today, I’ll show you one kind of operation concept that I use for my US style logging railroad on my garden railroad layout.
First some fictional facts for today:
– The mainline between Ronja Springs and the wye is called to be a steep grade, which allows only 4 logcars per train.
– The upper section in the lawn is more or less “flat” and the Shay can lead trains with 8 logcars.
So let’s get started at “Ronja Springs” in the very early morning with the first train heading up the hill to the wye and camp at “Tinker Meadows”.
At the wye, out train takes the right-hand track and reaches “Deadwood” siding, where a loaded string of 4 cars is resting from yesterday evening. Shay #1 pushes the loaded cars out of the siding and heads back to pick up the caboose from the string of empties. Once the loaded train is ready, the loco heads back to Ronja Springs with the first load.
Back at “Ronja Springs”, a box car gets prepared for the next train of empty cars, to bring goods to the camp at “Tinker Meadows”. While the box car is loaded at the freight depot, Shay swaps the log cars at the log dump.
Finally, our train heads uphill for the second time this morning. This time, the train takes the left leg at the wye, but drops the logcar at the wye for now. Our loco pushes the box car over to the other mainline to “Deadwood” first.
Here the loco picks up the empty cars from the first run and couples the box car to the end of the consist. Back at the wye of “Tinker Meadows”, the box car is placed at the camp for unloading. Next, Shay #1 proceeds to today’s destination with a double string of 8 logcars in total.
Today, we’re heading for the log landing near “Camp 24”. As the logging spur is rather short, the long train of empties is brought to another siding named “Lilly Fork” where the train gets split in half again.
Each single string of empties is now pushed into the loading spur. The siding at “Lilly Fork” is used to handle the strings of log cars. Before the train will depart for the return trip, the Shay is turned on a wye just behind “Lilly Fork”.
When the train reaches “Tinker Meadows”, 4 loaded cars get dropped at the siding of “Deadwood” for a later trip to the mill. The boxcar is empty by now and will return to “Ronja Springs”. Please not also, that the loco will get turned again at the wye, to run backwards down the steep grade ahead.
Back in “Ronja Springs”, the empty boxcar get pushed to a side spur, before the log car are brought to the mill pond. The first load of logs is already dumped and the string of empties is waiting for the next run into the woods.
Meanwhile, it’s high noon and the loco crew is taking lunch at the freight depot. Afterwards, the loco will proceed the same procedure a second time during the afternoon.
The operation concept shown here is inspired by the operation of the West Side Lumber Company, where 6 Shays were busy the whole day to deliver 76 loaded logcars to the mill in 4 trains of 19 cars each.
I’ve to admit, that I don’t use this concept for every day’s operation. More often I use a regular way. But it shows how much operation can be handled even on such a simple and small layout. Finally, it’s just fun to dump a crate of logs somewhere along the mainline and to haul them down to “the mill” by train.
Having said that, it’s Monday eve 7pm by now… I think I’ll go out make good use of the last hour of daylight for today ;-)