So, I've got a buddy over to my place this morning.
And we're running trains on the HO layout.
He's asking me about my summer holidays.
And I say to him that it's nice to be able to stay home on a Friday morning and not have to head into the classroom for teaching. His response is, "Mike, you're brain sure is in vacation mode...it's not Friday...it's Saturday!"
"Saturday!" I think to myself.
"Normally I'm doing train running in another scale on Saturday!"
"And that other scale is Large Scale, like the freight car on the bottom of this heap!"
I have to tell my friend that he'll have to take a rain check...but I do invite him along to the garden!
"Sorry, not today, Mike," he responds. "The honey has a do list!"
Let's head over to Fred's place. Our tenth session of the season, including the two invasion days, is narrow gauge.
Our guest from Montreal, Yves, has brought out this beautiful steam locomotive for the session. Welcome back to the IPP&W/RP&M Yves!
His locomotive would be earning its keep hauling Passenger 2 on this day.
A few more examples of some great looking steamers. Number 4 is resting in Craig Leigh.
This puppy is about to take on some water at this unique looking water tower.
Another great specimen spotted in Craig Leigh.
Pre-ops preview. Pat is telling Fred the car numbers in order for Fred to locate the car's whereabouts on the railroad by referencing his master list.
Brian and Gary check over their assignments as they will work Nelson Yard with Garry as the chief yardmaster on this fine morning.
Fred offers a few announcements as Chris and Chris listen in.
Lela and Garry are all ears as well as is Yves in behind.
Bob in shades and Seanna in the hat are attentive as well.
Let's check in on Yves and his crewmate Tom.
With that beautiful locomotive.
Passenger 2 is readied at the depot in Firgrove.
Later on...at the station track in Bell.
Due to a service interruption, Steve comes to the rescue with a replacement locomotive.
Which takes over duties on the passenger train. The issue was batteries not being fully charged.
With a new locomotive, we catch the crew westbound as Train 15, the Pool Train. They are in Ironwood with solely headend equipment on the roster.
Rounding the big curve into Spruce.
312 departs as does Train 15.
Downgrade between Spruce and Blockhouse.
On approach to Watkins.
The husband and wife team of Steve and Seanna are aboard Train 301.
We find them at Mount St. Helens early in their run.
Departing the mount.
Rounding the curve at Blockhouse.
Seanna railfanning her own train!
Through the trestle.
Behind Treacle Mine.
Later, as 311, they are climbing the grade at Watkins Siding.
In "The Corners" Steve and Seanna are now aboard Train 328 eastbound from Firgrove to Glenn Hammond.
Working the Cedar Rock Branch.
Back down in Peters Pond, they are granted clearance to continue eastbound.
This diesel on 318 tells me it's Chris's train.
With the other Chris at the Helm.
Chris checking in on the action at Mount St. Helens before heading in there.
Nice weathering job, Chris!
A smart man waits out the game in the shade!
Cab forward, "Chris to the power of two" return through Ironwood westbound as Train 303.
Chris's wife, Lela, crews with Paul aboard 327, the Glenn Hammond to Firgrove run.
We find them up at the end of the Cedar Rock branch.
Lovely steam locomotive.
Heading back onto their train in Peter's Pond.
Around "The Corners".
Much later as Train 304 downgrade at "The Ledges".
Paul and Lela, enjoying the run.
Now, as Train 314, we find them in Spruce.
And h-e-e-r-e's Paul.
Their train in Mount St. Helens.
314 terminated in Craig Leigh.
Lawrence and I are crewmates on this day. We have our train on the roll out of Firgrove.
We're on 302 today. The two reefers in behind the locomotive must go into the big blue industry at Brunt's Brewing. This will be a facing move, so we bring out train in on Track 4 where we will run around the consist in order to handle the maneuver. While we do have some trailing work at the interchange track and some further work in Stuart Yard, we'll cross over the main first seeing as there is no other traffic in our way at this time.
With our work complete we are told by dispatch that we are to proceed to Watkins Siding (named in honour of my crewmate Lawrence) and hold as there is another crew working in Peter's Pond. With the morning sun beating down on us, this means time for a refreshment.
Lawrence hanging out in a cool location.
We meet 327.
And are able to proceed on to Peter's Pond.
We've isolated our setout for Cedar Rock and have determined which end of the locomotive it should be placed for the ride up to the end of the branchline.
Proceeding upgrade along the branch.
We will be trading cars at Cedar Rock Supply, the facility at the bottom of the image.
Next stop will be Nelson Yard as we make the crossing without incident from pedestrians.
As per railroad regulation, it's righthand running through Mercer Siding.
We've been given our green.
So we cross the diamond.
With our stock cars tucked in behind the locomotive.
Garry, the Nelson Yardmaster has the arrival/departure track ready for us.
At Nelson Yard, we exchange consists and become Train 312 as we continue eastbound to Craig Leigh. This is a good time for the crew to swap assignments.
We let the ore train pass us first.
Then step out on the trestle.
At a location I affectionately call "The Gut" from a maritime term for a narrow water passage.
Lawrence has our order of moves all figured out at Spruce.
We are running around our train to handle the facing spur track.
Then its on into Ironwood where the crew of 303 has offered us the siding. Thanks Chris and Chris!
Climbing out of Ironwood on our approach to Mount St. Helens.
We encounter some ardent railfans.
Grandpa Steve with grandson Alex.
Yup, they follow our every move!
Arriving Craig Leigh.
And into Douglas Yard.
We see Paul making up our return train to Glenn Hammond.
We are now aboard our third leg, Train 319 the westbound run to the Glenn.
We wave from the cab to young Alex.
West of Spruce.
Rounding the bend at Lilly.
Reaching Glenn Hammond.
Thanks, Lawrence, for being such a wonderful crewmate!
As always, it's a treat when Bob arrives as we know the ore train will be a-runnin'!
Here's Bob up in Ralph Yard at Firgrove.
Bob is upgrade at Pratt's Bottom along RP&M iron.
With some ore cars on the upper level outside of Firgrove.
Much later the ore train departs Glenn Hammond.
While skipper Fred looks on.
Outside of the Nelson Yard environs.
Through the girders.
You passed the water tower! (That water bottle belonging to a Nelson Yard crewman! Hehehe!)
Around the bend and into Spruce.
A photogenic locomotive, for sure!
Through the east end of Spruce.
Much later, returning westbound at Mount St. Helens.
Let's check in on RP&M territory.
George and Brian work Nelson Yard early in the morning.
Before they head out on to RP&M rails for the run up to Bell and back.
We find them in Bellamy.
Switching out the Gouda siding.
Later we find Pat down in Rat Portage.
Nice shirt there, Pat.
Colourful caboose to boot!
Let's check in on Nelson Yard. Garry is the yard master while Steve studies a turnout's position.
The umbrellas certainly help keep the sun at bay.
Steve surveys the lay of the land.
While the crew works the far end of the yard.
Everything looks A-Okay!
Henk, ya better not miss too many sessions as Garry will want to take your position!
Garry's response to that..."Tell Henk I could always use an assistant!" Hehehe!
As always, the yard takes on a different personality every half hour or so.
Low angle view.
Garry reviews the list while Pat works the upper tracks.
The view from the dispatch hut.
Fred enjoys the action from his seat below the dispatcher.
Let's see what's going on in the other yards. Moe is busy making up trains at Firgrove.
Firgrove is located at the western end of the line.
A break in the action allows Moe to partake in another hobby...reading! Hey, that's a railroad too, isn't it!
At the eastern end of the line we find Douglas Yard at Craig Leigh.
Paul is the yardmaster today.
He's busy making up his passenger trains.
And...colourful they are!
The view down the platform.
Paul is a busy man.
But he enjoys the shade the tall pines offer.
Great job Paul.
A look at the yard.
A caboose yard sale!
Rolling stock review.
Tankcar at Larabie fuels.
More at Valley Supply.
A stockcar in a train at Ironwood.
With this beauty also in the consist.
Texaco tankcar at Larabie.
Cars at Golding Grains.
This car could work on my New England based railroad!
Anyone building a deck?
Doug de dispatcher! Hehehe!
The man in charge!
Keeps a clean board.
A meeting of the minds.
An overall look from Mount St. Helens all the way to Craig Leigh in the distance.
A visitor railfans the railroad while Fred follows a train out of Nelson Yard.
Lunchtime fun with Pat, Chris and Paul.
Fred, the man with the lists!
When I arrive home, I head downstairs to the "indoor" layout to finish up the few moves left over from my "pre-ops" HO fun. (My buddy still had his "honey-do" list to complete, so couldn't make it back over to complete the jobs.)
Thanks for checking in on our Large Scale operations at Fred's place for yet another fun-filled session. Next week's ops will be standard gauge.
See everyone then! Mike Hamer, Ottawa, Ontario,Canada