Model Railroad Operation on the Consolidated South Western RR
In Pictures and Captions
A CSWRR Operating Session Part 1
The railroad is regularly operated on a twice a month basis, on the second and fourth Saturday of the month. An Open House is held in the fall and special operation sessions may be held at other times. The operation of trains are controlled by a Dispatcher. All trains are operated as Scheduled Extras with the session running around 3 hours and 30 minutes. Staging is regenerative, so trains entering into a staging yard are ready to be used again later without any further action.
Over the past year, there have been several changes to the Operation Session on the Consolidated South Western Railroad. The following pictures were actually taken over several years and are not from one single Operation Session. A couple trains have been added and some dropped, consists and train functions have been modified, some at the request of the Operating Crews and some by the CEO. Please join me as we Operate the CSWRR.
Once again, you have been invited to participate in an Operation Session on the CSWRR. It is shortly before the start of the session and the crews have been arriving and getting ready for the session. When we arrive, we see that the A and B yards have been assigned and things are about ready to get started. At the appointed time, the Dispatcher lines up the Crestmore Local to enter the North Main at Rana to start it's work at Colton. Soon the Dispatcher starts handing out the first train assignments and the Session is underway.
The regular power assigned to the B Yard is a pair if CF-7's 2633 and 2496. The operation of the B Yard is critical as it greatly controls the flow of cars on the railroad. Here is where the four Locals are made up as well as pick-up's for about six Road Trains and other Yard Duties.
The Power assigned to the A Yard is the 3459 and 3320, a pair of GP-35's. While the A Yard does perform some yard switching duties, it's primary function is to service the nearly 20 Industries, some twice a day between Rana and Cajon as well as servicing the Interchange track. The A Yard crew will also do some yard switching to position cars in the yard for later pick-up.
As the session/day starts, we see the Crestmore local is departing the B Yard with WP 3557 and UP 968. The local will operate as far West as Pachappa servicing around ten customers before returning to the B Yard later in the day.
Shortly after the day starts, we see the A Yard Switch 3459 is working the Cargill plant. When the work here is complete, they will continue upgrade to the Cajon Lime plant.
The 3459 has pulled the Loaded Lime cars from the Cajon Lime plant, made their set-out and will now shove the train down grade to work the Barbara Ann Bakery at 5th St. They will then continue West and enter the East end of the B Yard to set-out the loaded Lime cars before returning to the A Yard.
Having departed Yermo at the start of the session, UP Extra 3165W, the YRLA arrives in the San Bernardino A Yard to set-out cars. The train will then continue West to East LA with the remaining Pig Flats. Note the KCS power in the train. Most road trains on the CSW originate in either the East or West Staging Yards and terminate in the opposite staging yard. Then later the train will return as another train traveling in the opposite direction, thus the YRLA will return later as the LAYR with the same engine number. I refer to this as "Regenerative Staging".
Here we see Extra 8521E, the 844 Grain train is passing through Casa Blanca with it's train of empty grain hoppers. The train departed the Port of Los Angeles at 9:45 this morning and should arrive in Argentine Yard in about 38 Hours.
Arriving in San Bernardino Extra 8521E, the 844 Grain train is picking up 6 empty cars from the East end of the B Yard. The train will then head East up Cajon Pass and on to Argentine Yard.
The Auto train, Extra 5963W having switched out cars in San Bernardino and is now continuing West. The train is now nearing the end of it's journey as it passes through Pachappa and on to Hobart. The second unit is an X Amtrak unit that the Santa Fe acquired in a swap with Amtrak for CF-7. The train originated in Corwith Yard and will terminate in Hobart Yard.
UP Extra 3720, the CLS has just descended Cajon Pass and has pulled into the B Yard where it will pick-up the First May cars. The train will then continue West to Colton, set-out cars to the SP, then continue West to set-out the May cars at Casa Blanca. On the left, we see that Track Inspector Otto Gage's Hi Rail pickup is parked by the B Yard office.
At Colton, the UP 3720W, the CLS pulls onto the SP Interchange where it will set-out a cut of cars for the SP. After the set-out, the train will continue West to Casa Blanca. In the background we see some SP power waiting to move the cars to the SP's West Colton Yard.
After arriving at Casa Blanca, we see UP Extra 3720W the CLS is setting-out cars to the Prenda Siding for the first May Turn. When it's work is completed, the train will continue West to the UP's East LA Yard . Shortly the First May Turn will come on duty and switch the cars to the local industries.
Having setting-out a cut of cars to the Prenda Siding, UP Extra 3720W, the CLS is continuing West with mostly Pig Flats for the UP Yard at East Los Angeles where it will terminate. I am sure this crew will be ready to Mark Off for the day and some much needed rest.
After departing Hobart Yard about two hours ago Extra 5050E has arrived in Colton where it will pick-up and set-out cars for the SP. After completing it's work here at Colton, it will continue East to San Bernardino for more work.
Extra 5050E has arrived in San Bernardino and is working the Bio-C plant. Bio-C is a new California industry with many out going loads. When it's work is complete, the train will head for Barstow where the cars will be sorted in the Hump Yard.
Extra 102E the Q891 is passing through Arlington. The train departed Hobart an hour and a half ago and will soon make a stop in the San Bernardino A Yard. The Q in the symbol designates this as the premier train on the railroad's Trans-Con and it's progress is closely monitored by management. Any delays to this train must be reported to management.
The Extra 102E, the Q891 has cut away from it's train at fifth St. and has now backed down into the A Yard to pick-up 2 Five Packs. As soon as this Q Train is back together it will make an air test and proceed East over Cajon Pass to Barstow for a quick crew change before heading East to Corwith Yard.
Today we see B Yard Master Ed Kovich is using his Northern Pacific GP9's to switch the Yard. Most often the yard crew will substitute their motive power for the session. This substitution of power on the CSWRR is an acceptable practice only for Yard and Local trains and as long as it is able to perform smoothly in the specific task.
Here we see that A Yard Master Roy Foster is using his Milwaukee GP30's as yard power to switch the Kaiser Rolling Mill.
X 3619, the Cadiz Turn has just arrived in the A Yard with about 20 interchange cars from Arizona. This train operates East to Cadiz and the Arizona & California RR interchange on a daily basis. Once the cars are spotted in the A Yard, the power will go to the House for service.
On another day, the Cadiz Turn is sporting two visiting Milwaukee SD40-2's owned by Ed Kovich. On the far right we see Commuter 315 is ready to receive it's passengers and depart.
Today the second unit in the Extra 5963W is a BN SD40-2. The BN engine is a visitor from regular crew member Ed Kovich.
Here we see the CLS at West Yard Tower with a Milwaukee SD40-2 in the consist. The Milwaukee unit is a visitor owned by Roy Foster.