Sunday, June 10, 2018

Session #3 Narrow Gauge June 9th

Our third session of the season enjoyed sunny skies.
Remember, by clicking on an image, you enlarge it and by clicking outside the image you bring the page back to the default setting.

Narrow gauge operations were held.
Our fellow operator, Malcolm Vant, sent along this link to video footage from the session.
Simply copy and paste the link into your address bar.  Thanks so much, Malcolm!

Narrow gauge operations means a variety of steam powered beauties could be found.

Working the yards.

And plying the rails.

Of the IPP&W and RP&M railroads.

All freight trains were run with the exception of the ore train.

Some engines remained near the engine house as all passenger service on this day was annulled.

No problem, though.

As the freights on both railroads kept all operators busy enough!

Lots of meets were held like this one at Ironwood.

Even Henk's 45 tonner made an appearance.

And...a beautiful center cab she is!

Standard "pre-ops" movements involve releasing your locomotive from its carrying case as Pat is doing up in Firgrove.

Setting out cars across both railroads as we see Brian doing at Nelson Yard.

Henk orchestrates car placements as Paul (in the white shirt) and Chris (back to us) follow his directions.

I am dispatcher on the day so I organize all of my train indicators on the large magnetic board.  The schematic is drawn up in a linear fashion and offers me an immediate view of all train locations at any time along both railroad lines.

I've brought my new friend, Bill, who recently moved to Ottawa from Barrie, Ontario.  He's enjoying a cup of IPP&W Java while being entertained by our affable Pat Brennan.

Bill continues to enjoy Pat's stories as the other lads gather around the table for the pre-ops assembly.  In the background we find our skipper, Fred, in conversation with Bill Sn3 Scobie while another visitor, Don, awaits the short meeting.  George is relaxing in back of Don.

Doug, Steve, Paul and Bernie find seats in the shade.

Brian, in the red cap, shares a smile as Malcolm chooses to stand in the back.

Lawrence and Pat Brewer.

Paul, to the far left, has arrived the table.

All attention is to the head of the table.

Our guests are introduced.

Then Fred delivers the all important safety and first aid message.
Then we are able to run the trains.  Yabba dabba doo!

But first, I've noticed an interesting development down in Rat Portage!

Lawrence has done a brilliant job creating the structure for the Hamer Manufacturing. industry!  I am deeply touched to have a location on the line named after me.  Thank you so much, Lawrence and Fred!

I also spot something new in Craig Leigh.

It's big!'s long!

A great looking icing platform!

Some of the new sidings near the junction of the two railroads are taking shape nicely.

As is the landscaping.

Indeed, the IPP&W/RP&M is a continually developing story!

For visitors, we have a schematic drawing of the line on the back of our clipboards for easy reference, thanks to our good friend, Joel.  Of course, with all of the siding changes, this will have to be updated at some point in time.

Bernie, the Douglas Yardmaster in Craig Leigh has Train 301 made up and ready to go.

Pat is conductor on 301 this morning.  We spot the train arriving its first destination westbound, Mount St. Helens.

They take the siding.

And keep the station track clear.

Malcolm, Pat's engineer aboard 301 assists in locating any of the cars they will spot and lift.

No sweat (literally) as the two handsome lads are in the shade!

Note all the sidings are facing ones for the crew aboard 301.

Meanwhile, over at the western end of the line, Paul (to the left) has made up 301's counterpart, 302.  Steve and Doug (in the background) are assigned to 302 this day.  Bill Sn3 Scobie chats with Paul in the foreground.

302 is underway downgrade at the ledges with some interesting cargo.

They've arrived Bell where they meet Train 327.

I've assigned them track 4 in Bell in order to facilitate their trailing moves at the interchange track.

An efficient crew, they are quickly on their way east to Peter's Pond.

Out of Bell.

Downgrade approaching Watkins Siding.

We've followed the two trains that commence their journeys at either end of the line.  Now it's time to check in on the two other one that begin their runs from the midpoint of the railroad.  Above we see the motive power for 318 using the main as a lead to make up its train back in Glen Hammond.

Pat and Lawrence will crew 318 today.

With the caboose on the tail end, it would appear they are ready to head east to Spruce.

With permission granted by the dispatcher, they are underway.

On a lush green morning.

Through the big trestle.

Around the bend at Lilly.

Arriving Spruce.

Where they switch out the two trailing sidings.

The other midpoint starting train is 327.  This train also originates in Glen Hammond.  They are travelling westbound and have entered the location known as Peter's Pond.

Here's Moe and that's George.

Having run around their train, they prepare to tackle the run up the Cedar Rock branch.

With their work completed in Peter's Pond, we find 327 having arrived Bell.

Passing by the big blue facility known as Brunt's Brewery.

Working Stuart Yard.

We haven't checked in on our RP&M crews as yet.
Here we see Paul and Bill in Nelson Yard ready to head out aboard RP&M Train 65-66, a turn up to Bell and back.

Paul has the throttle.

As his Mallet hauls lading destined for the RP&M.

 Coming onto some newly re-laid track.

Bill is all smiles.

Why wouldn't he be?   He's running a train in the great outdoors!  Is that a Colorado spruce in the background, Bill?  Pardon the you see, Bill runs his Colorado narrow gauge home layout in S scale.

Their RP&M train has arrived Rat Portage.


Just maybe...they might switch out this lovely new facility!!!

Our other RP&M crew has been busy assisting the Nelson Yardmaster.  Chris is working the eastern throat of Nelson Yard.

While Brian works the western end.

Mr. Chris Ellens.

Chris and Brian make a great team.

As they classify the yard tracks for skipper Henk.

Here's Brian.

With his RP&M train, Rat 70, ready to depart Glen Hammond.

Switching out the team track in Bellamy.

Then it's down to Rat Portage.

And return.

Through the junction.

Tender leading.

Let's check in on Nelson Yard.  Henk, to the right, is so confident in his yard crew that he is allowed to turn away from the yard without hesitation.

Looking south across the railroad, the yard is very busy.

With a hefty amount of activity, the yard changes in appearance every few minutes.

Bill, enjoying the shade with Henk.

While Brian (in the red cap) continues to assist Henk.

Nine tracks wide, the yard works to perfection.

As Henk's smile attests.

What would we do without you, Henk?

Henk's little centercab.

Sure pulls its weight!

Meanwhile up in Firgrove, Paul keeps the railroad moving classifying outgoing traffic.

Looks like Malcolm has arrived Firgrove where he hands off his consist to Paul.

My friend, Bill, enjoys a peek at Paul's CP diesel residing in the shade.

 Bill makes his way over to the other end of the line and chats up Bernie, the Craig Leigh yardmaster.

Douglas Yard in Craig Leigh.

Also in the shade.

Here's Bernie!

Steve has brought his train up the hill from Mount St. Helens and hands the consist off to Bernie.

Bernie in Northland.

Let's visit some of the folks.  Don takes a seat ringside.

Love the cap, Don!

Stewart with his granddaughter, Sabina.

With the custom car they have built.

Testing it out in Cedar Rock.

Runs pretty good!

She's a beauty, Stewart.

Love the wood.

My friend, Bill.

Bill visits Henk.

Then takes another seat ringside.

Paul, our yardmaster from Firgrove.

My lovely wife, Lisa, visits the railroad to drop off a birthday cake...more on that later.

Pat Brewer.

Malcolm shooting video which he will share later for our enjoyment.

Pat Brennan with his red hat!

Let's check back in with Malcolm and Pat aboard 301. 

They are downgrade out from Mount St. Helens.

They will find their way into Ironwood in short order.

You've just gotta love the gorgeous White Pass locomotive.

They've separated their train in Ironwood.

Where they begin working the sidings.

In the shade.

My friend, Bill, looks on.

He follows their movements closely.

We catch up with 302 in Peter's Pond.

Where Doug and Steve work the Cedar Rock branch.

Again, in the shade.

The additions from last season have incorporated more trailing sidings in Cedar Rock.

Back down in Peter's Pond.

Then at Mercer for a meet with a westbound freight.

Meanwhile back at Ironwood, 301 has been given instructions to take the station track in order to free up the siding for incoming 318.  Lawrence ensures his train, 318, safely arrives.

With 318 almost in the clear, Malcolm will depart with 301 momentarily.

Stewart and Sabina look over the action in Ironwood while Pat and Lawrence review their orders here.  Luckily there are no ore trains running on this day.  Typically, a crew in Ironwood, would spend further time here assisting the ore train with its facing lifts.

318 has arrived Mount St. Helens.

The moves here will be quick.

As all sidings are trailing ones for this eastbound crew.

A glance at their locomotive.

Here's Lawrence.

Back up in Bell, we find the crew 327 working the west end of the yard.

Near Brunt's Brewery.

George has things well in control.

They hold a meet with opposing 302.

Alas, the yard is designed to handle multiple trains at a time.

A short while later we spot the same crew, now aboard their eastbound train, 304.  They had earlier headed up to Forgrove, terminated train 327 and turned their locomotive.

Drilling the Stuart Yard tracks from the east end of Bell.

While along the RP&M we spot the turn up to Bell.

With Paul at the throttle.

Aboard his Mallet.

They, too, have arrived Bell.

Our other RP&M crew with Chris (blue cap) and Brian (red cap) prepare to head up to Bell.

Much later, we find them returning to Rat Portage after turning their locomotive up in Bell.

A lovely shot of the station in Rat Portage.

Here's Brian!

At Nelson Yard, Henk polishes the rails with his 45 tonner.

While Moe visits.

Henk enjoys the shade while Bill looks over things at the western throat of the yard.

Back in Spruce we find 301.

301 has been cleared up to Nelson Yard.  Malcolm railfans his train.

Through Blockhouse.

Around the bend at Lilly.

Yes, I know the plant is a Lily, but I choose to spell this location Lilly after my puppy dog.

On the approach to the gut.

Through the trestle.

We find 302 at the junction of the two railroads.

Then into Nelson Yard.

Steve and Doug ensure they have their full consist.

Then it's eastward hoe aboard their new train, 312.

Through the trestle.

In to Spruce.

Already through Ironwood and into Mount St. Helens.

Where they will be expedient with their trailing moves.

Their locomotive on the day.

Surveying their car numbers in anticipation of their moves.

Bill walks by as Malcolm videos a meet at Mercer Siding.

A great railfan spot, for sure.

Almost complete.

Let's do a final check in with one of our RP&M crews...Bill and Paul.
They are backing out of Nelson Yard and will head into Glen Hammond.

Using the big curve out from Glen Hammond as their yard lead.

They work the interchange tracks in the Glen.

Then it's off to Rat Portage.

Meanwhile a train trundles downgrade out of Firgrove.

A quick gander over at Bell where we see yet another meet.

Time for confession with Father Lawrence, Pat.

"Well Father Lawrence, I did run the switch back in Nelson Yard...but it was not my fault.  Henk was in a fluster and told me to get going right away.  That got me in a fluster as well and I was so quick to get out of Nelson that I didn't look ahead of my locomotive...I just beat it out of there!"

"Well, Pat, my son," indicated Father Lawrence, "for your penance you will have to recite our switch orders three times, say 'Henk is the King of Nelson Yard' four times and bow down to Father Fred each time you see him today."

A nice pic of a beautiful piece of rolling stock.

Father Fred, holding court with Brian and Don.

Neil, standing, holding court with Chris and Bill.

So nice to see George back up on the saddle.

We're coming to the end of this rather lengthy posting and I have only shown you the first third or so of our session.

 I'll save the rest of the shots I took for a "rainy day"  (hopefully we will have none of them) and post them some time in the future.

The old guard meets the new.

Birthday cake time!

 Yummy cheesecake.

I turned 60 two weeks ago.

But, alas, that session happened to be the first rainout of the season.

So we were able to celebrate today instead.

Here's little "old" me...a newly minted 60 year old.  (There were a number of lads in attendance who also celebrated their birthday near the end of May.  I am a twin and I am a Gemini.  Yikes!)

Bill, Fred and Chris enjoying some camaraderie in the lounge post ops.

And with the passing shot of the caboose, that tells us we're at the end of our posting.

Until next week when we run those behemoth diesels along the great iron road known as the Ironwood, Peter's Pond and Western and the good old Rat Portage and Mattawa!
Have a great week everyone!  
Mike Hamer, Ottawa, Ontario, Canada

1 comment:

  1. A great post - I love all those pictures! (Happy Birthday!)