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.

November 20, 2022

NJ-DMV Interchange


Dispatcher Office ready to go. You can se the schedule, train sheets and bulletin. 

I hosted an operation session on Friday for visitors from New Jersey. Tom Piccirillo, Andy Brusgard, Tom Schmeider and Mike Quinn arrived at the house for an afternoon session. 

My father at Kennedy Airport
I found it interesting that 3 of the 4 operators were retired police officers. Andy retired after 52 years of service. My dad was a a police officer for the Port of New York Authority, so I feel a kinship with policemen.

Op Session

Tom P. and Andy arrived early so I assigned them train 8 from Falmouth with engine Haupt. We operated under the rule that trains originating from Falmouth with scheduled meets at Brooke are limited to 8 cars maximum. So they left Falmouth with 8 cars.  

Later Tom S and Mike are arrived. They took Train 7 as soon as they read the bulletin.  To their credit, they had read the advanced paperwork and pretty much knew what to do as soon as they arrived despite being first time operators on the Aquia Line.

Train 8 arrived at Brooke for the scheduled meet before 7.  Being the train in an inferior direction, they had to wait for 8 to arrive. It was interesting that 7 needed to pick up a car at Brooke and 8 had a car to drop. So, the crews coordinated their actions to expeditiously do the job. 

Andy and Tom P - both had operated here before
Train 8 continued on but forgot to drop off two cars for Stoneman's. They decided to take the cars to Falmouth, vice flagging and backing up to Stoneman's, and then back haul them to Stoneman's when they departed Falmouth. This is not ideal because now the drop required a facing point move and they had to use the extended couplers on the nose of the engine. The extended links are more difficult to use than the regular link and pins, but they got it done.

Meanwhile, train 7 arrived at Aquia Landing. Unfortunately, at that point engine Haupt started to malfunction despite running fine beforehand. After some unsuccessful debugging, we switched engines McCallum for Haupt, and they attempted to finish their run. They assembled the train 9, but never did run it as they ran out of time as they had to leave to check into the hotel. 

Mike and Tom S.
The dispatcher annulled train 9, but Tom S. and Mike wanted to stay and finish their run with train 10. I have noticed in the past few sessions that the longer trains that we now run take a lot longer to work. I may need to adjust the schedule if we continue to find that the scheduled times are insufficient.  The link and pin couplers definitely slow down the process, especially for new crews.  

The random events procedure worked well. The crews pulled three cards. Two were minor events with no operational effect. The third card for crew of 10 required them to stop at Potomac Creek for 10 minutes to load troops whose enlistments were expiring.

Other than the Haupt issue, the ops session went well.

Mat Thompson hosted a group dinner at his house on Friday night. The group dinner is always a highlight of the NJ-DMV Interchange weekend. Mat's layout is also a nice treat to see too. 

Greg Viggiano observes John Steitz  running trains
during the open house 

Open House

On Saturday I hosted an open house for the NJ-DMV folks plus local friends. About 15 folks arrived to se the layout. John Steitz, Mike Spoor and Amby Nangeroni ran trains while the guests looked around and asked questions.

Alicia made chocolate brownies which were all gone by the end of the open house


We discovered that Whiton, one of my  Mason engines with battery power was sparking on the tender trucks. The engine continued to run despite the sparks. The shorts on the tender trucks is  a common problem with the Masons from SMR Trains.  It may be due to the insulating paint wearing off the brass parts as the engines operate. Charlie Taylor also reports similar problems with his SMR Masons. I need to add insulation washers to all the Mason engines. I am also thinking about making make new 3D printed resin trucks for these engines. The resin will help eliminate some of these intermittent electrical shorts. Also, Engine Oscela has a broken wire to the front truck that I need to repair. 

John Steitz reported that the passenger car was picking frogs when he was running. It had not been doing that when I ran it, so I need to check it out. 

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