Indeed, we celebrate another successful season of garden railroading up here in Ottawa.
This posting showcases our final session of the season before the crew boards up the railroad structures in preparation for the chilly weather brought on by the cool winds at this time of the year. Henk has brought a beer that he will enjoy following the session...that is, if will be able to find it! Hehehe...always some antics going on when we gather...right Chris!
This isn't to say that we won't be running trains again this year. If the weather allows, we can still bring out our locomotives and take a trip around the railroad!
Joe looks on as Chris checks the car "set out" list pre-ops.
Judging by the look on my face, it's a chilly morning already!
But that doesn't bother Chris! His smile tells it all. We'll be running trains in short order.
Pat sets out cars between Nelson Yard and Glen Hammond.
Henk and Garry check car numbers to determine which track they should be placed on in and around Nelson Yard.
Pat holds a car and a drink while Brian poses for a shot.
Lists are cross-checked at the head table.
Helen, Steve's guest, is equally as excited about running trains on this morning as Paul takes in the sun in the chair.
We don't believe Helen when she indicates that she is an octogenarian. No way, Helen. You could be my daughter!
Lawrence and Brian await the pre-ops meeting.
George joins Lawrence.
Paul has got it right. Check out the fingerless gloves he is sporting...flexible and versatile for controlling the throttle, radio and uncoupling tools all the while adding some warmth to the hands.
Before we check out the trains. let's take a short trip around the three main yards. Here we see Train #15 and Train #1 staged in Craig Leigh.
At Douglas Yard in Craig Leigh, we find Bernie's locomotive hauling a train into the yard.
Here's Bernie, the yardmaster!
At the other end of the line, Steve has this little puppy making up trains in Ralph Yard at Firgrove.
She's a little brute, for sure, Steve!
Moe's guest, Joe (Hey, Moe Joe - I used to love eating Mojo's as a kid!) looks out over Nelson Yard at some point throughout the session.
Lawrence, Henk and Garry are busy in the big yard while Fred takes a front row seat to view the proceedings from his chair at the east end of the yard.
Fred keeps busy, conducting some yard work.
What's this! Wow! Way too cool!
Lawrence has brought a plough into service on the ore train in the event snow might arrive during the session. We hope not...but the plough is a great touch, Lawrence!
Arriving Stuart Yard in Bell.
Lawrence runs around his train and turns the locomotive and plough in preparation for running down RP&M trackage.
Later on, his train is found to the east of Nelson Yard back on IPP$W rail.
Through the big trestle.
Chris and Pat work 301 at Mount St. Helens.
They scoot through Ironwood and handle the spurs at Spruce.
They're back in Ironwood.
Upon reaching the halfway point of their run at Nelson Yard, they become Train 311. Here they are spotted working the branch in Cedar Rock out of Peter's Pond.
The Cedar Rock branch certainly enhanced operations when it came into existence a few years ago.
302 is arriving Bell from Firgrove.
Pat has brought out his latest purchase, this great looking locomotive.
301 takes Track 4 while 327 awaits the meet on Track 3.
Pat and Paul have arrived the halfway point of their journey in Nelson Yard.
They will depart later as Train 312.
Passenger #2 arrives Bell along the station track.
With Helen and Seanna in the cab.
A great tandem they are!
Seanna in Glenn Hammond.
Running trains is so much fun!
Passenger #2 at Blockhouse.
And...later on...they are spotted with their run of Passenger #1 in the opposing direction of Passenger #2 at Mount St. Helens where they meet Train 15.
Lela and Paul have signed on to Train 318, the run from Glenn Hammond to Craig Leigh.
They will return to the Glenn as Train 319.
They're in Spruce at the moment.
Holding the siding for a meet with an oncoming train.
Looks like Train 15, the Pool Train.
With their work finished at Spruce, they arrive Ironwood.
Their train terminates in Craig Leigh where they will turn their locomotive on the wye for the return run to Glenn Hammond.
Paul and Lela and the wye.
Taking the west leg of the wye.
That's one gorgeous locomotive, Paul!
Brian and I signed on to run Train 327 from Glenn Hammond to Firgrove. It's return run is 328.
After some work in the Glenn, we have clearance to depart.
The green allows us through the diamond.
At Peter's Pond, we have work up the branch in Cedar Rock.
Then it's on to Bell.
At "The Corners".
Through Watkins Siding on the main.
Where we meet the ore train.
Stuart Yard can get pretty congested at times, but we manage to complete our work in good time with an assist from another crew with one of our spots to a facing spur.
Then it's upgrade at "The Ledges".
Where we turn the locomotive for the return run.
Joe watches Train 15 make its way between Mount St. Helens and Ironwood.
Joe and Moe between Ironwood and Spruce.
Moe brings the Pool Train around the big bend between Ironwood and Spruce.
Train 15 meets 318.
At Bell, Train 15 takes RP&M trackage while 328 makes it way downgrade from Firgrove on IPP&W rail.
Moe is off to Rat Portage while our train on the upper track is arriving Bell in short order.
I enjoy photographing Henk because he is so photogenic.
Here we spot him working the mine to the east of Nelson Yard.
An elaborate dance must take place when drilling this facility and Henk is certainly up to the task.
Always a grin.
And a shuffle to keep things light.
Garry has his RP&M train working the interchange tracks early in the session.
Later he takes another train out of the yard destined for RP&M territory.
Love the combine on the back.
The sign-up sheet.
Another guest loves the train running.
Certainly an interested railfan.
"I want to hop aboard!" this little one says!
Check in later in the week for part two showcasing more of the fun antics we experience each week in the garden. "Will Henk find his long lost beer?" Time will tell!
Have a great week!
Mike Hamer, Ottawa, Ontario, Canada