Shakedown Part 5: Enter the High Line!

Shakedown number five is done and in the books.  I had a huge turnout.  Fourteen people came over and the new system was tested and for the most part the layout preformed very well.  The main difficulty was the massive task of writing all the waybills for the out bound trains.  I had three trains ready to go even before anyone walk in the door.  Ralph Heiss and Rich Taylor where down early and they got to work on separating all of the new waybills for the Erie portion of tonight’s festivities.  I had the most experienced crews working the High Line predicting that there would be a multitude of issues on an untested portion of the layout.  The High Line worked better than expected.  Each train had a crew of two and St. John’s Park Terminal had Neil Henning running it.  I ran that active staging yard again and I had most of the issues getting trains out.  With the addition of the High Line there was just not enough equipment to go around and that was my fault. 

Tonight's Crew missing Wayne Clerk Tom Callan St John's Park Terminal
I need to make smaller trains for 30th Street.  I sent over two twenty car trains for 30th Street.  I was later informed by two very capable operators that the limit should be set at seventeen cars for south bound trains or advanced warning needs to be issued.  This gives me an idea to add a phone system since 30th Street cannot be seen from the active staging yard.  Ted Pamperin and Rich Taylor both had some very useful suggestions for improving 30th Street.  Since I have to do major surgery to fix flood damage and I also want to replace the High Line with a much more accurate structural model, about 60% of the yard will be re-built and the ladder improved.

Wayne and Rich 28th Street and the High Line Crews
28th Street turned out to be a major problem.  There were car and track issues and an unrealistic schedule to boot.  Jay Held, Nick Held and Ted DiIorio where under a lot of stress and I was too involved with the active staging to rectify the issues.  I owe them an apology for not giving them a positive experience.  I’m first on line to issue complaints when other layouts have fallen down and I am first to take full responsibility for the poor operations of 28th Street session. The next work session will be devoted to 28th Street and getting it 100% ready for March 6th Operating Session.  I hope Ted, Jay will come back with Nick and have a better experience. Wayne Shortman was down and looking pretty good for someone that is recovering from a stroke.  Wayne has done a lot to help build the layout and I know that I speak for all of us that he has a speedy recovery! 

28th Street 28th Street Crew Ted DiIorio and Nick Held Ted DiIorio and Jay Held

The Model Rail Cast crew from Philadelphia, Tim Harrison, Rob Hinkle and Jason Smith, came down and where part of the massive High Line crews.  I had six people working the High Line with an assortment of radio throttles. Yes the now radio equipped New York Harbor Railroad had five radio throttles running along with three wired throttles and the NCE system was flawless!  Thanks for coming down and I hope to see you in March for the next session.

Model Railcast Crew High Line Pass at the Meat District Working the High Line The Meat Train
The new features broke down like this.  The High Line worked out much better than expected.  The NCE radio system was flawless.  The layout’s new operating plan was rougher that I expected but it did work.  I need to refine it but it should work out very well in the future.  Unlike a cast in stone system the very flexibility is it Achilles heel.  The active staging agent (ASA) MUST know the railroad and all of the sidings as well as all of the capacities of the sidings.  That is too much to farm out at first so I will need to qualify someone on the operations of the railroad next session.  I will also need to improve the paper work to assist the ASA in sending out trains.

High Line CrewsView From St John's Park First Mail Train Morgan Parcel Post Office
The Harbor Master position did not function as I pictured it.  I had put Craig at that new post but I did not have time or the instructions to lead him in the direction I wanted the position to go in.  I could hear him complaining that he was bored and that is never a good thing.  I think that once 27th Street is on line it will be a better position.
Future goals for the next session are as follows.  1) Implement radio or telephone communications between 30th street and the ASA.  2) Implement radio or telephone communications for 27th and 28th Street with the Clerk or as I will be call that position Car Float Operations Agent (CFAO pronounced see-fow).  3) Improve operations at 28th Street by working on the tracks and shopping the entire car fleet (again and again until its bullet proof).  Until March 6th at 7:00 PM and the next operating session.

Craig T Merciless Bloody Ralph