But, today is a new day! I had an epiphany this morning. I thought back to what my wife asked, "Do you really need a yard that long?" My answer then was yes, but the more I thought about it, no I could do with something much shorter. So, what about a 4 foot temporary staging yard. I could mount it to the end of the layout on a hinge. When not in use, it would drop down and store on the side of the layout. When time to operate, I flip it up and drop a leg down. BAM! Instant staging yard!
At lunch, I went over to Home Depot and picked up a 6" x 4' board and a hinge. I also picked up a small storage bin organizer for the Tabs.
This evening, I spot checked the 4 foot board. It will work perfectly as temporary staging. It's just short enough to fold completely down at the end of the layout. When extended, it goes just to the edge of the stairs. As Colonel Hannibal Smith would say "I love it when a plan comes together!"
New Operational Plan:
Ottawa Switcher (OTSW) “The Sand Job”
Start at the yard office at the south end of Ottawa Silica. Pickup any non-BN outbound traffic from Ottawa Silica and LOF. Weigh all loaded sand hoppers. Any cars over 263,000 lbs are over tonnage. The cars need to be set off per the Plant Manager’s instructions to be reduced. Once all pickups have been made and cars have been weighed (and reduced as required), deliver to Ottawa Yard. Pickup and deliver any cars for Ottawa Silica and LOF. At the end of the day, check with the Yardmaster to see if your locomotives are due for maintenance.
Note: Ottawa Silica Bagged Sand Loading and LOF Glass Loading tracks may not be worked while blue flags are present. At no time should a crew block the crossing at Ottawa Avenue for more than 15 minutes due to local regulations. Be aware the BN local will also work Ottawa Silica during the day. All crews are required to work together to complete the job.
Utica Switcher (UTSW) "The Chemical Job"
Start in LaSalle Yard. Build your train for deliveries to the local industries. Deliver any cars to industries in LaSalle and Utica as designated by the Tab marking. Pickup any non-local cars. Weigh all loaded sand hoppers. Any cars over 263,000 lbs are over tonnage. The cars need to be set off per the Plant Manager’s instructions to be reduced. Once all cars have been picked up and/or delivered, weighed, and reduced if required, return to LaSalle Yard.
Classify the outbound blocks of cars into two pickups:
· Westbound including Peoria, Silvis and Council Bluffs cars.
· Eastbound including Ottawa and Blue Island cars.
Note: Westclox tracks may not be worked while blue flags are present.
Bureau Switcher (BUSW) "The Rocket"
Train arrives at LaSalle Yard on the main from the west and backs into the yard. Set off any LaSalle cars. Pickup any Ottawa and Blue Island cars. At Ottawa, set off any Ottawa or Blue Island cars. Return west with any cars for LaSalle, Peoria, Council Bluffs or Silvis.
Arrives during the night at Ottawa Yard to pick up any Blue Island cars. Sets off cars for Ottawa and LaSalle.
Each morning, you will receive a request sheet for empty cars from Ottawa Silica. Assign tabs to the empty Ottawa Agent cars per the request. Gather up the cars for the Ottawa Switcher. The local will pull the loads first and deliver to the yard. The local will then deliver the empty requests gathered by the YM earlier.
The YM will then classify the cars received in from the Joliet Local and Ottawa Local during the previous shift. Majority of the cars will go outbound on the Bureau Switcher (BUSW) later in the morning. Reference the car routing diagram below to block cars by destination. Any cars marked with a white tab but no letters are empty Ottawa Agent cars to be used upon the next industry request.
Burlington Northern Local
The Ottawa YM at his leisure, can operate the BN local from North Ottawa. Check with the Ottawa Yardmaster to see if you need to pick up or setoff any cars at Ottawa Yard. Head south into the plant working with the Ottawa Local to deliver your cars. Pick up any BN cars and return to North Ottawa.