An engine facility with a variety of power and cabooses
Photos of Bay Rail Op Session
Bay Rails is an invitational group of operation sessions at
several Bay Area layouts, taking place in March of the
odd numbered years.  This year's Op Fest was March 8 -
10, 2007.  For the first time, the Chicago & Mackinac RR
participated in the gala event.  
The Bay Rails web site is
The event seemed to be a big success despite some electrical problems early on.   This electronic
problem shut down half of the railroad for about ten minutes.  After a quick change of boosters,
everything went back to normal and the operations continued.  We were scheduled to have 10
operators attend, however, last minute cancellations and a no-show brought the number down to 8
(including the Superintendent).  That was one shy of a full crew, but the attending operators did a
great job manning all operating positions, even with a short crew.
Here is the dispatcher,
Jeff Osborn, performing
his duties.
Larry Altbaum (left) is working
the south end of Cadillac while
Alan Cooper is serving as the
Mackinaw City Yardmaster
and giving us the #1 sign.
Pete Cressman is working
the Traverse City Turn.  The
town looks a little empty!  
The upper track is the
Mackinaw City Boat Yard
(north staging).
Here is Les Dahlstedt
working Petoskey.  This
area has a built in 17"
raised floor which makes
the 67" high Petoskey
peninsula easy to reach
and work.
(Note: Alan is not really that
tall - he is standing on the one
foot high platform from which
the 66" high Mackinaw City
yard is worked!)
Jeff is dispatching while Pete works the
Grand Rapids Industrial District Turn.
Mike O'Brien (left) and
Larry Altbaum relax while
waiting for clearance (or
are they just goofing off?)
Alan is waiving his magic wand trying
to get his yardmaster duties done
Kent Williams handled the
Grand Rapids Yardmaster
duties for today.  Here he is
lining up the cards on the
waybill/carcard holder to
make sure the paperwork is
Switch?  What Switch?  
Larry and Les work a near
derailment right next to
Michigan Maple Block in
Petoskey.  (How many
railroaders does it take to
screw in a lightbulb???)
It looks like everyone was having a
pretty good time, front to back - Mike,
Alan, Larry, Les, Jeff and way in the
back, Pete.  Kent must have still been
All in all, I think that everyone had a good time.  I certainly did.

Thanks everyone for making it so much fun.
We are already looking forward to 2009
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Grand Rapids on the left
and Cadillac on the Here
is a busy isle with right.  
The isle here is 4' wide.
All in all, we moved 352 cars in our operating session in 36
loadings/unloadings.  We had no serious accidents,
loadings/unloadings.  We had no serious accidents,
hopefully no major insurance claims and no deaths, so it
hopefully no major insurance claims and no deaths, so it
MUST have been a good session!
Click images to Enlarge: