Re: Operating on Santa Fe's Alma branch

Bruce Smith


I do no know if you're familiar with Jared's operation, so let me describe it a bit. I'm not sure a video would do it justice. The Alma branch fills Jared's basement with a single level, multiple peninsula layout. Ops sessions consist of 4 operators (engineer, conductor, head end brakeman, rear end brakeman) and one train (technically two trains as the local has a different train number for the return trip. Operations consist of assembling the out bound train at the junction of the branch and the main, which can be a weee bit of a puzzle at times ūüėČ That can take some time.¬†Then¬†the train ambles off down the branch, where each town is switched. Typical town arrangements have a single, double-ended siding with multiple businesses served, so there is¬†often a lot of shuffling. Cars for Alma are added to¬†the train¬†and¬†those headed back to¬†the other end of the branch are left at the facing¬†point end (trailing point on the return)¬†switch end of the siding for pickup¬†on the return. In Alma, the businesses are switched, and the cars for interchange are dropped, the engine reverses on the wye and the train heads home, switching trailing points on the way. There is additional switching at the end of the branch,¬†prior to tying up the train. It takes around 3 hours or longer for all this action to happen. Although planned for the future, I don't think Jared has added any additional traffic (stock extras), so this is not a layout¬†with any traffic related gaming. Videos would show some of the open Kansas running at track speed (20 mph?), Jared's excellent scenery and structures, and frequent stops to figure out how to¬†switch each town.

I have really enjoyed each ops session I have attended... and I should note that Jared also feeds his operators really well!


Bruce Smith,

temporarily on Jekyll Island, Ga

From: <> on behalf of jerryglow2 <jerryglow@...>
Sent: Friday, March 8, 2019 7:52 AM
Subject: Re: [RealSTMFC] Operating on Santa Fe's Alma branch
Any videos of the session or your layout?

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