Saturday, September 29, 2018

Session #18 - Say GoodBye to September

September pretty much has come and gone.
To enlarge any image, simply click on it.  To return to the default look of the page, click outside the image.

We managed to get in all of our September sessions this season.
To view posts from earlier sessions, check the blog archive to the right.

Both narrow gauge...

...and standard gauge.

With our final session of the month being in the standard camp.

With loads of colourful diesel locomotives making up the cast.

And...what an ensemble it proved to be.

The colour of railroading is clearly evident here.

As are the many locomotive companies.

With diesels holding the day, it was time to begin our session.

A drone's view over Nelson Yard.

Showcases the many different trains that are to be made up.

Henk and George are in control on this day.

Speaking of Henk, tasty!  Thanks Henk!

Seanna, Steve, Bill and Fred, pre-ops.


Pat, George and Doug.

Henk, Garry and Moe are all smiles in the background as Steve passes by.

Paul holds court.

Steve and Seanna wonder what all the fuss is about.

"We want to start the session!" everyone calls out.

Doug is found aboard Passenger #2 having departed Firgrove earlier in the morning.

He's through the trestle.

And around the bend at Lily.

Much later, he arrived Craig Leigh where Passenger #2 terminated.  Doug wyed his tandem of diesels and is now in Mount St. Helens westbound aboard Train 15, the Pool Train.

In Mount St. Helens.

En route to Ironwood.

A couple of railfan shots.

The images showcase the beauty of the F-units.

A nice "going away" shot as the train crawls into Ironwood on a slow order.

Over at Lily, we spot a freight train travelling in the opposite direction to the the passenger train.

Moe is in charge.

He swings Train 301 around the big curve at Lily.

The train pierces the trestle.

And finds daylight not far from Nelson Yard.

302 is downgrade at "The Ledges."

Working the industries near the interchange tracks.

In the background at Watkins.

Where they take the siding.

302 began its day in Firgrove with Steve and Seanna's lovely Algoma Central unit.

Steve is in Glenn Hammond.

He commandeers 318 out of the Glenn.

He passes the dispatch tower.

We find him departing the Nelson Yard turnout.

Through Blockhouse.

Paul will take 327 in the opposing direction to 318 out of Glenn Hammond.

Here's his crewmate, another Paul.

Paul and Paul up in Cedar Rock.

Down at Peter's Pond.

Pat is an RP&M employee on this day.

He works the Hamer Manufacturing industry down in Rat Portage.

Then it's our front for him.

With a grin...

...and a great big smile!

Pat arrived Bell as Train 65.  He has finished all of his moves in Bell and is returning down RP&M trackage as Train 66.

I will take the other RP&M train our of Nelson Yard, Train 70.  I first will back out of the yard.

Which will give me clearance into Glenn Hammond.
I would like to thank both Henk and George for their expertise in making up our two RP&M trains and get them out on the road in an expedient manner.

I have been granted clearance out of the Glen.

Rounding the bend at Bellamy.

Following clearance through the junction, I have to switch out the Lyon facility which is an easy trailing siding.

I await Pat's completion of his RP&M work at Rat before I can enter.

Headlights are on...

...and I'm on the go!

Our trusty dispatcher, Bill, kept all trains at a safe distance from each other.

He's hired!  In fact, he'll be dispatching next week's session...even though Bill wants me to report that he's put up all windows in the dispatch booth just in case an irate operator wishes to throw a few bricks his way!  Big grin!

I've arrived back at Nelson.

To find a well organized yard.

Thanks to Henk.

And...thanks to George.

Our visitor, Mark, oversees the action across from Glen Hammond.

"All is done," smiles Henk, "so I can sit down!"

Before too long, the action heats up again.

Things can change in a heartbeat.

An overall view of the yard.

"Mike, Mike!" Henk calls out, "Get your camera over here!  You've got to see what shenanigans is going on in my yard!"  (More on that later.)

Bernie uses his short yard lead to make up and break down trains in Douglas Yard at Craig Leigh.

He is all smiles as well.  The plan is to eventually extend the yard lead for next season.

Good old Douglas Yard.

With the Northland Ore Dock.

The wonderful terminal at the east end of the line.

Here's Lawrence!

Rick and Cheryl are visiting from Texas.

Rick presented Fred and me each with a badge from his local NMRA association down in Texas.  Thanks so much, Rick.  It was great seeing you again!

Rolling stock review.  Two tankers beside the engine house in Craig Leigh.

A hopper and a tanker in Mt. St. Helens.

A boxcar and a tanker in Rat Portage.

Later in the session, the tanker is still at Hamer Mfg. but the boxcars have been exchanged.

A single dome enjoys time with a triple domed brother in Ironwood.

Aha...the Pool Train has reached RP&M rails.

Taking the big curve on the front lawn.

Finding some sun.

Arriving Rat Portage.

Passing the depot.

Meeting an RP&M train.

Which is protected on the main.

The Pool Train has already gone past Glenn Hammond and has passed Blockhouse on the lower track.

A moment before at Blockhouse for a station stop.

Garry and Moe are up in Firgrove with Mark looking on.  They arrived Firgrove aboard Train 311 and will depart as Train 328.

328 in Bell.

Terminating in Glenn Hammond.

Train 302 has arrived Nelson Yard.  They will depart shortly as Train 312.

Much later, the crew is in Ironwood as Train 319.

Steve and Seanna's gorgeous diesel locomotive.

319 rests on the siding at Ironwood.

Don is in Ironwood with Train 303.

303 arrives Nelson Yard and becomes Train 313.

313 departs Nelson Yard.

With their first stop westbound at Peter's Pond.

Slowing to a stop.

Love those sergeant stripes...even in the rain!

Steve and Don.

Earlier, their train found a siding.

Which brought a chuckle to the crowd.

Looks like they were looking for the farmer's daughter!

Paul is warm and dry in that white jacket.

He and his crewmate, Paul are now in Spruce with 314.

314's power.

Paul at the helm.

The rain has brought out a unique canopy for Paul's CP locomotive.

Paul squared!

We find Pat downgrade out of Bell on RP&M rails.

His train meets mine in Rat Portage.

He's got length...I haven't.

Much later, Pat switches out the team track at Bellamy.

Looking good, Pat.

He has a railfan checking his every move.

I earlier departed Nelson Yard aboard RP&M 67.

Yup, she's a shorty train!

A pick-up at the Lyon siding gives me an additional car.

Alas, my set-out in the yard at Rat Portage has reduced my size once again.

In Rat Portage, I meet Mark and offer him the throttle.

He's a smooth operator.

And we're "out front" in no time.

Station stop at Partt's Bottom.

Mark follows his train upgrade to Bell.

At Bell we turn our Drover caboose.

Mark's enjoying the action.

And he is really deft with the throttle.

Which allows me ample opportunity to railfan our train.

With five pick-ups at the interchange track in Bell, we are on our way back down RP&M rails.

Looking good.

Respite from the rain under Firgrove.

Here's Mark!

On our return to Nelson Yard we pass the depot at Bellamy.

Where we make a brief station stop.

Then, it's on into Nelson Yard.

What was all the fuss about, earlier, Henk?

Henk tells us that it seems that every train from every railroad wants "face time" with him...and now!


Thankfully, he has George to assist him with the moves.

But before they can get anything done, we find a renegade crew running up the yard lead!
"Mike," I am called, "get your camera and come here!"

Too much fun.

Anyone who has worked the big yard in Nelson will tell you readily that things can be dead silent one second and then the "sh.. hits the fan" and in no time it would appear that a tornado has hit the yard dead center!

But Henk keeps his cool.

As does his assistant, George, off in the distance...and the dust settles almost as quickly as it was kicked up!

A fine shot of a fine train in a fine location.

We find Doug with his F's at Bell.

Not too far from the end of their run.

Following a station stop...

...the train is soon on its way out of Bell.

Rounding the bend.

And about to confront the big hill...

...up to Firgrove.

Along "The Ledges."

Thanks for bringing these beauties out, Doug!

They make for a railfan's delight of a train.

On into Firgrove.


Bernie continues to work Craig Leigh.

With his TH&B Geep.

With the rains, the icing platform looks as if some of the ice has melted!

The terminal at the end of the line in Craig Leigh.

Thanks for visiting, Rick and Cheryl.  Good luck with your move from Texas to Ohio.

Bill and Henk enjoy some down time.

As does Bernie.

Garry too.

Seanna's friend, Dianne, visits at the end of the session.

Paul's CN diesel is wondering what it sees up ahead near the throat of Firgrove's two yards.'s Ruby...aka #2.

Yup, Mark has brought out his live steamer.

The session is almost over, so let's get her on the move!


Ruby draws an audience in Peter's Pond.

Through the junction.

Seanna railfans.

Around Nelson Yard.

On the trestle.

Around Lily.

Through Spruce then Ironwood.

Meeting a crew in Mount St. Helens.

Slowing down on the grade out of St. Helens.

Upward ho!

Into Craig Leigh.

She's caught Bernie's attention.

Along the property line at Douglas Yard.

Nearing the end of the line.

Past the ice house.

Near Scobie's.

Into Craig Leigh.

Coming to a stop.

Mark and Mike are in awe.

And they are all smiles.

The return journey finds Ruby between St. Helens and Ironwood.

Outside of Spruce.

Around Lily.

Through Glenn Hammond.

At Mercer Siding.

Later, at "The Ledges."

Climbing Mount Washington...or so it seems!

Mark shows me the innards.

We have women run our trains along the IPP&W and the RP&M.  Well, ladies also run the real McCoy's as this image from an old train magazine at Fred's showcases.

Here's the caption.

With our Drover's caboose at the tail end, it's time to wrap up this posting for this week's session.

As always, it's a joy for me to report on our train operating sessions through this weblog.
As soon as I hit "publish" I'll be able to sit back and relax...although creating the blog is pure bliss for me as well!

As always, Fred is such a gracious host having so many visitors come by the railroad and feel so welcome.

We have to save a great big, "Thank You, Fred" to this incredible man.
Have a safe week everyone.  Looks like we will get at least two more sessions in before the cold fronts come on in and decide to take up residence in the Ottawa area.
Mike Hamer, Ottawa, Ontario, Canada


  1. We really enjoyed visiting today, made some new model railroad friends. I look forward to stopping by again, probably after the spring thaw. I may have to invest in a loco to run soon. Just have to get all settled in Ohio first. Thanks again for inviting us.

  2. Loved this blog, especially the story of brave little Ruby chuffing along over the whole line - both ways! She makes the right noise and I niticed that her colour matches my nose. My pal, Chuffalong Happily, likes her too. I'll have to bring Chuffalong along on my next visit to Ottawa. Cheers, everyone!