Saturday, May 23, 2015

COSE at CP282

Here's a video for your enjoyment - Conrail train COSE, behind recently activated C39-8 6002, comes to the top of the grade at CP 282 south of Syracuse, NY, as it heads east towards Selkirk.

The 6002 is a beautiful model of a General Electric C39-8 locomotive that I was able to get thanks to  J. Alex Lang.  I just finished the major project of adding DCC sound and lighting to it, and the results are here for you to see!

Next up is a bunch more scenery backdrop, fitting in around springtime activities!


Sunday, May 10, 2015

Happy Mother's Day!

Construction of the Onondaga Cutoff would simply not be possible without the support and influence of my lovely, patient, strong, and beautiful wife Kristen.  Family comes first for us, and we feel it is the most critical and important unit in our society, and indeed in all humanity.  Happy Mother's Day to her, and to all mothers, everywhere!

Mother Nature brings flowers this time of year, and the Onondaga Cutoff is no exception; may your Mother's Day be filled with flowers of all kinds and may the peace and compassion of motherhood guide us all.

Thank you, to all the mothers in our world!


Friday, May 8, 2015

Just after Midnight

Warm summer nights trackside have formed some of my favorite railroad memories over the years.

Here's train ELSE (Elkhart, IN to Selkirk, NY) just after midnight, running several hours late as it arrives at Onondaga Yard on May 7, 1994.  It is passing eastbound through the plant at CP 282 before making a set out and pick up, and continuing on to its destination:

With reverence to those long nights, operations on the Onondaga Cutoff run on a continuous 24-hour schedule, which comes complete with a simulated sunset, overnight, and sunrise.  The layout has just enough lighting to make night operations possible, and more lights will be added as more scenery is completed.  Admittedly the lack of light adds complications for trains working in the yard or on darker, more 'rural' parts of the railroad, but that is in itself prototypical.  

Operators seem to enjoy the additional aspects of this, especially as it seems night time operations are rarely modeled.  The variety and challenge it presents adds to the operating experience.  Most sessions, given the 3:1 fast clock, see both daylight operations and overnight operations.  That means crews get to experience both sides of the coin, each time the railroad comes to life!