Enfield Local Part III –
Ahhhh, the long awaited Part III of my Enfield Local post. I want to clarify ahead of time that I understand that I am mixing prototype operating schemes around. Right now I run all of my trains on train orders, because it’s easier for me to keep track of operations on my small layout using one form. While this post is titled “Enfield Local”, since I currently lack an attached yard, I am actually running this train as an extra (WJ-01), rather than an appropriate train from the timetable I presented in the last post on this subject. Bear with me; this is all a work in progress.
So, for this operating session I used the train order shown below (they’re normally hand written, but my writing is often barely legible, so I typed this one for clarity). Aside from the basic information, we see that train WJ-01 needs to pick up three cars and drop off five to various customers in Enfield. I always list pick-ups, drop-offs, and assigned power for each train. Typically, I try to use the P/U section as a guide for building the train for the return trip; however, as I said, I’m still dusting off cobwebs.
The session begins with train WJ-01 entering the layout south-bound by passing under the “Rt 4” bridge. Whoever built this train in White River did a terrible job as the B&M coal hopper towards the middle is actually the first car needing to be dropped off.
WJ-01 then enters Enfield proper by passing through the cut which is just railroad north of the Main Street overpass, the rear of the train will be left in this cut while Caspian Mills is switched.
The front half of the train is dragged onto the passing siding across from the Enfield depot. GP-7 1557 is run around to the rear of the shortened consist and B&M 7199 is plucked from the rear. The locomotive and inbound coal load are now run around on the main and switched off to the Caspian Mills spur. The outbound Rutland and Missouri Illinois empties are backed out of their spots on the siding and placed further south on the main. B&M 7199 is then spotted on the coal dump for the mill power plant. NOTE: Yes, I realize I forgot to empty Rutland 10006 before pulling it from the coal dump.
With Rutland 10006 and MI 96599 parked safely to the south on the main, the locomotive is then run around the cars on the passing siding again and they are pulled north, over the Mascoma River.
This string of cars is then shoved south, through Enfield, onto the Caspian Mills spur so RUT 351 and VTR 341 can be spotted at the Caspian Mills loading dock.
That concludes switching for Caspian Mills and Part III of this series. The next installment will feature switching for Wayne Feeds, the Enfield Freight House, and hopefully conclude my coverage of this specific subject.
Bachmann 70 Ton 40’ Quad Hopper –
To begin with, this is my first post in well over a year, so I suspect I’ll need to knock off some cobwebs. I’m running out of vintage B&M N scale stuff to cover, the pickings are getting slim, but I have one or two locomotives to cover and maybe four to five more freight cars before the vintage B&M stuff runs its course. In the meantime, let’s press ahead.
By all appearances, this Bachmann car is an oddball. I think it’s supposed to represent a 70 ton ARA quad hopper, B&M did actually own quite a few cars matching that general description, numbered 8000-8999. Interestingly, the black paint and rectangular herald with B&M reporting marks appear to be appropriate for a late-1930s paint job on one of these cars. It’s starting to seem like Bachmann might have nailed it… that is, until you check out the road number. If you dropped the 56 from the front, you would indeed have a correct road number for one of these 1920-1930s built cars, and the authenticity would almost be complete, especially for an N scale car dating back as far as the 1960s or 1970s. Bachmann just couldn’t handle coming so close to historical accuracy, and thus, missed the boat.
The build date printed on the car side is 6-24, which means June of 1924… that would have been early for the B&M cars which apparently began showing up around 1929. Those printed build dates are typically nonsense on these early N scale cars, so I’m actually a little surprised Bachmann was so close.
I’m not sure that these cars count as rare, there are normally one or two available on the auction sites and those normally sell for around $10 USD, not too pricey.
My overall opinion is that the car is a typical, early N scale, generic freight car. Early N scale operators probably weren’t overly picky, this car breaks up the monotony of blue dip offerings from other manufacturers. Like most of these classic N scale items, I recommend picking one up for display and/or operation.
As stated above, B&M owned around one thousand of these ARA 70 ton hoppers, numbered 8000-8999. Boston and Maine’s fleet of these useful cars was acquired between the late 1920s and the early 1930s. It appears some quantity was sold to DL&W in the 1950s and a few soldiered on with B&M into the 1960s.
I think I’m going to have a little more time on my hands in the middle of the night. So… it looks like I’ll be back to updating Boston N Maine within the next week or so. If you’ve been patiently waiting, thank you. If you’re new, I hope getting back to this blog will serve to both entertain and educate.
Sunday Afternoon Trip to a Rail Yard –
While my older two children are slowly losing their interest in trains, my youngest (a boy) is just entering that stage of life. We had some time together as a family this past Sunday and Norfolk Southern happens to have a yard the next town over (the former Nickel Plate Road – East Wayne yard). A trip to the yard seemed like a good way to kill some time and, fortunately, there is a public road which largely runs parallel to, and partially cuts through, the NS facility.
Yes, we spent more time driving there than we did actually looking at trains. Yes, there wasn’t much activity on a Sunday afternoon. The important thing is that my two year old son had a heck of a time seeing all of those locomotives in one place. If you have some time on your hands, and a little person in your life who loves trains, take some time to visit your local railroads. The train bug might drift away as they get older, or one trip could spark a life long enjoyment of railroading. There’s only one way to find out.
Shaking Out The Cobwebs & Trying Out Some New Power –
No, I haven’t forgotten about my ongoing series regarding Enfield Local operating sessions on my layout. I am working on the next installment for that, but I did want to show that there is some activity. Over the summer I acquired some new motive power, to include the Arnold SW-1 featured here, and I thought I would take some time to break them in.
As an aside, these Arnold SW-1s are really sweet locomotives, they are pricey, but I highly recommend picking one up if you are in the market for a decent switcher that’s a little different. I operated a short local and did some switching during the break-in period and experienced no issues at all. In fact, despite DC only control, this little locomotive can crawl so slowly that it’s movement is barely perceptible. Arnold really knocked it out of the ballpark with this release.
Fair warning: There will probably be some more maintenance posts (i.e. Vintage Rolling Stock, Motive Power, etc.) before I get back to “Enfield Local Part III“. I hope you don’t mind but I have to manage what little time I have to balance posts with actual responsibilities. Thank you for your patience.
Enfield Local Part II –
For the first “meat and potatoes” installment of my discussion of operations on my modified loop, based on Enfield New Hampshire, I thought I would get some paperwork out of the way. Below is the timetable for local service on the section of the B&M Northern line modeled on my layout from White River Junction, in Vermont, to Enfield New Hampshire, which lies on the shores of Mascoma Lake, where I spent my early childhood. The timetable reflects regular freight service (EN-10 weekdays only) and two way, morning and evening, passenger service (Nos. 5 & 10 on weekdays and Nos. 25 & 35 on weekends).
Obviously extras aren’t reflected on the timetable and that is where we find ourselves today. Without staging, or the planned East Lebanon / Mascoma section, much of what occurs on the timetable cannot happen. I’m not lazy but my layout currently lacks adequate space to switch trains around and I am not about to muck about replacing EN-10 with a passenger train as needed. My solution to this dilemma is to operate a mixed train as an extra with a Train Order. Below is a blank example of the train orders I use:
Hopefully this information will be helpful, or maybe give you some ideas. My way of operating is not prototypical but it works for me. In the next installment I will walk you through how I complete a train order and stage a consist for the next day. If you have any questions feel free to ask in the comments.