Wednesday, May 29, 2024

May Operating Session

Our latest and perhaps one of our most enjoyable train runnin sessions.

Left to right, Andy, Heath, DC, Ted, Rob and Jim. Unfortunately Corey had to leave early.

When planning these sessions, there are always one or two operators that may need to cancel last minute. I lost my mind as I had spent more than a week working out the schedules for two member crews. Another lesson learned... KEEP MY COOL! It worked out great. There were four trains and two had solo operators. This helped me realize that one person can do all the jobs. Now I just need to make a few adjustments to minimize all the paraphernalia an operator needs to carry. Easy! 

This view shows the new ops elements I incorporated into different train orders. The car with derrick is the wreck train with two attached cars. These were mentioned in a couple of writings by trainmen who rode the W&A at the time and other lines such as the VA Central, East TN & GA and GA RR.

Bottom left is a telegraph car. This would take new poles and insulators to set along the line or to replace those needed.

The keg is one of whiskey which seemed appropriate to "support" the troops. Next is a grease bucket, the idea coming from Wilber Kurtz notes that one engineer was asked to meet another train to hand of a bucket of grease. 

Last are pole cars. Lever cars were had not arrived on the W&A in 1863. However, these pole cars were on occasion transported to an area where workers would need to travel down a line to either inspect of conduct minor repairs. 

During this session, each of these were added to a crew's train orders. The feedback was ecstatic as it provided a hands-on experience for the operators.


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