Switching cars

I used to be quite well known as a builder of small shunting layouts, I like shunting, it retains interest in a compact area instead of watching trains fly by on a big layout… Then waiting for ages before the next one turns up.

Trains don’t exactly “fly by” on the FCPyF though, things can happen at a much more sedate pace when a layout is used at home instead of at exhibitions, and I still like shunting.

Diesel #15 was in charge of four loaded coal cars returning from Cuarto de Pulgada this evening. The train was held at the home signal while #60 ran light onto the low level line and stopped when it passed the home.

The coal train was then called forward and brought to a halt again once the caboose was clear of the river bridge.

The line is still on a steep gradient here so the brake was applied before the caboose could be uncoupled from the train.

With this done the train drew into the station platform where #15 and the leading coal car were detached and another caboose added in their place.

While this was happening #60 backed onto the three remaining coal cars ready to take them to San Fernandez.

When the train was coupled up and ready to depart #60 pulled slowly out of the station and down the grade towards Resurreccion.

The road was reset for the high line and #15 backed through the station with the leading coal car to pick up the caboose.

After coupling up the brake was released and the train departed as a local to Grande, though there was no other traffic to add this time.

On arrival at Grande the train stopped with the loco next to the carriage shed.

#10, the station pilot, then took over and shunted the incoming load to the coal stage before parking the caboose on the carriage shed siding.

The next move was to collect two outbound cars from the middle siding and couple these to the caboose.

The assembled train was then shunted back to the middle siding.

With #10 out of the way #15 was coupled onto the head of train, paperwork* checked, then ready for off as a local to Centrales.

All of which demonstrates why freight trains are more fun to operate than passengers. It’s a hobby, a pastime, so it should pass the time away!

* Paperwork – I’m developing a simple waybill system so that freight cars, individually or as groups, can be allocated specific destinations instead of apparently running at random.

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About Bob Hughes

Ex railwayman, life long railway modeller, lover of real ale and spicy food. Divorced, three kids, one dog.
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