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  • Topic: Switching Occoquan

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    • October 7, 2009 2:07 PM EDT
      • Burke, Virginia
         
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      Yesterday, Mike Oates came over and we had a great operations session on the J&B. We ran two trains in a bit over 2 hours. Each train switches the towns of Jackson and Occoquan. I thought I'd let you guys have a chance to "participate". We'll first take westbound train #2 out of Green Springs. Assemble train at Green Springs Boxcar 106 J&B RR Boxcar 110 J&B RR Boxcar 112 J&B RR Tank car 11050 UTLX Refrigerator 6557 FSX Leave Green Springs with 5 cars Since these were an easy pull (we didn't have to move ANY cars out of the way) Mike decided to block the train.

      We left Green Springs yard with 5 cars.

      As we pull into Occoquan, we see the following:

      The "schematic" may be a bit large, but I couldn't figure out how to get it small and still be able to read it. This shows the starting location of all the cars, as well as the train coming in to the town.

      Here's your instructions: Proceed to Occoquan, arrive with 5 cars Local Moves: Refrigerator 45 D&RGW / McCown Freight to Brunt Interchange McCown Freight Drop off: Boxcar 110 J&B RR Mystery, Inc Drop off: Boxcar 112 J&B RR Leave Occoquan with 3 cars The local team track may be used for any "overflow". Existing cars on sidings can be moved if necessary. All arriving cars should be spotted at loading doors, if applicable. As an experiment, I'd like YOU to describe how you might go about this. There's NO right answer (that I know of); I'm looking forward to your participation.
      ____________________________________

      Bruce

      http://jbrr.com/

       

    • October 7, 2009 5:51 PM EDT
      • West Grove, Pennsylvania
         
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      Am I allowed to play???

      (1) Back up so 112 clears the switch to Brunt Interchange
      (2) Uncouple car 112 from 110.
      (3) Pull into the team track and clear the switch to McCown Freight.
      (4) Back up and pick up car 45 and pull forward.
      (5) Back car 45 back onto the main and into Brunt Interchange
      (6) Pull back up onto the team track
      (7) Back car 112 into McCown Freight
      (8) Pull up and back out and couple back up to your train.
      (9) Since Mystery looks full we'll pull up on the main past car 181 and uncouple car 657 from car 112.
      (10) Pull up and clear the switch
      (11) Back car 112 onto the team track since that track handles the overflow.
      (12) Pull out onto the main and couple up to your train and we're ready to head to Jackson..................;)

      I left out the places where you stop and throw the switch and uncouple the car your dropping off since that's a given(at least to me anyway.....;) )

      (Edited to replace car 112 with car 110 at (7), which was a typo........)
      ____________________________________

      "Nothing in the world is more dangerous than sincere ignorance and conscientious stupidity." --Martin Luther King Jr

    • October 7, 2009 6:48 PM EDT
      • Burke, Virginia
         
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      Yay, a participant! :D

      But, boxcar 112 needs to be spotted at Mystery, not on the overflow. Sorry I wasn't clear on that. You can move either the hopper or the reefer that is already there to the overflow. This makes it quite a bit more interesting.

      I assume that step 7 refers to boxcar 110, not 112. We did it that way as well, but later I told Mike that we really should have moved boxcar 8279 out of the way before dropping boxcar 110 so that it is right at the loading dock.

      It's too bad that there isn't an easy way to demonstrate or describe all these moves in the forums. I do have some more pictures that I took, but not enough to cover all the moves.
      ____________________________________

      Bruce

      http://jbrr.com/

       

    • October 7, 2009 7:16 PM EDT
      • Southern Illinois
         
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      Bruce and Ken,

      So how many moves did you use?

      Steps 4 and 8 seem like more than one move.
    • October 7, 2009 7:22 PM EDT
      • Burke, Virginia
         
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      I've never counted my moves. ;) It's probably a good thing, as I'm sure my count would be high.

      Though I have noticed that you get better at this as you do more switching. You start thinking ahead and maybe find that there is a shortcut.
      ____________________________________

      Bruce

      http://jbrr.com/

       

    • October 7, 2009 7:54 PM EDT
      • Southern Illinois
         
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      I used to really enjoy those puzzles in MR. I was asking the question, because I don't feel I ever got the count right. Not as to how I did it, but i never could equal the count they used even after I looked at the solution to the problem.
    • October 7, 2009 9:23 PM EDT
      • Burke, Virginia
         
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      That's what I was trying to get going here, but I'm not sure if it really works.

      I know that when I'm operating the train, I sure don't count moves.
      ____________________________________

      Bruce

      http://jbrr.com/

       

    • October 8, 2009 3:47 AM EDT
      • West Grove, Pennsylvania
         
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      Bruce Chandler said:
      Yay, a participant! :D But, boxcar 112 needs to be spotted at Mystery, not on the overflow. Sorry I wasn't clear on that. You can move either the hopper or the reefer that is already there to the overflow. This makes it quite a bit more interesting. I assume that step 7 refers to boxcar 110, not 112. We did it that way as well, but later I told Mike that we really should have moved boxcar 8279 out of the way before dropping boxcar 110 so that it is right at the loading dock. It's too bad that there isn't an easy way to demonstrate or describe all these moves in the forums. I do have some more pictures that I took, but not enough to cover all the moves.
      Well, at Mystery I wasn't sure what you meant by overflow. Are the cars there ready to be moved or are they still being loaded/unloaded? Same with McCown, only I wasn't sure if it could handle 2 cars at the dock or would one have to be moved. That might be something to have on your "Switch List Instructions". I remember from being down there we did it that way over in Jackson. The way I look at it is if it has to be moved to another siding to fit another car in there, then why not just take it with you when the train departs. Kinda funny, I gotta think about it more to write it down than I do while I'm actually running the train. I'm not sure what all counts as a move, Ric. I've never really counted them myself. But your probably right. Does throwing the switch count as a move? And does uncoupling the car count as a move? Those are things that have to be done in order to get to the next step. One of the problems I was having while doing this was scrolling back and forth from writing to looking at the diagram. That's where the typos came in. But it was fun......;) I was gonna have an operating session myself yesterday, but it was too windy. It's supposed to calm down today, so I'll run one later on. TrainOps is still on the fritz, but I can figger something out. Next time you're having Mike over, let me know. I wouldn't mind running down there again.............;)
      ____________________________________

      "Nothing in the world is more dangerous than sincere ignorance and conscientious stupidity." --Martin Luther King Jr

    • October 8, 2009 5:24 AM EDT

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      Bruce Chandler said:
      That's what I was trying to get going here, but I'm not sure if it really works. I know that when I'm operating the train, I sure don't count moves.
      Great idea Bruce. If you can get the "map" to a workable size where the scrolling is not required, it would be much better. The lines can be compressed. They need not be in the proper proportions. Just need to be long enough to place your cars to start. Maybe a "custom" yard, just for the puzzle. Ralph
    • October 8, 2009 8:09 AM EDT
      • Southern Illinois
         
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      It is my thought that changing direction or coupling/uncoupling are considered a move and counts. Throwing a turnout, would not count as a move because that can be done by a switchman that is now involved with the switching manuevers. Just thoughts and hope I made myself clear.
    • October 8, 2009 8:30 AM EDT
      • West Grove, Pennsylvania
         
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      In that case, I guess I can add a 13th, 14th and 15th move since 9 involves uncoupling too.
      ____________________________________

      "Nothing in the world is more dangerous than sincere ignorance and conscientious stupidity." --Martin Luther King Jr

    • October 8, 2009 8:54 AM EDT
      • Southern Illinois
         
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      Ken,
      I don't know if I'm right. This is a great discussion, because I've always been confused about it.
    • October 8, 2009 9:27 AM EDT
      • West Grove, Pennsylvania
         
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      It sounds logical to me. I've never given it much thought when I'm involved in it, since I'm usually trying to think ahead 3 or 4 moves and that pretty much uses up what little brain power I have.........;)

      Since throwing a switch does involve someone's actions and nothing can be done until it is thrown, maybe it should be included as a move.
      ____________________________________

      "Nothing in the world is more dangerous than sincere ignorance and conscientious stupidity." --Martin Luther King Jr

    • October 8, 2009 10:07 AM EDT
      • Burke, Virginia
         
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      OK, smaller diagram.
      ____________________________________

      Bruce

      http://jbrr.com/

       

    • October 8, 2009 11:44 AM EDT
      • Southern Illinois
         
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      Ken,

      You said - "Since throwing a switch does involve someone's actions and nothing can be done until it is thrown, maybe it should be included as a move."

      I don't know. This is where I get confused. If you go through a turnout, stop, throw the turnout and proceed back through it, it seems like that would be one move.

      Now would you consider it 2 moves if you were approaching a yard or siding and threw the switch to go in it. I think that would be the unit continuing in the same direction and not a seperate move.
    • October 8, 2009 12:15 PM EDT
      • Deer Park, Washington
         
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      Why is it important? Are you guys keeping score?
      ____________________________________

      Not only does my mind wander, sometimes it walks off completely.

       

      Some people try to turn back their odometers.  Not me.  I want people to know why I look this way.  I've traveled a long way, and some of the roads weren't paved.  Will Rogers.

    • October 8, 2009 12:28 PM EDT
      • West Grove, Pennsylvania
         
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      I guess we would have to work on a definition of a "move".

      It seems to be what the train is doing..............going forward, or backing up and coupling/uncoupling would be considered a "move"?

      I would have to agree that "throwing a switch" isn't a move as far as the train is concerned. Then again, on a layout with remote switch controls, it wouldn't be considered a move either.

      Feels like we're picking fly shit outa the pepper.........;)
      ____________________________________

      "Nothing in the world is more dangerous than sincere ignorance and conscientious stupidity." --Martin Luther King Jr

    • October 8, 2009 12:32 PM EDT
      • West Grove, Pennsylvania
         
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      Steve Featherkile said:
      Why is it important? Are you guys keeping score?
      You would be "keeping score" on a switching puzzle such as the Timesaver. The fewer the moves, the quicker you get done. We're just trying to be "efficient......;)
      ____________________________________

      "Nothing in the world is more dangerous than sincere ignorance and conscientious stupidity." --Martin Luther King Jr

    • October 8, 2009 1:35 PM EDT
      • Southern Illinois
         
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      Steve Featherkile said:
      Why is it important? Are you guys keeping score?
      Steve, I'm 60 years old and have been working those Switching puzzles in Model Railroader as long as I can remember, but I can't tell you I've ever really understood what counts as a move. That is why I asked the question. I've tried to keep score, but I don't know if I've ever come up with the same count as was published. Sorry to hijack Bruce's thread and I'm willing to take this somewhere else, but I think it is worth the discussion. As far as the "Timesaver", I get interrupted so many times, I'm just happy to complete the puzzle.
    • October 8, 2009 6:00 PM EDT
      • Not one of the WannaBe's,
         
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      If you play the switching games on line each direction change is a move. Switches and coupling/uncoupling are necessary functions. FWIW
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