A journal following the history, design, construction and operation of Bernard Kempinski's O Scale model railroad depicting the U. S. Military Railroad (USMRR) Aquia-Falmouth line in 1863, and other model railroad projects.
©Bernard Kempinski All text and images, except as noted, on this blog are copyrighted by the author and may not be used without permission.

October 14, 2018

October 2018 Op Sessions

Tom Pierpoint looks resplendent in his USMRR shirt as he pulls a pin at Falmouth 

After a five month break, the Aquia Line and PoLA hosted op sessions today. This was the 16th session for Aquia Line and the first with fully functional front links. It was also the 21st Official Session for PoLA. The sessions ran very well, despite the crews being a little rusty due to the long break.

On PoLA, Brad Trencamp was the conductor and Lance Mindheim was engineer.

The Aquia Line ran with two crews. Train 7 had a three-man crew with  conductor John Barry, Engineer John Drye, and brakeman  Tom Pierpoint. Train 8 had a two-man crew of conductor Doug Gurin  and engineer Shawn Fenn. Later Brad Trencamp replaced Doug and was the engineer.

Both Lance and Shawn were first time operators on the layouts.

Overall, the sessions went went, despite some ominous activity the night before. One of the turnouts on PoLA broke while I was cleaning track. I was able to fix it quick enough. Then, when I turned on the DCC system, the Aquia Line was fine but PoLA wouldn't respond, despite getting power. I rebooted everything and that solved the issue. Wait for it, .... yes, I HATE DCC! Fortunately, the DCC system worked without mishap on Sunday during the sessions.

A lesson we need to reinforce, Aquia Line crews must insure that the turnout levers are locked in place, as most of the trouble they had today occurred when stub switches were not fully locked into position.

This was the first op session where the Aquia Line crews could use the front links. They used them to good effect. They greatly increased their flexibility to switch the sidings. They even came up with some innovate ways to tag team switching at Brooke, as you can see in the video below.

Great session guys. Thanks for coming.


  1. Looks like a good time had by all! Layouts look great!!

  2. Thanks for the invite, Bernie -- it was a treat. Terrific video! - Shawn