Friday, December 14, 2012

Silvis Morning Report

I was giving the layout the once over this evening.  In, reviewing the situation at Kelly Yard in Silvis, it dawned on me that it would be helpful to the yardmaster if he had a report listing inbound motive power, service and maintenance required, plus the outbound train assignment (if any).  This would arm him with the required knowledge to power an extra train if required.  I threw together a quick report which will most likely be modified over time.  Feel free to post comments or suggestions below.

As I reviewed the newly created report, I remember back to the days of Conrail at Conway Yard just west of Pittsburgh.  One of the employees would create a "Joe Jack" report.  He would leave copies in the mailbox on the bridge over the east throat of the yard.  I remember railfanning with my friend Steve G.  That was our first stop in the morning to see what was coming for the day.

So, there you have it....the Joe Jack (of the RI) report.

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Finalizing Prep Work before Op Session

I spent the last three days cleaning and vacuuming the track.  I reviewed the instructions for all the jobs and decided to re-word a few to add some clarity.  I'm hoping this will make life easier on the crews. 

I began the process of testing locomotives as well as gathering all of the locomotives on the lower level for wheel cleaning. 

Progress has not been at it's typical lightning pace.  No major projects looming over the heads of Management, provided for a work slow down among crews.  Reflecting back since the last session at the end of September, I did manage to accomplish a few things.  It was just not at my normal gusto rate. 

- Completly revamped the Waybill system to provide for easier car blocking and routing.
- Created detailed crew instructions to assist with non-regulars (and to keep regulars current on constant change introduced by ROCK management).
- Removed remants of the old rope light system on the lower level.
- Replaced the plaster road crossings at Bureau Junction, LaSalle and Blue Island, with wood grade crossings.  It was determined that the plaster crossings were creating too much debris decreasing locomotive performance.
- Dropped numerous feeders in the Blue Island area as dead spots were identified last session.
- Split the #217 Ottawa Local into two trains creating the new #118 LaSalle Local.
- Created a full-time Kelly Yardmaster position at Silvis.
- Redistributed some of #112 Rock Island Local's duties to the Kelly Yard Local.
- Designed and installed the upper level lighting canopy.
- Modified the way unit grain trains operate on the layout allowing the yard crew at Kelly Yard to build the train throughout the session as grain is gathered by the locals.
- Installed cork strips to the fascia for centrally located all thumb tacks (brakes).
- Created the base scenery between Peru and LaSalle, IL (still not fully painted).
- Re-powered some locomotives
- Installed a flexible stone retainer wall between West Bureau and the Peoria Branch.

So, although it didn't feel like a whole lot was accomplished, I would say that was pretty good.

Looking forward to operating with good friends Saturday.

ROCK on!