The new layout (Part V), an “enhanced” operation session with some details…

In my last post, I shared the first ever real operating session of the Rails West layout. There were a few inquiries requesting a more detailed description of the session to share what exactly is going on with more narrative on the industries, etc..  Be careful what you ask for, but here goes…(Maybe be more detail than some like.)

This iteration of the layout is still completely a work in progress, but I will share my current thinking (which could WILL evolve substantially).  Even the names of the town could change.

I hear a diesel horn in the distance.  Here we go…


Here comes the local.  The ICG covered hoppers have now been unloaded by the dairy operation and are empties.


Looks like a bit longer train today.  I think I see a shiny, new flour car behind the locomotive.


Yes it is.  That means the local will be working in Mineral Wells at little bit today before venturing to the end of the line in Carrizo Springs.


The first order of the day in Mineral Wells is to spot the new loads of corn for the dairy operation–couple of loads off the UP it looks alike today, probably coming out of Nebraska.


No need to haul the empties to Carrizo Springs, so the local spots the ICG cut so it will be easy to pick up on the way out of town.  With the Nebraska inbound loads spotted, it is time to spot the flour car at the Rainbo bakery in town.


Now the local will venture down the west spur past Jimenez Beer Distributor down to the bakery.  The smell of bread baking fills the air.

IMG_1804 (1)


With the flour spotted, it is time to get out of town and head to Carrizo Springs.  The local has a lot of work there.


Time to get in the car and beat the train into Carrizo Springs.  It’s only a short drive.  No worries.


Pretty good train into Carrizo Springs even if we don’t have any coal for the college.  There is a small college in Asherton that interchanges with the railroad in Carrizo Springs.  The railroad withdrew service to Asherton a few years back, so the college decided to lease the track for $1 a year.  The college gets in coal, beef in refrigerator cars and occasional feed or fertilizer.  About once a week, the local will have 3 to 4 cars of coal for the college.  It is an interesting operation.


The local pulls into Carrizo Springs.  The conductor and engineer need to map out a switching strategy.  The busy team track plus the need to pull the empty piggyback flat is creating some wrinkles.


First things first.  Let’s neat up the team track and piggyback ramp.


The GP-20 will ease in to join the team traffic with the piggyback flat.


The lumber dealer did a good job unloading the flat.  It is clean.  Just a little further down the track…


Good, now they have the spur there neated up.


Then he pulls the loads from Western Minerals and spots them behind the neated up consist on the spur.  Then he does a run around to get on the other side of the caboose.



You can see now that he put all the outbounds together.  Now he just has to spot the inbounds.  He starts by putting the two boxcars for the team track temporarily on the branch to Asherton (interchange with the college).  The interchange was empty today.

It is around noon.  The conductor and engineer are next to Garcia’s Mexican restaurant and no streets are blocked.  It is a great time to break for …


Maybe even one of these…hmmm…


Well finish this run in the next post, I’m hungry and will have to join them!


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