Decision time

I’ve been to Haslington Models today and got the last three yards of track to complete the FCPyF main line between Cuarto de Pulgada and Centrales. No decisions needed there, I’ll be getting on with track laying after tea.


What is causing some thought is how the trains are going to be driven. There is a controller located between Centrales and Rio Paleta/Resurreccion from where I have a good view of the entire length of the line so trains on the upper level could be driven all the way through from Centrales to CdP, then handed over to a local controller for shunting in the terminus. This would entail the terminus and a length of the main line sufficient to use while shunting to be switched electrically between the main line and local control… In effect handing over from dispatcher to yard master.

The alternative would be for trains between Centrales and Cumbre to be controlled from Jones River. They would have to stop at Cumbre (more of which below) in both directions so that a short section of the main line could be switched from the main controller to the CdP local controller and vice versa.

I think this second way of operating would be much safer. All services stopping at Cumbre could be explained by local operating instructions entailing train crews having to sign the register in the telegraph office to the effect that their train was complete when it reached the summit. The telegraph operator would then wire to both Rio and CdP advising passage of the train, including loco number and conductor’s initials, time and his own initials, as confirmation that the train has been checked as complete when it passed the summit of the line.

Despite all trains calling at Cumbre there will be no station provided here. Just the telegraph office, a level crossing and maybe a run-off for a MoW trolley to be parked out of the way of passing trains. I have got a spare set of points and was contemplating adding a short siding so that railcars could cross at the summit but I think it would make the scene appear too crowded, and probably wouldn’t get used anyway.

stop board


About Bob Hughes

Ex railwayman, life long railway modeller, lover of real ale and spicy food.
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