Thursday, December 25, 2014

Christmas 2014

For Christmas this year, the 1950s are temporarily a distant memory. Modern GE's & SD70s (in heritage schemes) are center stage with all the holiday and specialty cars on parade.

In Camden northbound and southbound freights flash by.


In Woodbury, south Barber avenue offers an up-close view of freight cars that appear only once a year.

One Solitary Life

He was born in an obscure village, the child of a peasant woman.
He grew up in another obscure village where he worked in a carpenter shop until he was thirty.

He never wrote a book,
He never held an office,
He never went to college,
He never visited a big city,
He never travelled more than two hundred miles from the place where he was born,
He did none of the things usually associated with greatness ,
He had no credentials but himself.

He was only thirty three, his friends ran away.
One of them denied him .
He was turned over to his enemies, and went through the mockery of a trial.
He was nailed to a cross between two thieves.
While dying, his executioners gambled for his clothing, the only property he had on earth

When he was dead,
He was laid in a borrowed grave,
Through the pity of a friend

Nineteen centuries have come and gone.
And today Jesus is the central figure of the human race, and the leader of mankind's progress.
All the armies that have ever marched,
All the navies that have ever been built and sailed,
All the parliaments that have ever sat,
All the kings that ever reigned,   put together,   have not affected the life of mankind on earth
As powerfully as that one solitary life!

Adapted from a sermon by Dr James Allan Francis in “The Real Jesus and Other Sermons” © 1926 by the Judson Press of Philadelphia (pp 123-124)

Sunday, December 21, 2014

Holiday Chocolate Soup?

When the holidays roll around, unusual freight cars begin to show up on the (my) PRSL.

Based on the last set-outs at Campbell Soup it appears they must be planning to produce a chocolate soup for the holidays! (Sounds good to me.)

Chocolate soup anyone?
Meanwhile there is a problem in Woodbury. Two siding slots left and 7 tank cars of syrup to deliver.

Meanwhile the Camden and Woodbury yards are receiving some unusual freight cars.

And it looks like the NS & UP heritage units have been loaned to provide power (a 60 year time warp is unfolding).

Soon the Christmas trains will be on the go!

Happy Birthday Jesus!

Merry Christmas everyone!

Saturday, December 6, 2014

The Operating Session's Final Chapter - The Merchandise Transfer

Actually it should be (and will be) the first chapter of each day since it sets up the day's runs by supplying needed empty freight cars from the Philly side of the river.

Initiating the coal (WY843/WY842) and tanker (WY79/WY80) runs from staging should remove so much work from the Pavonia yard job that the two Tim's might not have enough to do (which means they could find other mischief to get into - and we don't want that)!

I decide in advance what needs to be delivered / shipped from a spreadsheet (see the blog entry for May 31, 2014) which determines when and what kind of cars are needed for the commodities to be handled each day. We have 14 sidings (18 customers) on line and 10 more customers south of the layout portions modeled. In a 7 day week we will process 229 freight cars:
            88        Hopper cars                 (2 power plants and coal furnaces in every town)
            10        Covered hoppers         (DuPont & Shell Chemical on the Penns Grove branch)
            69        Tank cars                     (2 refineries)
              4        Chemical tank cars      (DuPont & Shell Chemical on the Penns Grove branch)
            30        Box cars
            22        Refrigerator cars         (for the gazillion farms in southern NJ - "The Garden State")
              5        Gondolas
              1        Flat car
The 3 staging tracks make this all possible.

The Pavonia yard (remember the PRSL was a North - South, dead-ended line with only the one major yard in Camden on the northern end) does not always have all the cars needed for the day's work. Hence the 3rd staging track for the merchandise transfer run.
The merchandise transfer run from Philly
Three sharks to pull 6 cars - "slightly" over-powered maybe?
Today's run only brought in 5 needed empties (3 reefers, a covered hopper, and a chem tanker). The job would only need 1 or 2 engines but I am showing off some of my sharks that were off-site for work for 79 days. (Pretty, aren't they!) They will return with 17 cars (9 loads and 8 unneeded empties (tanker, gondola, 3 hoppers and 3 box cars). Notice the inbound empties and the outbound empties should be mutually exclusive car types.
Leaving town is a bit different - 18 cars in tow.
Passing Campbell Soup on the way out of Camden
Those sharks were indeed beautiful engines
This run should help keep the yard empty for sorting cars for the day's 5 runs to south Jersey (and enough work to keep Tim junior out of trouble).

Whew! Documenting all these runs was a lot of work. Now I have time to set up the Christmas trains for the grandkids and eventually start working on the layout again.

Happy Birthday Jesus!
Merry Christmas everyone!


Friday, November 28, 2014

WY841 / WY840 the Penns Grove Local

Our last PRSL run of the day will be the WY841 / WY840 Penns Grove turn. We head out with a reefer to be iced in Woodbury (before going to yet another south Jersey farm), a chemical tank car for Shell Plastics in Thorofare (off-line), and a tanker for DuPont in Deepwater (off-line), in addition to 5 loaded hopper cars.

In Westville  we drop 3 hopper loads at the PRSL generating station. (The other 2 hoppers will go to Barry Bros in town but they will be delivered on the northbound return run.)

While here we need to snag an empty covered hopper from Buzby Cement.

Leaving town we can see the hopper car that we will be retrieving on the return trip.

In Woodbury we meet WY80 on its return northbound leg with 8 loads from the Sunoco refinery in Paulsboro and the 3 loads it had picked up from Texaco on its initial southbound leg.

 We drop the our reefer for icing (and retrieve 2 iced reefers for delivery).

Going and Coming. We head down the Penns Grove branch as WY841 to service the off-line Shell Chemical plant in Thorofare, DuPont in Deepwater, and several southern New Jersey farms. 

The deliveries having been made we return as WY840 northbound training only an empty and 2 loads.

The Barry brothers delivery was a bit tricky. The coal unloading trestle is not going to hold a locomotive's weight and we had such a short train.

First we used the 3 cars we have to snag the empty hopper and plop it temporarily just in front of the remaining cabin (caboose) on the main line. Now we are too short to deliver the 2 loaded hoppers and keep the engine off the wood trestle, so we drop the 2 hoppers at the base of the siding. Back up and re-snag the empty hopper. This leaves us with enough cars to push the 2 loads up onto the trestle.

Now we can reconnect our short train. We are now done for the day and are anxious to head back to Pavonia to sign out.

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Meanwhile ... in Camden.

The Pavonia yard's duties during a day are to dispatch 3 trains, do an engine swap, and turn 7 trains (5 of them being when the south quarter of the yard is functioning as the Millville and Penns Grove terminuses). In addition, the yard crew is expected to service the local Camden industries (RCA Victor, Campbell Soup, and the J. B. Van Sciber furniture company) during its spare time.   :-)

With only the Penns Grove local and a Philly transfer left on the schedule, our faithful Baldwin heads out to serve the local folk. It grabs a box car of lumber for Van Sciber and a car of cardboard boxes destined for Campbell Soup.

A quick run-around gets the switcher positioned for its switching work.
First the lumber to Van Sciber, gently nudging the existing tank car of wood stain already there.

The Reading box car already at Campbell's is empty and needs to be picked up.

We will temporarily pull it back and position it out of the way on the RCA Victor siding (conveniently next to the empty hopper that also needs to be removed).

Then we place the loaded box car in position to be unloaded.

Finally we retrieve the 2 empties, do another run around and return them to the yard.

Saturday, November 22, 2014

WY79 / WY80 The Tank Sweeper

The PRSL WY79/WY80 ran between Camden and Paulsboro, so I assume it was meant to serve the Sunoco (Sun Oil Company) refinery there. I understand there was also a run to serve Texaco (in Westville) that originated in what was originally (before the merger) Reading's (Camden) Bulson Street yard. We will combine them into a single tank car sweeper run to service both refineries.

Again, trying to alleviate Camden Pavonia yard switching and balance the loads between the Brown and Red Oak tower operators, we will originate WY79 from staging track 2. Since it is a PRSL run we will not stop to transfer engines or cars in Pavonia. It's sole job is to collect and deliver Texaco loads (and empties) and head down the Penns Grove branch to Paulsboro. It will swap cars in the yard (the other side of Pavonia) and head directly back to Pavonia via Woodbury - Westville - Brooklawn - Camden. Along the way it will meet the WY34 local returning from Millville. Since WY79 is southbound and WY33 is northbound they will not interfere with each other as they pass by.

[When WY80 returns it will meet the Penns Grove local so a conflicting meet in Woodbury will need to be arranged.]

WY79 entering Westville with an (Atlas) Alco RS11 on the point. (The 1955 RS11 only missed our time era by 4 years!)
Eleven tankers and a cabin in tow. 
We pick up 3 loads and leave 3 empties for the Texaco refinery.
Meanwhile, in Woodbury, the WY34 local is returning from Millville.
The WY34 local is trailing 20+ cars, mostly empties returning to Pavonia.
We pick up the ATSF reefer for a northbound delivery. It was left earlier for icing.
Northbound WY34 meets the southbound WY79 at Woodbury.
The tank sweeper takes the switch to the Penns Grove branch and the Paulsboro refinery.
WY34 picks up an empty box car and hopper and leaves a box car and flat car at Cornell Steel.
And now we get to deliver that iced reefer to Del Monte food distributors (after picking up that empty GN box car).

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

WY34/WY33 The Camden-Millville Turn - Part II

Splitting the train to avoid blocking Olive street we get ready to replace the empty LV box car at Holloway Lumber company with a loaded delivery (PRR).

We also have 2 loads to deliver across the way in North Woodbury but they will have to wait for the WY33 return trip (and trailing point turnouts).

At Woodbury we meet WY842 returning with empty hoppers from the Atlantic City Electric power house in Deepwater. Coming off the Penns Grove branch, it needs to snake across 3 tracks to get to the northbound main.

We need to pick up 2 empties (NP & NADX) from the Woodbury team track and drop off a load of canned goods (CP) for the local Acme markets.

Since Woodbury has 2 sets of run-around tracks, we do a rare facing point delivery of a tank car of Pepsi-Cola syrup at the Woodbury Bottling Co.

We have 4 reefers that need icing before they go to various southern NJ farms so we will drop them at the icing platforms in the small South Woodbury yard.

With the remains of our train reconnected we are off to Millville. See you on the return trip!