Saturday, September 12, 2015

The ROCK 3.0: Time to Operate the ROCK

Today was September 12th, 1974.  I had a full crew consisting of good friends Larry, Marcus, Jeff and Mike (first time).

During the initial crew assignment, I drew the short straw and got the yard.  I didn't get to take as many photos as I wanted, but did manage to snap a few here in there.

At 6am, Larry started work on the Ottawa Switcher (OTSW).  His train was powered by a single Kato U30C.  It ran well until the momentum got turned on the throttle.  Once that was resolved, it started worked fine again.  The only known issues I know with this job was the north turnout of the Ottawa sand tracks.  The throwbar is totally hosed on this turnout.  I need to perform a complete repair.  Larry went on the law after working 12 hours.  He still had some deliveries to make to LOF, three overweight cars late in the session and some cars bound for Ottawa Yard.  They were all left on the local to be completed the next time.

Around 6am, Mike began work on the #130 Peoria Local.  His train was powered by two Alco RS2s which seemed to run well.  He was on duty from 6:00am to 4:30pm.  Not bad for the new addition.  10 1/2 hours will keep someone busy.  :-)  At Bureau Junction, Mike had to run down as far as Utica to crossover.  It is not an easy endeavor to work Bureau Junction as you have to think about your moves.  Each train that visited here today was long and had a lot to pick up which makes things interesting.

Marcus operated the #13 Peoria Rocket to Chicago.  Power today was a single GP18 #1333.

Jeff went on duty at 8:30am.  I should probably adjust his time to a little earlier.  He was held up a lot during the day due to passing trains.  His train was powered by two SD40-2s.  He was on duty from 10 1/2 hours as well.

Marcus operated train #113 Joliet to Bureau Turn.  He went on duty at 9:30am so he had a little wait at the beginning of the session.  His train was powered by two SD40-2s.  He dropped about five cars off at Ottawa Yard, but picked up thirteen.  He only dropped one at Utica, but picked up the max tonnage from there (as Jeff had already made some of his pickups).  I'm unsure on exactly what he picked up, but I know he couldn't take it all.  At Bureau Junction, Marcus did well running around his train and performing his work.  Marcus set off probably six Silvis cars and thirteen or so Peoria cars.  Mike picked those up in the afternoon and distributed to the various railroads in Peoria.  Marcus was on duty for a little over six hours.  Not bad as this train was only maybe an hour or 1.5 hours before.

Marcus operated the Soo local.  It was late departing (scheduled for 12:30pm - actual time was 3:45pm).  This train was a pretty quick turn around at one hour ten minutes total.

I brought in the #217 empties from Blue Island after lunch.  It was around 12:30pm when I ran that train.

Marcus operated #11 Peoria Rocket leaving Chicago just a few minutes late.  No issues running.

Marcus also operated the #217 Ottawa to Blue Island loads back to Blue Island at the end of the session.  He wasn't full tonnage as some cars had not be weighed at Ottawa Silica.  He departed with twelve cars.

Overall, it was a good session.  The Ottawa Yard Job, Peoria Job, Ottawa Switcher and Utica Switcher are all full session jobs.  Whoever works the other jobs run numerous trains that vary in length from short to up to six hours (or 1.5 hours real time).  It works out well.

The new Peoria Job is awesome.  Allen and I had mentioned doing a video on working a local job.  I believe this would be a good one to do first.

So, here are some photos I took during the op session.  Thanks for checking out my blog!

Marcus making his station stop on the Peoria Rocket.

Marcus working Utica on Main Two (left), Mike on Main One on the right working Bureau Junction and Jeff down in the hole at PQ.

A three-way meet!  Utica was a happening place today.

Mike finishing up at Bureau Junction headed back south to Peoria.

Marcus reviewing his plan to work Bureau Junction.

Everyone waiting on Jeff to clear up a track in Utica so they can do work in Bureau Junction (requiring a run around on the crossovers in Utica).

Mike sits idle after lunch.  He has made his deliveries, but needs to run back to Bureau Junction to pick up the freight Marcus left.

Looks like an old Chessie Locomotive was sent for scrap after a wreck.

Pretty quiet in Peoria currently.

Jeff rolling through Utica moving loads of sand from Belrose Silica.

Jeff through working Utica on Main Two (right) and Marcus returning on #113 waiting at the signal on Main One.

Jeff working right up to the signal to go nose-to-nose with Marcus.

Jeff shoving a cut of cars back into PQ on the UTSW.

Marcus going from Main One to Main Two to work Utica before continuing east.

Larry working the Ottawa Switcher.

Mike waiting for Marcus to clear so he can run around the wye and make his pickup.

Marcus departing Ottawa Yard, I slammed my cut of cars right into the side of his locomotive.  My bad!

UTSW blazing by the Mill Street Crossing.

Soo Local coming behind Peru Power.

Deliveries made to the P&PU.

TP&W deliveries made.

Silvis Storage Track cars ready for pickup by the Silvis to Bureau Junction turn during the night.

Soo local headed back west/north.

Soo local by Bureau Junction.

Allied Iron & Steel has some business now.

The BN only received three cars today.

The Peoria Rocket sitting in the South Peoria Yard after the session.

The P&PU had some decent business today.

Again, I sent too many cars to Westclox.  My bad.

The UTSW tied up in Utica.  It appears it has quite a bit for pickup by tomorrow's #113.

PQ post op session.

Only one RIP car today.  Missing hatches.

Ottawa Silica is located up with empties.

The bagged sand loading tracks look full post session.

Some cars were not delivered to LOF.  They will have to be delivered tomorrow.

I really messed up on this.  It appears that the workers have been furloughed at the LOF glass plant.  I'm not sure what happened, but no cars were sent there.  The only two delivered was an extra spot from last session and one that was in the yard to start.  Oops!

The ROCK 3.0: The Big Reveal

So, today is the big reveal!! Peoria has come alive!!  Scenery and all!  I had a bunch of trees and telephone poles already made up.  It was a no brainer to go ahead and do a little scenery.  From what I gather looking at Bing maps it is pretty plain in the area.  Just trees, shrubs and tall grass.  Below is some 80+ photos of the new section as well as various updates across the layout.  Enjoy!

Hard to believe that this wasn't here at all a little over two weeks ago!

Looking south at Peoria.  The Rock Island yard is on the left.  The Peoria & Pekin Union (P&PU) on the right.

Looking from above.
RI yard in foreground and P&PU in the background.

Looking north toward Bureau Junction.
P&PU on the left, RI on the right.

The RI Yard in South Peoria.

Looking south at Iowa Junction.
In the foreground, RI on left, P&PU on the right.
Looking up past the junction, (L-R) TP&W, Allied Iron and Steel, Peoria Terminal (no traffic but use as RI lead), Burlington Northern.

Between the RI and P&PU looking south.

Coal off the Chicago & Illinois Midland sitting on P&PU tracks. One car bound for the TP&W, one for Peru Power.

P&PU tracks: one stub storage track, one through track, one additional storage/run around track.

Iowa Junction - Peoria, IL.
Looking from RI main.

Iowa Junction - Peoria, IL.
Looking from P&PU.

TP&W, Allied Iron, BN 

Allied Iron & Steel

TP&W in foreground, BN in background.

The empty lot of Allied Iron & Steel
I need to find some detail pieces to add to this.

Looking north from the TP&W at the BN (far left) joining the P&PU tracks and RI on the right.

Iowa Junction

A satellite view.

Looking South from Bureau Junction.
I didn't get as far as scenicking it.  

Looking east at Bureau Junction

The Atlas snap track used as connectors between the sections.

The drop leaf section in the down position.  Amazing how it all works good when in place.

A few small trees added in front of Westclox.

A few small trees added in front of Libbey-Owens Ford

A few small trees added at Ottawa Avenue

A few small trees added at the Ottawa Silica crew office.

U30C - the pride and joy of OTSW crews

No change with the Ottawa Silica structures.

A few small trees added near the Ottawa Silica water tower

No change with the LOF structures.

Off spot car from the last session at LOF.

LOF sand unloading/storage building.

Future sand dump track at Ottawa Silica

Ottawa Yard

No structural changes at PQ, but after reviewing the station maps it was determined that they unloaded sand on the second track.  I made this change in operations.

New track added to access Utica's storage track in front of Belrose Silica.

Looking down the lead of PQ.

Westclox received some structural support as well as paint since the last session.  Windows were also added.

Peru Power received some structural support since the last session.  Still no roof though.

The overall room with the new Bureau Junction in place.

A panoramic shot from
Bureau Junction looking east and south.

West Bureau Junction.  The drop leaf (LaSalle) yard was moved over by 1.5 inches and track reworked.

A view of the the layout room from West Bureau Junction.

Looking west at Bureau Junction

Drop leaf yard and lift out section to expand the railroad.  When not operating, these are down or removed.