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 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:

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!