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16 Spring Invitational (5th) Ops Meet
By Verryl V Fosnight Jr
May 09, 2019
Large Photo View
Verryl V Fosnight Jr
16 Spring Invitational (5th) Ops Meet
May 09, 2019
Large Photo View
Verryl V Fosnight Jr's Gallery
Wyoming Division HO Operation Layout
16 Spring Invitational (5th) Ops Meet
Fifth Invitational 0411_13 2019 (1) Lum
This sub-album shows photos of the Spring Invitational of April 11-13, 2019. There were 31 operators attending (we have had as many as 45) from out of Arizona. This view shows about 1/2 of the upper level. The yellow mezzanine is suspended over the 75 foot building length. There are no posts in the center, and it has stairs on either end. This shot was from the stairs up the unseen end. The busy yard is Laramie, one of 4 major yards each with a YM and a Classification Foreman. There are three minor yards that are manned by floating YM's. Guy Forsythe of Sedona is at Evanston, Wyo on the lower level. The lower level has only a little scenery to date. The upper level scenery is about 3/4 done. (scroll down) The photo backdrops were done by a local artist from actual photos off the internet. PLEASE FEEL FREE TO ADD NAME OF OPERATORS IN THE COMMENTS SECTION BELOW.
Fifth Invitational 0411_13 2019 (2) Lum
This is the other half of the upper level shot from the mezzanine over the same end. More of Cheyenne can be seen from the far right bench and around the end bench. The large yard on the right is the Cheyenne classification yard. Under it can be seen most of the 15 track x 2 train long (30 cars + caboose+loco) Staging Yard. There are 5 more staging tracks under the far bench on the lower level, and a 9 track staging yard is just visible on the third level down under the visible lower level tracks running up the center of the photo. This 3rd level down yard is "Portland, Oregon," which is accessible from a 186 foot long hidden track that runs under the 2 benches on the left. PLEASE ADD NAMES OF OPERATORS IN COMMENTS
Fifth Invitational 0411_13 2019 (3) Lum
This is another photo taken from the immediate right of the last one. It also shown staging with the Cheyenne yard above it, then up the center, the double tracked main between Wamsutter, Wyoming--you all remember Wamsutter Wy don't you? There is a "Harriman Siding" (a siging treack between the E and W mains running from about where operating apron clad Jim Betz (maroon shirt) is standing up to the other apron clan operator, Darlene Ferguson, stands. The staging operators, active throughout the session, are next to the wall--kind of a mole-hole. To the far left on the upper level is the end of the Rawlins, Wy-Sinclair Refinery bench. The City of ??? is running around from Wamsuttter through the Red Desert of Wyoming toward the camera. We run the Cities of LA, San Francisco, Portland, and St. Louis twice a day in a 7 hour session, that is both E and W, and on a timetable. Rock Springs WY is on the lower level under the Red Desert. We left out its yard to make room for 21 industries to switch.
Fifth Invitational 0411_13 2019 (4) Lum
This photo was taken moments after the last one to not leave any operator out. A bit more of Rock Springs is shown on the lower level, but half of it is hidden under the Harriman siding on the upper level, that is across the lower level aisle. Also the Cheyenne Full Roundhouse is seen just in front of the Cheyenne Depot tower spire on the far bench that runs left to right. I believe that is Prescott AZ's Steve Hatch working the Sinclair Refinery in Rawlins on the far left. Cheyenne's Frontier Refinery is on the lower right corner. Chuck Hakkarinen in his RR cap and Scarf and coveralls is at the far end, and Danny Lawson of Flagstaff, AZ in the black cap and shirt is between him and Darlene Ferguson. Ted Ferkenhoff of Prescott is writing something.
Fifth Invitational 0411_13 2019 (5) Lum
Up on the mezzanine, between my desk and computer and modeling bench is the Dispatcher's bench. He mans two phones, each conntected to 8 phones on the two levels (upper and lower). Please someone, add his name to the Comments below.
Fifth Invitational 0411_13 2019 (6) Lum
Close up view of Dispatcher bench and train sheet. He recorded over 55 trains each day of the two day's operations of the meet. (not prototypical--UP would only average about 30-35 trains over Sherman Hill in a 7 hour day)
Fifth Invitational 0411_13 2019 (7) Lum
Bob Ferguson, Darlene's husband, operating in another mole-hole, Downtown Ogden, Utah on the lower level. Downtown Ogden is SP territory; Bob asks the UP YM in Ogden nearby for a string of 8 or so cars to be delivered to his SP-UP interchange yard (behind him). Bob sets them out and pulls loads from Downtown Ogden for transshipment through his interchange yard back to UP. This can go on as long as the operator wants; there are 13 industries to serve by him, and UP can keep bringing him cars and picking them up all day if he wants. It is a real "switching puzzle" job (i.e., facing points/trailing points spurs to service.
Fifth Invitational 0411_13 2019 (8) Lum
This is a slightly different view. All the yards are level plywood, so cars don't roll. The level plywood sub base ends and the all spline roadbed starts here where the scenery starts up towards Sherman. The silver roofed Cheyenne Stock Shed (stock yard to be built) is right where the spline roadbed and cardboard strip elevated scenery starts. Someone donated the coal and ice company to us, and we have the other 5 designated by the blue temporary labels (see the last picture for the 5th one). We have a beautiful brass model of Cheyenne's Interlocking Tower A, but have not painted it yet. The double rear doors face the 36 x 30 foot shop and storage building next door. Attached to it in the front is the 20 x 36 foot crew lounge.
Fifth Invitational 0411_13 2019 (9) Lum
This is Sherman Hill at the far end to the far right bench. The summit is near the beam against the wall. It is massive as it continues across the ceiling to suspend the over hanging, no-post-supports mezzanine. The second beam is just visible across the upper right hand corner of the photo. There are two routes up Sherman, the double track #1 and #2 against the backdrop, and the #3 Harriman Cutoff near the aisle. Dale junction joins these three tracks and is also the place where trains switch to left hand running down the west slope of Sherman Hill into Laramie, where they revert to right hand running. Right to left are John DeCrescenzo (phone OSing to Dispatch), Ross Kudlick (furthest away from Virginia), Jim Jordan (New Hampshire/Camp Verde, AZ), Nick Bange (Cornville, AZ), and Allen Montgomery (Cottonwood, AZ).
Fifth Invitational 0411_13 2019 (10) Lum
A view back toward the Cheyenne Steam Yard from the signal bridge at the Cheyenne west yard limits. A bit of Ogden (our 4th major yard) is visible on the lower level. Downtown Ogden is on the lower level below the 4 tracks and west Cheyenne industries. The mole hole can be seen at the right edge of the photo. A copy of the passenger train timetable is posted on the fascia edge just below Tower A. Only Passenger trains run to a timetable. The era is 1957, and although UP had a full timetable, it was interspersed with many extras. It was pretty much run as many freights as possible over the Sherman Hill-bowl of Wyoming-Wasatch Mountains down into Ogden. Sherman Hill and the Wasatch were bottlenecks with their 1.55% (Sherman, 35 miles) and 1-1.25% (Wasatch 135 miles). These grades were the reason UP built the huge Big Boys, Turbines, and the EMD DDA40X "Centennial." So we keep ops simple with no timetable for freights.
Fifth Invitational 0411_13 2019 (11) Lum
Here is Bob Ferguson going down the 2 steps into the Downtown Ogden operation space.
Fifth Invitational 0411_13 2019 (12) Lum
Bench level shot of about 1/3 of the upper level.
Fifth Invitational 0411_13 2019 (13) Lum
Bench level shot of the other half of the upper level over part of the Cheyenne Steam Yard. All the yards have 1/4" thick x 48 inch wide cork flooring under layment under the tracks. I built a cork roadbed cutting fixture with vacuum hold down to cut the cork into strips and then to split the strips lengthwise to use for roadbed. The mezzanine is shown here. The two (with two on the other side not shown) beams suspended from the roof beams that support the mezzanine from the top can be seen here. Also on the upper left are the two heat pumps for air conditioning. They use 12 underground heat exchangers, piping down and back into 180 foot deep wells drilled under the parking lot.
Fifth Invitational 0411_13 2019 (14) Lum
An attempt to photograph most of the hugh 4,000 sq ft layout--well, the top level of it anyway. This is shot over the Cheyenne Steam Yard. One of the "City" trains is at the Cheyenne Depot.
Fifth Invitational 0411_13 2019 (15) Lum
Part of Downtown Ogden with Bob Ferguson.
Fifth Invitational 0411_13 2019 (16) Lum
Jerry Riggins of AZ, today's YM for Ogden at work. The Ogden roundhouse, one of 4 Walthers 6 stall kits, is at the end of this bench under the Cheyenne Steam Yard, as is the still unpainted brass Ogden coal tower. The main staging is around the far corner. I imported 1,000 24 inch T8 steel fluorescent light fixtures from China. We used only about 400 of them. Don't go any place else if you need some. I'll make you a real deal.
Fifth Invitational 0411_13 2019 (17) Lum
This is the only change in my original as drawn plan (AutoSketch and 3rdPlanIt) for the layout. Every layout needs a duck-under. Originally this aisle was to be open, but I added its lid to make the Sherman Hill bench above it wider to model the east side of Sherman Hill with the Harriman Cutoff spaced adequately far from the #1 and #2 mains. Without scenery yet, this view is just after leaving Ogden eastbound toward Cheyenne 485 miles away, and Echo, Utah is just ahead. Here we cut out the level bench top and raised it to make the desired grade. Once we go to Echo we reverted to level plywood. Elsewhere we use spline road bed. Note the curved back drop for this lower level bench. The space behind the curve opens on the back to provide a front opening waist level wire tray for the upper level bench. We have such wire trays on all benches, upper and lower, although the lower ones below the lower tracks have square cross sections.
Fifth Invitational 0411_13 2019 (24) Lum
Steve Menker (red shirt) talks to Martin Booker, with Phil Kline of Arizona looks on. Steve has been to 3 or 4 invitationals, and is working Rock Springs here. Rock Springs, WY does have a yard, but not on the layout. We left it with no yard to leave room for 20 industries to switch. Arrivals and departures to/from RS go through the Green River yard just an aisle away. That makes the Rock Springs a road switching job as the RS operator has to continually run back and forth to GR to get cars to or from RS.
Fifth Invitational 0411_13 2019 (25) Lum
Same photo at Rock Springs, essentially. Who is in the blue shirt?
Fifth Invitational 0411_13 2019 (26) Lum
Martin Booker deep inside the Rock Springs Aisle. Rock Springs is about 55 feet long and covers most of the benches on either side of this aisle. There is another crossover on the mains across the aisle and further behind the camera in this view, so any runaround moves have to be planned carefully if you need to get on the other end of a string of cars to push it onto a given spur. Note the white phone for connection to the Dispatcher. This is one of 8 on the lower level, and the upper level also has 8 to a separate DS phone. Also see part of the third level OSL "hidden" track just visible on the right. The hidden track OSL is 186 feet long up to the "Portland" staging yard at the end. This yard has 9 stub tracks, each long enough for a 30 car train with caboose and engine. There is a 10th track that continues past the end of the stub tracks into a large turning loop to facilitate loading pre-staged trains in the the 9 stubs, especially the City of Portland passenger train.
Fifth Invitational 0411_13 2019 (27) Lum
Bob Ellis, the Superintendent of Passenger Operations for the Wyoming Division busy at his desk during the session. Bob manages as many as 10 or 12 passenger trains on the Wyoming Division including 2 City Trains (Cities of LA, San Francisco, St. Louis, and Portland). Each of these four run E and W at least once per his timetable across the entire 1,008 foot main. He also makes up mixed trains that have long runs. On non operating days, this is Lenny Wyatt's desk, and Lenny runs his 3D Printer here, making numerous custom items for the layout.
Fifth Invitational 0411_13 2019 (28) Lum
Steve Schiffman works near the West yard limits of Laramie on the upper level. Laramie extends froomjust to his right all the way down and around the end of that bench to about where Laramie YM Dick Zeren is working, probably spotting or pulling cars from the Laramie Tie Treating Plant. At the near end of that bench are the twin east portals of Hermosa Tunnels (#1) on the west slope of Sherman Hill. Dale Junction is just out of the photo to the left of the tunnels, and the summit of Sherman Hill is approximately across the far left aisle on the left most bench. Evanston, WY is on the lower level, and it is yet to have scenery added. The huge mountain in the lower right foreground of the lower level has the 5,941 foot Aspen Tunnel, #2 finished in 1901, and the 6,706 foot long Altamont tunnel, #3 of 1949. This mountain has the epoxy foam terrain and real Wyoming dirt from the area, but has yet to have the sagebrush, trees and grass "planted."
Fifth Invitational 0411_13 2019 (29) Lum
John Stravino balances his cell phone and throttle on his clipboard, and he is probably driving a passenger train on the lower level. On the upper level bench on the far left can be seen the Sherman Station fronting tracks #1 and #2. Separated from #1 and #2, Track #3, the Harriman Cutoff runs through the cuts past the Harriman, WY coal tower and a few white line shacks.
Fifth Invitational 0411_13 2019 (30) Lum
Again shifting across on the mezzanine we see the other half, well nearly half, of the upper level, with a good view of Rawlins on the left bench and Sinclair Refinery shown on the backdrop just past Rawlins. This view demonstrates how difficult--impossible??--it is to photograph the whole layout. The lower level is always mostly hidden by eiter the upper level or the mezzanine. On the center lower aisle lower level can be seen the front part of about 1/2 of Rock Springs. As the tracks sweep around the end cap in front of the main helix, they transition into the east end of the Green River yard. Green River is the 4th major yard manned by a YM and Classification Foreman. The small helix is in the right lower corner. Both helices are double tracked, and the small one has a third single track turning loop for the passenger trains.
Fifth Invitational 0411_13 2019 (31) Lum
This is a bit better angle to see Rawlins on the far left, and the center Harriman Siding is clearly seen here with no train on any of the 3 tracks. Note how the 3 tracks on the right hand edge of the right bench make up a staging yard for passenger train storage "east of Cheyenne." These 3 tracks connect to a 4th one that leads to the turning loop on the top of the small helix--it can be clearly seen on the previous photo. The passenger train staging for "west of Ogden" is part of the main staging below on the small lower level, and the bottom turn of the small helix also has a turning loop on it for passenger trains.
Fifth Invitational 0411_13 2019 (32) Lum
Proud as I am of Allen's scenery, I am ashamed of my closeup photography of it. This is shot at ISO 500, f/5, and at 1/100 sec with only room lights. Only the rock is in focus, because of the limited depth of field. This was the first closeup of the scenery. With long range photography of the benches only with no scenery, I have never seen a serious depth of field problem. For deep shots of scene, I have started to use Helicon for focus stacking. For this type of shot I need more depth of field. But that would require a higher ISO (already too high) and/or a slower shutter speed (already at the reasonable slowest advisable for hand held). My small f/number (f/5) which corresponds to a large aperture size, results in a shallow depth of field. I need to shoot at f/11 or f/16 or even higher. But for that I need more light. My friends at my local store for everything, Amazon, are sending me a 2 stand set of umbrella reflectors with a 500 watt LED bulb in each. If this does not work, I'll have to use Helicon.
Fifth Invitational 0411_13 2019 (51)
The crew for the Fifth Invitational Meet.
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Verryl V Fosnight Jr
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