The Dispatchers
Op/LD Sig Operations - January 30, 2011
2011
Well they were fibbing!  Our 8 guest operators and the 2 C&M "mentors" (plus the slave driving
Superintendent) made the C&M sing.  Sometimes a sour note, but it sure did sing.  Except for some longer
than usual operator waiting times (which is to be expected under these circumstances), everyone kept pretty
busy and we moved a bunch of cars in a bunch of trains. We operated for about a day and a half (about 4.5
real hours). Normal operations are about one day (3 actual hours).
Great news: Our shippers are as happy as a fly on you-know-what.  They will continue to ship with the C&M.
Seriously, I had a great time and was quite impressed with our guest operators.  Besides being good
operators they are all pretty good guys!  No-one went to the hospital so it was a good session!
The Operators
Our guest operators included: Chuck Catania, Paul Deis, Hilding Larson, Dave Loveless, Mike Stewart, John Sutkus, Kent Williams and Jim Younkins.  
Our C&M "mentors" were Andy Schnur and Jeff Osborn, although they didn't have to do much mentoring.  Andy and Jeff split the dispatching duties and
kept the mainline full of trains.  Dave & Kent split the Mackinaw City Yardmaster job and Paul toughed it out all session as the Comstock Park (Grand
Rapids) Yardmaster. Everyone did a pretty good job of running the railroad.
Superintendent Note - I tried a new setting on my camera and got a bunch of out of focus pictures. Considering that I was a combat
especially to Hilding, for the embarassingly poor quality photography.  Needless to say I will not use that setting again.  Sorry guys.
Statistics:
4 1st class passenger trains,  2  2nd class Fast Freights (#210 & #211)
18  turns (out plus back),  8 through freights
3 PRR interchanger's (2 out plus 2 back),   2 boat interchanger's (2 out and 2 back)
4 Ann Arbor & Kalkaska Interchange runs (out plus back),  2 unit coal trains (one south and one north)

Online customer deliveries/pick ups totalled
130 cars at industrial sidings and in addition, we even picked up/setout a total of
13
express loads in our passenger operations.  
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The Yardmasters
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The Operators
second trick.  Both did well and
kept the traffic from colliding (at
least most of the time).  Jeff looks
a bit up tight though!
Kent (top left) took the first trick at the Mackinaw Yard and Dave
masochistic tendencies were evident, as he worked Grand Rapids
yard the entire session.  Look at Kent's yard, then look at Dave's.  
Kent had some help from John, but it looks like he needed much
more!  All tracks look pretty full.  Paul, at the time of this picture, also
most of the time!

Thanks for volunteering guys, you all did a great job, especially
considering that you were not that familiar with the yards.
the north set-out track.  Above Jeff is at Walton Jct
working the south set-out track.  He is much less
stressed working a road train!  Right - Kent is in deep
thought.  I wonder what he is thinking?
Move of the Day
And here they are:
John, Jim, Chuck & Andy.Back Row - L
to R - Kent, Hilding, Paul,
Front Row - L to R - Mike, Dave Jeff
and the Superintendant/crapy
photographer.

Everyone fit in very well and were a
pleasure to boss around!
Above Left, Dave looks much more relaxed than he did in his yardmaster pic.  Left, John needed therapy
after his Traverse City Turn experience.  Above left, Jim was working the Walton Junction Turn and loaded
at least a million grain trains.  Bread for everyone!  Above middle - Hilding, I am really sorry for the lack of
focus on this shot.  Hilding was working the Cadillac turn and completed his work in absolute record time.  I
think he made the Guinness Book of World Records! Right, Mike is knocking out the Grind Job.
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1. With the Grain Train on the siding, here
comes the northbound hotshot, #210, the
Northwoods Fast Freight, reefer train.  It was
just a flyin' through town.
2. What's this?  It stopped short of the north
Station Track switch.
3. Ah, now I see.  Here comes the southbound
Local #101 1st class passenger train.  
4. A saw-by is needed to get #110 out.
5. There goes the #210 continuing north.
8. The coal train clears the south Station Track switch so the #101 can finally proceed to Grand Rapids with
its loaded passengers..

Meanwhile, the grain is getting moldy waiting in the siding.  That's okay because the crew went to the nearby
Grand Opening of the Cadillac Bar & Grill to join the celebration.  Rule G enforcement??
railroad.  They handled just about everything that came their way.  We ran every train in the line up, delivered a lot
of freight, made our customers happy and made some money for the Chicago & Mackinac.  Because of the low cost
labor we had, we must have made a whole bunch of money for the railroad.

If it wasn't for the fact that the out of town operators needed to leave to get home, we may still be operating! Let's
do it again soon.  THANKS!
Bob Osborn, Superintendent, Chicago & Mackinac Railroad