Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Last Run of the K&LE

This past Saturday, the last regular operating session on the Kanawha & Lake Erie took place. It was a bitter sweet day for anyone who has been involved with current version of the K&LE over the years. John Miller and his wife Page have purchased a new home and will be moving in the next month or so. The bad news is that the layout will come down soon. The good news is that John has over ten acres at his new place and intends to build a separate building for the new version of the K&LE. Portions of the old layout will be saved for the new location and John is looking forward to expanding on the current theme.

It only seemed fitting to capture some of the action during the last session. The photo below shows the crew gathered for a group shot right after lunch (photo by Stuart Thayer).

Undercliff Yard is always a hub of activity with trains originating and terminating, through trains making set-outs and/or pick-ups and local traffic between transfer runs and Oasis Yard, which distributes all the cars destined for local industries. In the photo below, Bob Bartizek is working as the west end switcher while Jim Rollwage is working on a cut of cars in Oasis Yard.

In addition to the west end switcher and the yardmaster positions, Undercliff also requires an east switcher who's primary duty is to classify inbound and outbound cars and make up or break down trains. In the photo below, Matt Snell is working the east end switcher job while George Roos brings a manifest freight through on the main. The superintendent is watching the action, complete with his banana yellow apron.

The next shot will give you an idea of the overall size of Undercliff Yard. The picture was taken from where Bob B. is standing in the first photo above.

Out on the road, Debie Snell is taking a freight east through Milford while Randy Seiler is working east end of St. Joe where the grain terminals and oil depots are located along the Ohio River.

Later in the session, Stuart Thayer has brought the Hillsboro switcher west to work the local industries at Milford.

Out over the industrial bottoms of Cincinnati we see (l to r) Perry Simpson, Anthony Hardy and George Roos working the industries and coordinating moves with the transfer runs.

In the same area as above, we catch the tail end DC7 (DT&I run-through train) running through the street trackage as it heads west.

Like many in the hobby, John was heavily influenced by the work of Allen McClelland and his legendary Virginian & Ohio. The V&O line east out of Dayton went through Hillsboro, as does the K&LE, and this gave John the opportunity to include several V&O through freights in addition to having a V&O local come into Hillsboro to serve a group of industries. In the photo below, we see VO 91 coming into Undercliff Yard where it will set out a block of cars.

Having made its set-outs, VO 91's power backs down to its train.

Toward the end of the session, Bob B. continues to work the west end switcher while Greg Stevens brings another freight through Undercliff.

Bill "Smokey" Doll usually works as the east end switcher, but he wasn't able to attend this session. All of us are fairly certain that his absence was the only reason Undercliff Yard looked like it did in the picture below at the end of the session.

I think I can speak for all of us in extending John Miller a huge thank you, not only for everything he has done to make this railroad what it is, but also for allowing us to spend some time running it. It really doesn't get much better than this and we were all very fortunate to have been part of the K&LE. Thanks, John.

No comments:

Post a Comment