Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Dry Creek Coal Tipple #2

The tipple for Dry Creek Coal #2 at Summit Springs has been finished and the scenery surrounding the structure has been completed. As mentioned in previous posts, this structure is based upon Virginia Iron and Coke Company's 10-K tipple at Esco, Kentucky. Below are some screen shots from Bing Maps that show the tipple several years ago.

There are also several great shots of the tipple in "Appalachian Coal Mines and Railroads in Color, Vol. 1, Kentucky: The Color Photography of Everett N. Young" by Stephen M. Timko. One of the shots in the book shows the original loader in 1985 prior to construction of the adjacent flood loader shown in these pictures. I was trying to capture the look of the original installation.

Due to space constraints and the track layout in this area, I had to change the basic set-up of the tipple. I also couldn't model the truck dump, so I had to settle for a small conveyor that heads up the hill into the trees.

The tipple loads 6-8 cars per day and is worked by the Springs Man out of Nelsonville. At some point, the tipple may get worked by an eastbound coal extra which would pull the westbound loads and spot them on the siding. The eastbound movement would then spot empties before proceeding to Nelsonville to fill out with eastbound coal. Later in the day, a westbound coal extra out of Nelsonville would fill out with the loads at Summit Springs for the trip to North Pierce.

The photo below shows the overall area looking west. Some additional detail will be added at some point, including the ever present rusty barrels and a derail to protect the main line.

The idea for the small pump house and oil tank came from the shot below that Robby Vaughn took of a loader in southeastern Kentucky.

It's a good thing that Everett Young captured the photos he did of the tipple. Robby Vaughn recently visited the area and took the photo below.

The large, concrete silo off to the right of the tipple in the Bing map shots is still there, but the original tipple and flood loader are gone. And while the tracks for the tipple remain in place, it's unlikely this location will ever load coal again.

Monday, July 7, 2014

The Continuing Adventures of the Mysterious Traveling Campfire

There were confirmed reports yesterday of an unattended campfire on the Forest Park Southern. This time, the campfire was captured on film by two people traveling through Beagle Creek and the photo below shows the campfire dangerously close to the general store.

Mysteriously, though, as soon as local officials rounded the corner to check out the fire- it was gone. There was a note tacked to the wall of the general store, however, that warned of more dastardly deeds. It said another fire had been planted and was burning and offered the following clues as to its locations:
1) The perpetrators are vertically challenged.
2)  It's not where it appears to be in the photo.
3)  It's not in a building.

Forest Park Southern officials are relieved that the fire is not purportedly in a building after the disastrous destruction of the roundhouse roof at Random which was caused by a similar act of vandalism. Local officials are concerned, though, given the inability of the railroad's local officials to find similar fires in the past. Said the mayor of Beagle Creek, "I hope we don't have to call in the CEO of Forest Park Industries on order to find the fire. Several other communities around here have had to do that in the past. It's hard to believe these railroad guys can't find a fire. Most of us around here just look for the smoke."

Sunday, July 6, 2014

Chesapeake, Wheeling & Erie on TrainMasters TV

The full length video of the CWE that appeared in the November 2013 edition of TrainMasters TV is now available for viewing as a free sample. If you enjoy the video and some of the other free samples, consider signing up for TrainMasters TV. Here's a link to the video: http://www.trainmasters.tv/videos/tmtv-2013-11-act-iib.

Monday, June 30, 2014

The Mysterious Traveling Campfire- Part 4

Over the weekend, reports surfaced once again of a mysterious, unattended campfire. This time, the fire was reported in the area around East Valley along the right-of-way of the Pennsylvania & Western. Several well known miscreants were reported to have been in the area, and authorities suspect that they are responsible for the fire.

Railroad officials are sparing no resources in order to find the fire before it gets to the large wooden trestle just outside of East Valley. An anonymous local resident sent in the photo below of what appears to be the beginnings of a campfire. 

Officials are confident that the fire will be located and the suspects brought to justice. The Pennsylvania & Western is known for its competent management and local emergency services are rated among the finest in the county. Said Superintendent  Bartizek, "This isn't like some railroad in West Virginia where they can't seem to find the fire even with smoke in the area. Our employees are highly skilled individuals who will have this issue resolved posthaste." Mr. Bartizek was referring to a fire on the Forest Park Southern that was reported during the last Friday night operating session and still hasn't been found. There are also rumors of numerous fires along the right of way of the Kanawha & Lake Erie Railroad in Cincinnati, Ohio. Officials are unsure whether or not a traveling band of mischievous misfits are responsible for setting all of these fires or if it's the work of numerous individuals. 

Sunday, June 29, 2014

Op Session on the Pennsylvania & Western

Yesterday, Bob Bartizek hosted an operating session on his beautiful Pennsylvania & Western O-gauge railroad. For more information on the layout, visit Bob's website at http://www.pennwestrr.com/. The Pennsylvania & Western was also featured in a recent addition of TrainsMasters TV and a preview, along with the full video, can be found here: http://www.trainmasters.tv/videos/2014-03-1-tmtv-mar-2014-edition-act-i.

The operators at yesterday's session are part of a group that operate on a handful of layouts in the greater Cincinnati area. Everyone was up to their usual antics, and despite the actions of several known miscreants, the railroad was able to move a significant amount of freight and satisfy all of its customers. Let's take a look at some of the action.

Annville Yard is always a busy place and can accommodate a yard master, a yard switcher and a hostler. In the photo below, Stuart Thayer is working a cut of cars on the west end of the yard. Stuart was instrumental in helping to set up operations on the CWE.

In the next photo we see yard master Matt Snell directing traffic. If that name looks familiar, it's probably because he's one of the most prolific authors in the hobby. He and his wife Debie have built an incredible layout representing the Conrail Shared Assets Operation in and around Newark, NJ. The layout was featured in the 2006 edition of Great Model Railroads.

If the two individuals in the photo below look like they've been up to no good, it's probably because they have.

Actually, that's Bill "Smokey" Doll on the left and John Miller. Bill's Forest Park Southern appeared in a recent edition of TrainMaster's TV as well, and John's Kanawha & Lake Erie will be featured in an upcoming edition. Bill was disappointed that, once again, he was unable to get the Red's game on any of the staging yard monitors.

In the next photo, we see Bob Chapman (right) and Gerry Albers working a coal train through Lebanon. Gerry's Deepwater District of the Virginian was featured in the 2014 edition of Great Model Railroads and is an amazing layout.  In the background, the superintendent is watching the action.

At AE tower, all freight trains are required to stop and set retainers before heading down the hill through Horseshoe Curve. In the photo below, Robby Vaughn (left) and Anthony Hardy are waiting for the brakemen to finish the job. Both of these gentlemen model the L&N in the coal fields of Kentucky and have outstanding layouts.

In the photo below, Debie Snell and Jim Rollwage are cooling their heels at Lebanon. Jim's beautiful Denver Pacific branch of the Union Pacific was also featured in a recent edition of TrainMasters TV.

The reason Debie and Jim are cooling their heels is apparent in the next photo. They are both tied up at Lebanon waiting to get clearance into Annville. There were reports of a fire just west of Annville and emergency crews had to be dispatched to check the right-of-way before more traffic could move into the yard.

And we'll close with a shot of power at the engine terminal in Annville.

Mike Havron worked as the able dispatcher during the second half of the session and I didn't get a chance to sneak into the other room to get a shot of him in action. Sorry, Mike!

Friday, May 30, 2014

Some Thirty Years Later...

For the first time in over thirty years, CWE hopper cars 73603 and 73582 are finally in regular revenue service on the railroad. These cars were built in the early 1980's and, as described in an earlier post, were the first two hopper cars ever lettered for the Chesapeake Wheeling & Erie.

New numbers and cut levers were added and the interiors and exteriors were re-weathered.

The photo below shows 73603 spotted at the recently completed Dry Creek Coal #2 tipple at Summit Springs.

Upgrading these cars probably didn't take much less time than building and painting a couple of new hopper cars, but it was a fun project nevertheless. And it's kind of neat to have a couple of cars with a little bit of history on the layout. 

Monday, May 19, 2014

First Generation Motive Power

Now that all of the scenery and structures are in place at Dry Creek Coal Tipple #2 (more on that later), I've started re-staging the layout for the next operating session. Last night I brought one of the westbound freights back into the yard from staging and moved its power to the house. It just so happens that the two new F7's (more on that later, too) were there along with some of the other first generation power used for some of the locals. I thought it would be neat to get a shot of all of this first generation power at the Hollister Yard engine terminal.

In this picture, you can see six units that are still in the original, as-delivered paint scheme (GP7 1542, SD9 1774, F7A 1564, F7A 1562, F7A 1565, and F7B 1573). All have been re-numbered into the current numbering system. Also shown in this picture is SD9 1763 which is still in an experimental paint scheme that was applied to a few units in the late 1960's. The entire short hood was painted yellow in an attempt to improve visibility but this was quickly abandoned as ineffective. 

The new F-units, along with the GP7, will take over duties on the Sand Fork Shifter while the F7 A&B units and the GP9 will move to Nelsonville. They'll be used on the Summit Springs Shifter that works Laurel Ridge Coal Company's prep plant at Summit Springs. The U33C and U28B that have worked the Summit Springs Shifter in the past will be assigned to other duties.