Return to Agent Waybills
I can't remember if I mentioned this in the past, but for the sand hoppers in Ottawa, if not required by a mine or industry, they are returned to the Ottawa Yard Agent for storage. I can't do this for every type of car as I don't have enough storage capacity at yards. In Ottawa specifically, it doesn't make sense to send the empty cars off somewhere as they very well could be required the next day (operating session).
So, I've been thinking about the unit grain/empty trains that will be traversing the layout between Chicago and Silvis. I've decided to implement the Return to Agent (Silvis) waybills for grain hoppers. Kelly Yard in Silvis will act as the storage facility for grain hoppers to be used at the rural elevators as well as the larger Heartland Coop elevator in Moline. Silvis will build outbound unit grain trains for export to Chicago. Inbound empty trains will be broken down for local use or stored until needed. This should mimic part of the operations from this last session (for which I was so pleased with). I can already hear the requests for additional class tracks from the yardmaster ringing in my ear. :-)
So, I have been in a funk for the last few months working on the layout. I have managed to get a few things done, but not a whole lot overall. I started working on a little project the other day. I revised the track arrangement and industries in Moline. That was exciting, but not near as exciting as when I started constructing the Walthers Central Gas kit. I don't know what came over me, but I became extremely focused on installing every last detail (typically, I just construct the basic building and will return to detail, paint later). I began to envision how the scene would look. I'm now consumed with spending all my time working on this project wanting to complete the scene 100%. It has rekindled the fire motivating me to work on the layout. I have plans to finish the structure kit, scenick the roads and lot around the facility as well as ballast all tracks in the immediate area. I'm very much looking forward to posting pictures of the completed project. I wish I had more time in the day!
It will be hard, but I need to finish up the tiny little bit of re-staging I have left to do. I would hate to leave it incomplete and then forget where I'm at later.
So, this evening, I worked on re-staging the layout. I have a little more to re-stage than I thought. Mainly filling out trains, but still a lot to move around. I noticed two things that will make life interesting next session. The first being the monster 17-car unit empty (grain) train bound for Silvis from Chicago. It will be arriving early in the session. The second being an equally large #111 Silvis Illinois Shorts train. The train would simply be too large to handle leaving Chicago. I have decided to split the train. The crew for #111 will deliver a cut of seven cars or so to Joliet and return to Chicago. The train will depart again with blocks for Ottawa, LaSalle and Silvis.