Tuesday, March 3, 2015

The ROCK 3.0: Move Even More Sand?

Move even more sand?  Is that even possible?  It is when you break the session into two shifts.  It was suggested to model an increase volume of sand on the layout to keep the Ottawa Local busy during the session.  Larry came up with the idea to have two shifts.  So, in the morning, so many cars would be loaded and then again in the afternoon (after lunch) more would be loaded.  As more loads are produced, more empties would be required as well.  I pondered this idea when re-staging the layout and believe I have it all figured out.

Let's look at the numbers.  Before, on a typical session, Ottawa Silica would produce 22 loads of bulk sand in covered hoppers and 7 loads of bulk sand in box cars.  With this change, now Ottawa Silica will produce 35 loads of sand in covered hoppers plus 7 loads of bulk sand in box cars.  Libbey-Owens-Ford consumption levels will be increasing as well from 5 cars consumed to now around 9 cars consumed per session.

The Ottawa Yardmaster will receive two empty car requests during the session now (one at the beginning and one at lunch time).  To provide for the cars required at lunch time, a new #217 Blue Island to Ottawa Sand Empties (actual train) will be utilized.  Basically, this is the return of the unit Sand Train to GTW.  It will be staged at lunch and will arrive at Ottawa Yard shortly after starting back the session.  This still leaves an open window of time for UTSW to work freely without interruption on his local duties.  I didn't want to mess with the flow of his work anymore as he is already interrupted quite a bit with through freights.

The new operational scheme will produce over 103 car movements of sand in Ottawa alone per session.  This doesn't include the 26 car movements of sand on the Utica Switcher.

Now, that's a lot of sand!!!

We'll see how this plays out on the next session, but should be pretty interesting.  In other news, the layout is completely re-staged and ready to operate again.  I have a notion to operate it myself.

I should go ahead and set a date for another op session.  I need to get back into the mode of working on the layout now that the op session is over.  This time post session is my slowest time of producing any progress on the layout.


  1. Steve,

    I love the way you've embraced "operations", and are constantly looking for ways to increase traffic an an authentic way. One of the industries that I model (Dolese Sand and Gravel) was shipping between 80 - 120 carloads per day back in the '50s. My sidings don't easily allow that sort of output, but I'm sure that I could work around that if I put my head to it. Now if someone would just produce some RTR Caswell gondolas I'd be a happy railroader.


    1. Thanks Ron! The ROCK produced a lot of sand back in the day as well, but I'm limited by my staging and yard capacity. Splitting into two shifts seems like it will work, but time will tell. Keep thinking on the Dolese Sand and Gravel. I'm sure you will come up with something that will work.