Sunday, December 6, 2015

The ROCK: Time to ROCK!

Yesterday, was the sixth operating session of the current version of the layout.  Good friends, Marcus, Larry, Jeff and Steve were in attendance.  We had a great session and moved a lot of freight!  Good times!

We had a few minor issues.

1) The turnout at Ottawa Yard.  This was replaced two op sessions ago.  I know one throw bar broke, but it appeared something else was going on.

2) Atlas SD9s need wheels re-gauged.  They were riding up on the Atlas turnouts.

3) Illinois Central Gulf GP30s pilots seem low as they were hitting some turnouts.

Here are photos from the session:

Marcus engineered the first ever unit coal train from the Chicago & Illinois Midland in Peoria up to Libbey-Owens Ford.  It operated over the RI via trackage rights.  It took Marcus and Larry a while to figure out how to get the train over to the RI as the junction is confusing the leads are short, but they did a great job.

Soo Local #575 from Dubuque southbound/eastbound for Ottawa by Mill Street in Utica.

The Soo Local rolling behind PQ in Utica

The Soo Power running around its setoff in Ottawa Yard.

The Soo Local awaiting for the yard crew to fill out its return train.  On the return, the Soo Local will have a RI SD40-2 leader.

The C&IM coal train arriving at Bureau Junction.

Larry was glad to see the C&IM coal train out of town so he could get to work on the Peoria Terminal job.

The C&IM coal train arriving at Ottawa Yard.

After the arrival of the C&IM coal train at Ottawa Yard, the Soo Line local was ready to depart back west/north.  Here it is passing by the Bureau station.

The C&IM coal train pulling around the new run around track at Ottawa Silica.  There appears to be a lot of sand at Ottawa Silica.

Marcus ran around his C&IM coal train and shoved the coal up into the LOF plant.

Full house at Ottawa Silica.

Coal set off in place at Libbey-Owens Ford.

A unit empty (sand) hopper train arrived at Ottawa and was instructed to park on the South Main as Ottawa had a lot coming to them at the time.

A local as it should be (locomotives in the middle buried by cars on both sides).

E8 #658 Quad Cities Rocket making its station stop in Utica on the North Track.

The La Salle passenger car.

The Quad Cities Rocket making its station stop at Bureau Junction.

Ottawa Yard was pretty busy today!  

After stopping at Bureau Junction for a few hours, the crew was granted permission to return to Peoria.  Here the power crosses over at Iowa Junction as the Peoria Terminal crew is working the TP&W tracks.

The Utica switcher pulling a cut of tank cars out of Philadelphia Quartz (PQ)

I love this scene where you can see the local stretching back up into the plant to spot cars.

The Utica Switcher rolling by the signal at Westclox.

The Utica Switcher by Mill Street in Utica.

You might notice I changed out the station in Utica.  I'm using an old Atlas station I had from the previous version of the layout.

Train #113 Joliet to Blue Island Turn picking up cars Utica while the Utica Switcher is working on the South Main.

#113 Joliet to Bureau Turn on the North Main and the Utica Switcher on the South Main in front of the Utica, IL station.

Another view of the same.

#113 Joliet to Blue Island Turn stopped in front of Westclox as the Utica Switcher pulls up beside before making a reverse move into Philadelphia Quartz.

#113 turning its power on the west leg of the wye as Larry is spotting cars on the Silvis storage on the east side of the junction.  Both of us worked together at the junction and did well with no issues.

You can see my power on #113 traveling around the east side of the wye as Larry pulls ahead on the west side to turn his power to head back south down the junction.

#113's power on the South Main now ready to cross back over to the North Main to couple on to the rear of his train and start switching the junction.

Pic of a Railbox Box Car - photo taken from PQ.

Larry was setting off Silvis cars at Bureau Junction back in the distance.  I was on the south main on #113 performing a pick up at Utica.  Marcus was backing a cut of sand hoppers across the scale at Belrose Silica from the north main.

Jeff working hard at Ottawa Yard.  It appears the unit sand extra to the Little Rock Division is ready to depart on the A/D track.  The train of empties was brought in off the main and sitting on the front yard track.

Marcus spotting some loaded sand hoppers at PQ on the Utica Switcher.
I'm sitting on the south Main on train #113 Joliet to Bureau Junction (return trip)

Larry engineering the Sand Extra about to go under the signal in front of Westclox.

The Sand Extra West passing by Bureau Junction.

The Sand Extra West on its way to Silvis off the layout.

Our OCD yard master at Ottawa likes his cars nice and neat upon completion.  :-)


  1. Lots of cool Pics Steven and by the photos lots of trains got to run. It's great to have mates around who appreciate your RR and get enjoyment out of all the work you put in. It must be very satisfying, I know it is for me when I hold my ops sessions.

    1. Yep. I'm blessed to have such great friends that love to operate as well. We have a great time when we all get together.

  2. Looks like a great time was had by all, as it should be. We operated on a wonderful HO switching pike in an impromptu session during a social visit today. Well, OK, I will admit that the possibility of an operating session was in the back of our minds the whole time - glad the owner accommodated us!

    1. That's cool! I like visiting other layouts to see how they operate as well. Good stuff.