|Staged and Ready to Operate|
Eight members of the ACWRRHS, Thom Radice, Charlie Taylor, Phil Reuhl, Marty Vaughn, DC Cebula, Ken Starcher, John Bopp, and David Bjorkman, visited the Aquia Line today. We concluded a successful day of operating the railroad in morning and afternoon sessions. Everyone seemed to have a great time. The railroad ran well. I spent about an hour the night before giving all the track a thorough cleaning. That helped with the DCC engines like Haupt. The new battery in Whiton worked well. Fury also ran well.
I was concerned about the number of cars being insufficient, but everything seemed to worth well. The sidings were not so choked with cars that might cause delays. We ran trains ranging from 10 cars to an engine leaving Falmouth light but making pickups along the way.
Everyone agreed that the new Falmouth is a big improvement to the layout. This railroad is simple in design, but relatively complex in operations when you consider the link and pins, proper whistle signals, using the telegraph, maintaining the paperwork, and deciding how to do the switching moves. The Time Table and Train Order aspect is fairly simple, but still has it nuances.
The infamous 10-minute rule came up for discussion again as many trains were running late.
"No Train having the right to the Road must leave any station or passing place, where by the schedule it should pass a train, until Ten Minutes after its own time per schedule; and this ten minutes (allowed for variation of watches) must be observed at every succeeding station until it shall have passed the expected train; and no portion of the ten minutes allowed for variation of watches must be used by Trains running in either direction. "
Phil suggested that the first phrase means the rule applies to the priority direction, which is southbound i.e. loaded. So we now interpret this phrase to mean that southbound trains in the superior direction can pass a planned meeting point if the inferior train they were supposed to meet is more than 10 minutes late.
I love how operators find new ways to operate the layout, ways that I did not think about.
We did detect some problems.
- Whiton was shorting intermittently in the tender trucks. We could see sparks. Because it was battery powered, it kept right on chugging, but I need to fix the problem. Charlie suggest insulating washers.
- One turnout switch stand broke as I did not properly clear the ballast and glue from it. Luckily it was not in a critical spot and we could operate by had.
- The telegraph signal from Falmouth was at times weak. I don't understand how that can be as there is a power supply in the telegraph office to power the sounder. So why Falmouth was weak while the others were fine is a mystery to me.
Here is a short video of the guys working the railroad. Thom Radice looked quite dapper in his period attire. Thanks to everyone for attending. Now I look forward to a long nap. The last few nights were long and the mornings early!