The Sanderson Turn, March 23, 1990 (Part II)

Well how were the enchiladas?  Did Ernesto ask you if you wanted an egg on top?

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Nothing like real New Mexican Red (preferably Hatch) Stacked Enchiladas

All right…Let’s finish up this run.  Matt is getting antsy.  His son has a little league game tonight.  We still have the scoria, beer and grocery movements.

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Before proceeding further, the empty beer car is cut off.

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Now the train couples into the two scoria loads. The scoria loading track will only hold four cars and still function as a run around track, so today we will have to shove the out bound train onto the main and use the passing track plus the scoria track as a run around.

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But first we have to move the two empty hoppers from the main to the scoria empties track.

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Here the two empty scoria cars are being spotted on the scoria empties track. The crew has to be careful not to run the cars off the end of the spur. Cars left on this track must also have hand brakes set as there is an incline that allows the cars to be rolled to the loading point. Most of the cars for scoria loading are the larger 100 ton open hoppers but we still see some of the smaller ones like this LCN 70-ton car.

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With the scoria empties behind the derail, the train backs onto the main track, then proceeds back to town.

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The empty beer car is picked up. You may wonder why the crew didn’t just leave the car coupled to the engine when spotting the empty scoria cars. The problem was the road crossing. The conductor would have had to walk to this end of the train to get across the train across the road crossing, and as we all know, conductors don’t want to walk anymore than they have to.

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The out bound cars are left on the main track, and the engine shoves the beer cars and grocery box toward their siding.

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The two beer cars on todays train are finally spotted.

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As is the grocery box. All the customers are happy now and the train crew can get ready to get out of town.

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The conductor has the engine and empty beer car headed down the passing track and is “lining behind”. That is, this switch must be left lined for the main track when the crew is finished switching Sanderson.

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Across the road crossing and onto the scoria loading track.

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Easy does it down these side tracks, the track isn’t always in the best of shape.

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Out on the main and coupled into the rest of the outbound cars. Just an air test and it’s homeward bound.

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Heading for home.

Hope you enjoyed this run (and the enchiladas!).

Again, this was a very detailed description of the run, but it was detailed by design to help reveal a lot of the finer nuances of operations.  Layouts do not have to be big to offer interesting operating sessions.  If you slow down and think about what is in these freight cars, how that affects how you handle and spot them, performing air tests, what is the optimal spot for the brakeman to disembark, give him (or her) time to connect brake hoses, etc., your sessions will be more realistic and rewarding.

 

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