We had 1 extra guy, making a crew of 7 plus myself. I think it probably runs better with 6 guys, but all in all, things went pretty well. I think when the schedule is balanced better and the guys are more familiar with the layout, things will run well. But good to know I can accommodate an extra guy if that happens. And if we only had 5, I would probably have to jump in to help, as just 2 road operators would slow things down. There are also a few trains on the schedule that could be skipped if necessary, without disrupting other trains.
|First time attendee Rick B. is dropping some cars from MEC RY-2 at the interchange in Whitefield for the B&M.
We started rolling trains at 7:45 and finished up about 11:30. Ideally I'd like to be done by 11 so it is not too late for the guys heading home. As there was still a fair bit of instruction to get things started, I do know that time will be shaved off at the start as we do this more often. Normally it will not take 45 minutes from when guys arrive to when we start running, even with a bit of socializing.
Three trains did not run. The Amtrak and CP TOFC trains could have run - these need to run near the same time as they must pass each other in St. Johnsbury. I held these trains as things were pretty busy enough in St. Johnsbury without additional trains coming through. Ideally these will run at a time when the yard quiets down, perhaps when the yard crew guys are grabbing a snack. And the CP 904 northbound train which is scheduled to depart late in the session did not run again. This was really just a time issue as it was too late.
|The Crew Call Sheet at the end of the night.
|Mark F. and Joe C. held down St. J yard duties again. I thought it would be helpful not to start moving people to different assignments yet as I try to get the operating plan nailed down.
I also know that the turnout controls operated via DCC with the throttles are slowing things down too much, and are not making for a good experience for the crew. This is another thing that worked well when it was just me operating the layout, but does not work as well for a visiting Ops crew. This I already have started to address and will write up in a new post later.
|Bill H. again handled duties at Morrisville, keeping the Lamoille Valley humming right along. Bill provides good feedback and has helped me in refining the operations plan.
|John R. ran the MEC local YQ-1, seen here spotting cars at Ciment Quebec and Maple Grove Farms in East St. Johnsbury. In the back is another newcomer, Phil D., handling the paper mill switch job on the B&M at Groveton.