Photos of Marin/Sonoma County Ops Session
June 16, 2007
On June 16th a group of operators from the Marin/Sonoma County visited
organized by Vern Alexander (of the C.R.A.P railroad) and consisted of
assistant superintendent.  Here is a very brief pictorial tour of the operating
card system and various other historical, geographic, operational and general information about the
Chicago & Mackinac.  Timetables were distributed and briefly discussed and we adjourned to the
We were scheduled to have 8 visiting operators and all eight attended.  We had three volunteers to
operate the fixed positions: Dispatcher, Grand Rapids yardmaster and Mackinac City yardmaster.  
Vern Alexander & Gus Campagna volunteered for the Grand Rapids & Mackinac City yardmaster
jobs, respectively, and after a bit of silence,
Jim Providenza finally volunteered to be the dispatcher.

The other operators functioned as the train crews and included
Ron Kaiser, Ed Merrin, Charlie
Siebenthal, Scott Kew and Phil Smith.
 Completing the team was Jeff Osborn who functioned as
assistant superintendent and all around railroad employee and Bob Osborn who was, of course, the
superintendent.  (If you build it, you can be the superintendent!!)
Boat loadings/unloadings.  Our customers and our partners/investors are
management is also very pleased.  We may keep out jobs for a little longer.

We had no serious accidents, hopefully no major insurance claims, only
one cornfield meet and no-one died.  Therefore,  it MUST have been a
good session!
Click images to
Here is Jim working the dispatcher job.  
He had some great ideas on making
the train sheet more usable and
developing a lineup sheet for the
dispatcher job description to help
define the dispatcher job.
Here is Jim checking out Scott in Traverse
City (nice shot of the back of Scott's right
arm).  This is just after the cornfield meet that
happened just north of town.  Good thing we
run at restricted speeds on the C&M!!
Vern takes a break from his Grand Rapids (Comstock Park
Yard) yardmaster duties to smile for the camera.  Jeff is resting
Vern better get back to work and cleanup that mess!

session.  Vern just happened to get a large PRR ingerchange
into the yard just before this picture.
flying colors.  Both yardmasters kept the traffic moving
very well.  Ed (see the back of his head) is running a
passenger train and sliding by Gus in the picture.

As mentioned, both yards were fluid all session long.
train #101 into the Grand Rapids Passenger terminal (on
the lower level - below Mackinac City yard).  If you look
close, you can see the Pere Marquette (C&O) E7a pulling
the head-end express cars.  The express cars are Here is
Ed bringing in the southbound Local Passenger followed
by a Pennsylvania RR baggage car, RPO and a coach, all
in Tuscan Red.
yard, after Charlie brought in the PRR
interchanger, and is wondering if he should
have volunteered for some other job!

Phil is being a rail fan in the background,
taking pictures of the GR Engine Facility.  I
hope the pix turn out well.
interchange run into Grand Rapids
from Fort Wayne.  Charlie will drop
off cars for the C&M and Vern will
give him cars for the PRR for his
return run to Fort Wayne.  
Ron is working the Petoskey turn out of
Mackinac City yard.  He was heard saying
something like he thought he'd never return
from Petoskey.
Here is the whole gang.  From the top left,
Gus, Scott and Phil.  Middle row from the
left is Jeff, Ed, Charlie and Jim.  Next row is
Ron, then Vern on the bottom.  

From the smiles, it looks like they had a
good time, or maybe they are just happy to
be leaving!  Your choice.
Jeff is still resting in the mole hole (not an operating position,
but a good place to rail fan all of the activity - close and at eye
level - while you get a little rest).
Back to Photos