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Sunday, February 9, 2014

Second Day of Portland Crew Visit

Today is the second day of the Portland crew visit.

The morning started off great, picking the guys up at the hotel for a quick trip to the Belmont Shore Club.  We weren't expecting trains to be running, however, David Sheehan got there early, cleaned track and set up a 104 car coal train complete with NS regular and Heritage locos.

We stayed at the club for about an hour and then picked up sandwiches for lunch and headed down to Watson Yard where we say a couple of Pacific Harbor Line (PHL) gensets and two BNSF GP60's complete with ATSF Superfleet paint jobs, even one with Santa Fe still on the front and sides!

Once the GP60's left, we went down the road to the Alameda Corridor where we say a number of other trains.  We ate lunch there while watching all the train activity.  After about an hour there we went by the Dolores locomotive facility.  Unfortunately trains were on both sides of the facilty so viewing locomotives was difficult but one bonus was the tank train was one of those trains.  Most have not seen the tank train before, including me.  I have only seen the old original tank trains of years past.

Notice the new deflector "shields" on the new tank cars.

From there we went back to my house to operate.  That's where the day's fun sort of disapated, at least for me.  The railroad wasn't going to cooperate.  The main issue was the wifi connection between the main RR computer and the remote computer decided to die and it took us about an hour to get it figured out.  I think someone simply knocked the wife extender and it may have dislodged from the outlet, killing power...still not sure on that one but it worked for the rest of the night.

The railroad ran fine, no DCC issues other than the Duplex would not work, but that wasn't a problem. I will probably sell the Duplex equipment as I can live without it.  There were no derailments, except for a few minor ones that were caused by a couple axels not being the correct length.

After several hours we went to dinner.  Once we were done with dinner we went back to the RR for a debriefing.  A number of items came up and I'll work on those as time permits.

I will be adding more cars to the layout so we can run more trains.  I've kept it thin so as not to clog things up while we have been in the testing mode.  I've got just over 300 cars on the railroad, however, probably about 100 of those are for unit trains.  I'll need to add 7-800 more cars to the railroad before it is "full."  The main obstacle to that is having enough wheel sets with resistors...another project moving forward.

I was so wrapped up with everything going on during the day, I forgot to take photos.  Here are a few photos.

Frank Kenny CPRX.


  1. Hi Frank
    Pleased you were able to get your portland post up and running, must have been a buzz having these folk arrive.
    Do not give up on your Duplex system. Make sure you have done the upgrades available, (ask Brendan he knows how to fix ) mine and the rest of our groups all work very well.
    Can you tell me if you are happy with using the radios for communicating. I am thinking of moving in that direction and any advice is welcome.

  2. Hi Rod,
    Thanks for the encouragement. Yes, the radios work great. That really is the only way to communicate because the dispatcher is in a room, the staging is in another room, and then the railroad is in a third room.

    I've been in touch with Brendan and he has been advising me. I wouldn't be where I am now with out him! I just have to get him to move to Los Angeles!

    Looking forward to visiting your layout in 2015!