On Saturday, Bill "Smokey" Doll hosted an operating session on his beautiful Forest Park Southern layout. The layout was featured in Model Railroader last fall and can be seen here on Trainmasters TV: http://trainmasters.tv/videos/2014-05-2-tmtv-may-2014-edition-act-ii.
Coming up the driveway, we knew we were in the right place.
Anthony Hardy brought this old sign along and placed it where everyone would see it. Works much better than having an actual street address. And while you can't read the belt buckle in the photo, you know what's written on it- SMOKEY.
In the shot below, the Train Master has entered the room, complete with his rock star t-shirt, while Bob Bartizek works the local in the Gateway Industrial area. The top staging on the right represents Beckley, WV on the C&O while the bottom staging is Williamson, WV on the FPS.
Trains off the C&O swap power and cabooses either at Random Yard or at the yard at Flowing Springs before proceeding east on the FPS. The photo below shows Paul Miklos moving some power out from the house at Flowing Springs for an inbound C&O train. Paul has a triple deck, N-scale layout depicting the B&O from Cincinnati east to Chillicothe, OH that operates using time tables and train orders.
The next shot shows Jim Rollwage observing the action at Bedford as George Roos and Anthony Hardy coordinate a meet. In the background, John Miller is taking a quick nap. On the right side of the picture is the passenger station at Flowing Springs and the west end of the yard.
The yard at Flowing Springs sees a lot of action during a typical session. In the next shot, Jim Rollwage is getting read to work an FPS freight being brought into the yard by Paul.
The yard at Random is used primarily to serve the coal branch that leaves the main at the west end of the yard in addition to the local industries. Stuart Thayer, one of the charter members of the Coal Trucky Hopper Gang, is working the yard in the photo below. On the far left of the photo is Keith VandeStadt who is moving a train through Random on the main. Keith is the creator of the Suffolk Northern, a free-lanced, HO scale coal hauler set in the mid- 1950's.
Also working at the yard at Random is Chris Wermuth. In addition to his usual duties as Yardmaster at Random, Chris designed and implemented the CTC signal system on the layout using JMRI's software.
The dispatcher's office's is located in a small room off the crew lounge. In the photo below. Bob Zoellner (on the left) is keeping a watchful eye on the CTC panel in his usual role as dispatcher on the FPS.
Next up we see George Roos (on the left) and Robby Vaughn waiting to take another train over the road.
And a post about a session on the FPS wouldn't be complete without some railfan shots.
The pictures don't do the layout justice- it really is incredible. Thanks again, Bill, for a great session!