Extra 727 East

Discussion in 'Photos & Videos' started by doctorwayne, Jan 19, 2006.

  1. doctorwayne

    doctorwayne Active Member

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    Extra 727 East - parts 1 and 2

    The call boy has notified the crew, and as two yard engines busy themselves making up the train, the hostler comes out of the shops to ready the loco. This morning, it's the 27, a Consolidation belonging to the Erie Northshore's parent road, the Grand Valley. She's pretty much ready to go after some minor repair work on a pilot footboard. Mogul 34, passing by in the background, is heading over to nearby Port Maitland to switch some loads out of Gern Industries. They'll be added to our train, along with a few cars off the TH&B interchange.
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    The hostler and his helper first need to turn the loco. While they're at it, they'll pick up scale test car 174 from one of the table tracks. It's headed for the EG&E interchange at Dunnville and will be more than a bit of a headache for the road crew. It has to move at the end of the train, and only by one coupler. That means behind the caboose and it has to be cut off and moved separately when working the rear of the train, a real inconvenience on a division where trains are worked from both ends. Normally, this car would move behind a coal train, which does no enroute switching.
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    Here we see the scale car being spotted on the south main. Our loco will come back in on the near track in in the photo above to pick up a caboose for the train, set it on top of the scale car, then slip over to the water tower near the river to top up the tank.
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    Meanwhile, Mogul 37 is picking up a load of hogs from the Lowbanks Stockyards to add to our train. The switchman has just hopped onto the footboard, but that traffic will have to wait until the hostler crosses with the 27 on the near track as he heads for water.
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    The helper is manning the spout, as traffic scurries over the crossing.
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    While traffic clears, loco 37 has dragged the stockcar down to Hoffentoth Bros. icehouse and is picking up two ice service reefers, also for our train.
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    Mogul 37 bustles out of the spur, then backs onto the north main and drops the two ice cars. She then clatters forward, over the crossing, tacks the carload of hogs onto the tender of the waiting 27, and then scurries back into the icehouse spur, her morning's work completed.
    When 37 is in the clear, the hostler backs the stockcar onto the north main and couples onto the ice cars, parking near the station platform and with the hogs right beside combine Willowgrove, parked on the south main at the station platform, just west of the scale car and caboose on the same track. Let's hope that the combine's windows are closed. She'll be going out this afternoon on a mixed behind Mogul 37 and sister 34. As the hostler and his helper head for a break, the switch crew relaxes near the icehouse.
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    Speaking of the 34, while all this activity is going on in Lowbanks, Mogul 34 has been busy in Port Maitland. The first order of business, as an east wind kicks up a few whitecaps out on the bay, is to pick up a load of bagged flux from the GERN warehouse.
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    She next doubles over to the silo track to pick up a covered hopper, loaded with the same commodity. The flatcar is acting as an idler, handy for reaching cars spotted farther in. The white "R" on the red sign, just past the end of the boxcar, denotes a severe clearance restriction which prohibits all locos and many cars from entering the loading area.
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    While the switchman readies a knuckle, the hogger hustles the two loads into the canyon between the buildings, where he'll reverse, then come back, into the siding to pick up another load.
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    EG&E 6832 is an early covered hopper, designed by the railroad and built by National Steel Car. Some years later, ACF marketed a similar car with some success. 6802 is one of the road's first covered hoppers, a Fowler Patent car fitted with roof hatches and four longitudinal hoppers. It's in assigned service hauling granulated flux, used in glassmaking, and recently, in pharmaceuticals.
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    After coupling on to the seven cars on the interchange track, left here earlier by a train off the TH&B, our intrepid crew hurries to drop their assembled train on the main, then get in the clear on the empty interchange track. That CPR reefer, loading at Finlay Fresh Fish, will be going out later today on the Mixed, behind 34 and 37.
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    With their loco safely tucked away, the crew heads for coffee in the yard office, while the Yardmaster hollers mock complaints about the lateness of the hour.
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    In truth, the road crew has just picked up their orders at the station, and after stowing their gear, will back to nearby Port Maitland and onto the waiting train. After pulling past the station again, they'll double over to the south main to pick up their caboose and that troublesome scale test car.

    To be continued...


    Wayne
  2. ding chavez

    ding chavez Member

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    dude, your layout rocks :thumb::thumb:
  3. Chessie6459

    Chessie6459 Gauge Oldtimer

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    Looks Great.:thumb: :thumb: :thumb:
  4. Art67

    Art67 Member

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    Wayne, all I can say is WOW! Your attention to prototype fidelity is amazing. The typical problems that face railroad crews in switching movements {that are a big plus to us modelers}, are amazingly replicated on your layout. Wayne has shown us all how introducing track and car restrictions add a tremendous amount of operations on a layout. Those with smaller layouts would do well to follow Wayne's lead if they are interested in "stretching" the amount of railroad they have, and creating realistic switching problems. This implies some study into prototypical train movements, but many feel this is a worthwhile goal in creating a truly realistic layout. This is not to say that just watching trains go round and round isn't fun, but perhaps another way to lengthen operating sessions. The brakeman adjusting the knuckle is my favorite part of that vignette, and I cant say enough about how much I enjoyed it. Great job, and look forward to seeing more. Stuart.
  5. brakie

    brakie Active Member

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    Great photos and great modeling! :thumb: Thanks for sharing. :D
  6. ReefBlueCoupe

    ReefBlueCoupe Member

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  7. TomPM

    TomPM Another Fried Egg Fan

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    Awesome looking layout and trains!
  8. MasonJar

    MasonJar It's not rocket surgery

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    Wayne,

    As always an entertaining story/explanation of your great layout. :thumb: :thumb:

    Andrew
  9. CharlesH.

    CharlesH. Member

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    That's some really great modeling you got there, doc.
  10. doctorwayne

    doctorwayne Active Member

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    My thanks to everyone for the kind and favourable remarks. I started this thread with some trepidation, since even just the first installment is a bit long. I used most of the pictures that I shot of the first part, and while many photos were taken of the actual run of Extra 727, many are unuseable due to poor composition or just plain lack of interesting stuff in the frame. There are also a few with unfinished buildings or scenery in view: some may be used to tell the story, so I'll apologise in advance. I hope to continue, or perhaps even finish this tonight, but I'm a bit uncertain of where to pick it up. Should I go back and edit it in, tacking the new part onto the original, or should I just slip it on at the end? Comments or suggestions would be appreciated. I would have finished it last night, despite the late hour, except that I was concerned about the length putting off potential viewers.

    Wayne
  11. Clerk

    Clerk Active Member

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    Nice looking ground work Doc.
  12. Ralph

    Ralph Remember...it's for fun!

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    Great series of shots and a neat story line to go along with it! No worries about the length of your post. It was worth the wait loading up.
    Ralph
  13. cn nutbar

    cn nutbar Member

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    keep it coming

    hi doc---great stuff as usual---as much as i enjoy your "home power",i was wondering if the cnr has packed up and moved on????
  14. eightyeightfan1

    eightyeightfan1 Now I'm AMP'd

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    Nice modeling. Cool photos.
    I didn't see any 727's heading east though..........
  15. doctorwayne

    doctorwayne Active Member

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    To answer a couple of questions/remarks: the CNR hasn't gone home yet, although none were in Lowbanks when our train was called. As a matter of fact, more Canadian National power is expected in the coming weeks, as the upsurge in traffic continues. As far as the 727 goes, there was a low ceiling the day this was shot. Actually, since there are four different roads under the corporate umbrella of the Elora Gorge & Eastern, and several duplicate numbers among the motive power of the various roads, each road was given a one digit prefix to be used in the number boards. The Grand Valley's prefix is 7, and the number displayed in the number boards is 727. Since all trains are run as extras, the numbers are always displayed in the number boards, that of the lead loco determining the train number. This helps the various motive power departments to keep track of the whereabouts of their locos and also helps the traffic department keep the system fluid. It also helps the bean counters in the Accounting Dept. to keep track of mileage charges and the allocation of fuel costs. The Erie Northshore, from whose shops the loco was called, is assigned the prefix 6, and all of their locos are actually numbered in the 600s, even numbers only.

    Wayne
  16. doctorwayne

    doctorwayne Active Member

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    After backing the stockcar and the two loads of ice the short distance to Port Maitland to pick up the rest of their train, the road crew have returned to Lowbanks and have just coupled on to their caboose and that scale car. The head end is already halfway across the Maitland River bridge, and as the crew waits for the pressure to climb in the brake pipe, highway traffic begins to back up at Lowbanks' only mainline crossing. However, it doesn't take long for the conductor to signal the highball, and with two quick blasts on the whistle, the hogger yanks back on the throttle and the burly Consolidation digs in. The engineer wants to get his train rolling as quickly as possible, as the uphill grade commences just beyond the far end of the bridge. With 10 loads and 3 mts behind the tank, plus the caboose and that 45 ton scale test car, the crew has their work cut out for them.
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    While the fireman goes about his business with the scoop, the headend brakeman watches out the window as the loco lurches into the curve just before the rural crossing near Chippawa Creek. Suddenly, he notices an automobile approaching the crossing, but before he can shout a warning across the cab, the engineer is on the whistle. From the right-hand seatbox, the crossing is not visible, due to the track curveature, until the loco is almost into it. Traffic here often tries to beat upbound trains over the crossing, as most times the train speed is fairly low. This time the car has stopped, the driver realizing that this one's "got a dangle on", as they say in these parts.
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    And indeed, he does "have a dangle on", as the train bursts onto the Chippawa Creek Bridge, which is barely visible until the loco is almost to the first span. Many people who've seen photos of trains on this bridge, taken from downstream, are unaware that, in addition to the two spans normally seen, there is also a short deck girder at the east end of the bridge, usually hidden by the trees.
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    By the time the train reaches the last span, the hogger is closing the throttle as the train nears Elfrida. With bell ringing, the 27 rolls her train past the station.
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    As the drag from the rear of the train, still on the curve and still rolling uphill, slows our train, the engineer blows for the crossing, then, deftly working the brake handle, brings his train to a stop, blocking the crossing and once again bringing highway traffic to a halt. The caboose has not yet cleared the west switch of the passing track and the train will need to be broken up in order for the crew to have room to do their work here. The first order of business is to set one of the ice cars over to the passing track.
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    Now, the first five cars of the train are stuffed into the team track, behind the station. The first car in has to be cut off past the crossing in order to permit access to the station. That's part of our train visible between the cars split on the team track.
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    Normally, a turn job would've been sent out from Lowbanks with only the cars for Elfrida, but, due to a surge in traffic, no loco is available. Hence, all the extra work required to switch this town.
    Our loco, after pulling the remainder of the train clear of the west switch, moves over to the passing track and shoves the car of ice west, past the station and the switch leading to the industrial area. She then reverses into the siding, and, after negotiating a switchback, shoves the reefer towards Hoffentoth Bros. Coal & Ice. That Soo boxcar that had been loading at Dominion Lightning Rod Ltd. will have to be respotted after the work here is done. Here, the crew couples onto an empty hopper that they'll eventually leave on the team track for pick-up by the next westbound.
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    After shuffling the cars around, the reefer is finally spotted at the icehouse and the boys at Dominion can get back to work loading their boxcar. Meanwhile, our crew has pulled ahead to E.D. Smith & Son and has coupled up to an Erie boxcar being loaded with canned goods. This car is in the way, as we have to spot an mt at the stoveworks, located at the far end of the siding.
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    After pulling back onto the passing track, the loco accelerates the boxcar past the west switch and back onto the main, pushing the empty hopper ahead of her tank. The hopper and the loco are both onto the Chippawa Creek bridge as the crew begins its task of digging out the mt for the stoveworks. First, the scale car is set over to the passing track, then the crew returns to set over the caboose. Finally, the mt is accessible, and the crew wastes no time hustling it into the stoveworks.
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    After respotting the Erie boxcar, and reassembling the rear of the train, the passing track is finally clear for the crew to finish their work here. In addition to picking up the 5 cars that they left here earlier, the crew will also take an empty EG&E flatcar off the team track, leaving only an empty PRR gondola and that empty hopper from Hoffentoth's. They'll be picked up later by a westbound, to be handed over to the TH&B at Port Maitland.
    After reassembling the rest of the train on the mainline, the 27 pushes her cars backwards and cuts off, with the carload of hogs just west of the station, and the caboose out onto the Chip' bridge. The conductor has a line down into the creek even before the pin has been pulled, in hopes of hooking something for lunch. Meanwhile, the loco shuffles ahead to take water. In this town, it's normal practice to cut the loco from "upbound" trains when taking water, so as to not block the highway. It also gives the hogger a chance to get a roll on his train for the attack on the grade, which begins just before the stock pens. For our train today, the crew also has to get clearance from the operator at the station to proceed to Cayuga Junction, as the entire sub is dark, or unsignalled, territory.
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    As the caboose clatters under the telltales, the boss has three fat rainbows ready for the pan. The crew will break for lunch once they get their train in the clear at South Cayuga. That's if they get to South Cayuga. The 27, cab windows shut, is down on her knees, struggling on the wet rail in the tunnel, the problem made worse by the curve less than 30 yards beyond the portal. Skillful throttle work by the hoghead, along with liberal use of the sanders, keeps the train inching forward. The fireman, trying to keep the needle on the steam gauge from dropping too far, wields his scoop and curses the lack of a stoker.
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    Finally, amidst billows of smoke, the 27 emerges from the tunnel and pounds onto the Speed River bridge, crossing above River Road and high over the Speed itself. From Elfrida to Cayuga Junction, the grade is a constant 2.5% and not compensated for the many curves. Fortunately, the Grand Valley's Consolidations are capable locos and, after gaining the dry rail east of the tunnel, the 27 has her train back up almost to the 20 mph limit. As she crosses the switch just before the tower, our train becomes Extra 727 South, as this is the trackage of the GVC itself, a north-south railroad.
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    Because our train has switching to do here, the crew can't block the passing track until that chore is accomplished. And since the station/teamtrack siding is almost full, the caboose and that annoying scale car will have to be left on the downgrade just west of the tower. Those trout will have to wait a little longer in the icebox, as the tailend crew ties down the brakes and blocks the wheels of the 2 cars. At least they don't have to worry about flagging to the rear, as only the op in the tower here can issue clearance to trains following from Elfrida.
    Meanwhile, the headend has cut off the hogs and the remaining ice car and will set them over onto the cars already on the team track. These include 2 recently repaired bad-order cars off an earlier southbound. One is a flatcar of lumber whose load had shifted and the other an idler flat for a gondola load of hydro poles. The crew of the southbound had been unable to separate the shifted load car from the idler. Without its idler the pole gondola couldn't be moved, so all 3 were left to await repairs.
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    That done, our loco backs over to the passing track, then pulls ahead to pick up two empty hoppers from Hoffentoth Bros.' South Cayuga operation.
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    After rummaging around at the rear of the train, 27 is back with a fresh load for the coal bunker. The 2 mts will be left on the lead for pick-up by the next westbound heading to Port Maitland.
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    Now the crew, impatient for lunch, hurry back along the passing track, backing a short distance up the mainline that heads north to Park Head. From here, using the main as a drill track, they begin plucking cars from the rear of their train. In short order, they have all of the cars on the passing track, with the northbound cars, to be left here, on the north end, and their own through cars at the south end. That done, it's time for lunch, which ends up being a little shorter than planned, mainly due to the time lost getting through the tunnel. With less than 2 hours remaining for them to get their train back together and get into the clear at Dunnville, there's only time for a quick after-dinner smoke, then it's back to work.
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    Dropping the rearend brakie near the north end of the team track, the hogger wastes no time getting down to the switch and quickly backs onto the waiting cars. Those hogs in the pig Pullman appear to be none the worse for wear after the trip through the tunnel, just a little pre-smoked ham-on-the-hoof.
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    With the crossing safely flagged, the 27 backs her train to the 3 southbound cars still on the passing siding, then moves ahead to clear the crossing.
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    With the switches thrown, the reassembled train backs towards the caboose.
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    The rear end brakman, enjoying the breeze from his perch in the gondola, is daydreaming about enjoying a few draught beer in the beverage room in West
    Dunn at the end of the run, and waits until it's almost too late to signal the head end to stop. Fortunately, the hogger, an experienced hand, knows precisely where he should stop, so no damage is done.
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    After pumping off the brakes, the loco pulls ahead about 30 feet. The fireman is already on the tender deck, ready to replenish the tank prior to departure. As the spout is swung out of the way, the fireman kicks the hatch shut and scrambles back to the cab. With less than an hour left on their rights to the main from here to Dunnville, the engineer sounds two quick toots on the whistle, then hauls back on the throttle, easing his charge, with bell ringing, across the roadway. As soon as the 35 mph speed limit sign slides past his window, the hogger widens the throttle until the speed is up to about 20mph.
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    [​IMG]

    Because our destination is the West Dunn industrial area, a brake application is made as the train approaches the short concrete span over Negro Creek. The line is all downhill from here.
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    Through freights, and all passenger trains, on the other hand, all use the "High Line", a grade separation project by one-time parent NYC. For them, the grade rises sharply just past the switch to West Dunn, so the extra speed allows them to use their own momentum to assist in the climb. Varnish is allowed 45 mph through there, as fast as is permitted anywhere on the line.
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    After negotiating the switch, our train is soon passing the tower at Airline Junction. The operator here will OS our train as soon as that scale test car has passed, giving rights to the main to the next northbound.
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    The junction is a favourite spot for railfans, offering action here and on the High Line, behind the tower.
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    The tower sits in the middle of a wye, formed from remnants of a defunct mainline along the lakeshore.
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    Here's a final glimpse of the wayward pole load, as it rolls by, with Bertram's Machine Works in the background.
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    And our last look at the piggies on their way to market.
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    That concludes our trip with Extra 727 East/South. I hope you've enjoyed it.

    Wayne
  17. MilesWestern

    MilesWestern Active Member

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    jawdrop WOW. jawdrop Now THIS should be in the "gems" archive!!!! It's an amazing journey! it's...just...so...good! Wonderful Job Wayne!!! :)
  18. Chessie6459

    Chessie6459 Gauge Oldtimer

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    Wayne, Great Photo's. The details, weathering, and everything else is Great.:thumb: :thumb: :thumb: :thumb:
  19. ding chavez

    ding chavez Member

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    how did you make the water in the first pic look so good?
  20. cn nutbar

    cn nutbar Member

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    it keeps getting better

    hi doc---miles said it all!!!!every time i look at your postings,i feel i'm looking through a history book filled with photos of the real thing---thanks for sharing your works of art