith Stillman keeps his eye on the Yard Master as he handles the south end of Monroe Yard.
Mike Garber has a southbound Southern passenger train almost to a stop at Kemper Street.
Steve Robbins has a northbound rolling through Kemper Street.
Tom Buckingham handled the north end of Monroe Yard.
Wayland Moore tackled the Lynchburg Switcher. Here he's switching along Jefferson Street in Lynchburg's Lower Basin.
Despite the heat I think we all had a good time on the VBR&S. After operating we were served a fine dinner by my wife Tina. I'm convinced her food is real reason they keep coming back.
Thanks for a great session guys!