Another Friday night ops session

The 97th SFRSD Bulletin
    Boy time fly's fast, here it is almost the end of another month. I hold almost all of my ops sessions on the last Friday of the month and have done so for many years and last night was no exception.
My invitation to the normal crew is really not necessary as most now know it is a given so it is really a formality and a confirmation that it is on and so I can check to see how many of the lads can attend.
     I am up to SFRSD bulletin number 97. Not all of them have been about ops sessions some have been about updates to the RR and special events but never the less most have been operating sessions.
    The bulletin below is a standard that I have used for many years and was used to rally the troops for last nights session.
     Almost all the crew were available bar two, one traveling interstate and the other to purchase a new car, so this gave me the opportunity to invite a guest for his first visit to an operating session.

     Jason is building quite a good sized HO RR based on the Reading Lines and is currently installing detection and signalling with the help of a few of my operators (we all share our experiences) and was looking to see how my car card and operating system worked.
     The night kicked off with the usual show and tell and once completed it was time to start the fast clock. I asked Greg if he would be dispatcher again as I felt I needed to run a train or two.

     Once the Aug / Fly and the Fly / Aug trains departed it was time to get ready to send out the two sweepers.
     One leaves Augusta and the other Flynn once the first two trains arrive at their destinations.

     Dennis and I teamed up to run the Aug / Hac / Aug sweeper. This train takes out empty grain cars that have just arrived at Augusta and runs as far as Hackney dropping off empties and picking up loaded grain cars from Udall, Hackney and Winfield in that order.

Here the Win / Guthrie cement train sits in the siding at Hackney to allow our sweeper to arrive.
     The Win / Guthrie cement train leaves the Winfield Cement siding at the East of Winfield at 9.30am. It has no priority so can sit for several hours if the dispatcher is not on the ball. It travels from Winfield to Hackney then onto Guthrie and returns picking up any stray 2 bay hoppers and ballast cars from Perry on its return to Winfield. This job can take hours but can be a lot of fun.

Here our sweeper is sitting at Winfield waiting for a green to head back to Augusta after switching Hackney and at Winfield.

Noel and Jason teamed up to run the Fly / Pon sweeper. Here you can just make out the track inspection car behind the SP SD45 passing the sweeper at Ponca City. This ran as an extra last night as the dispatcher found some gaps in the timetable.
    Ponca is a very busy spot and can be tricky to switch as many trains can run by and the industry sidings are quite short. On some occasions the yard crew may send out too many cars to spot which causes headaches for the crews.

GP30 3255 heads the cement train back across the dry creek between Hackney and Winfield

A couple of GE's sitting on the departure track at Flynn with the Fly / Aug manifest freight waiting for its time to depart. 
The Au / Hac sweeper arriving back at Augusta

A couple of GM units on the point of an Extra to Ponca as it heads to Hackney after just leaving Winfield. It is scheduled to return to Augusta.
    This extra was needed as there was a build up of cars in the Augusta yard that the yard master had requested be moved. Dennis and I ran this train that took hours on the fast clock to switch as there were too many cars for each of the sidings at Ponca. We ran past our time and went dead in the siding at Hackney as we headed back to Augusta.
     So after starting the fast clock at about 7.45pm real time we stopped the session at 11.00pm after getting almost through the whole timetable.
     It was good to have the guys over, share some trains with Dennis and let Jason see how an operating session works on the SFRSD.
     A great night thanks guys.
Catch you next time.


  1. It was a fantastic night Rod, thanks so much for the invitation and the opportunity. It's a great way of learning how waybills & car cards work, it was great being paired up with Noel and he certainly showed me the ropes.
    Hopefully our layout will be back up and running again soon, and I'll be able to repay the opportunity. Jas.