The Yardmasters
The Dispatcher
Operations - September 13, 2011
Well, here we go again.  We had eight operators plus the Superintendent and I think we needed
a pre-operation dinner and to our surprise, it was "Pint Night" with the featured brewco being
Snowshoe Brewery.  So after tasting the fruits of Snowshoe, everyone got a little loose for the
I certainly enjoyed the opportunity to actually talk to the operators as opposed to talking
operating talk through the FRS headsets!!  Hope others liked it too.
With only 8 operators plus a Super, we moved a ton of cars.  Maybe the beer helped?
The Operators
The operators in attendance were: John Blunden, John Sutkus, Andy Schnur, Seth Neumann, David Parks, Earl
Girbovan, Tom Crawford and Steve Van Meter. A good crew indeed.  Things went pretty well until the final infamous
"Group Shot".  We had our first injury on the railroad in all of our years of operations.  Tom unfortunately got a bump
and scrap on the top of his head with everyone trying to squeeze into the photo area.  Dr. Steve took command and
the Superintendent applied the band aides.  Tom, I am really sorry and I hope you are doing well.
The total number of cars moved was 312 in a total of 31 trains:
2 1st class passenger trains,  2  2nd class Fast Freights (#210 & #211)
14  turns (out plus back),   6 through freights
4 PRR interchanger's (2 out plus 2 back),  2 boat interchanger's (1 in and 1 out)
0 Ann Arbor Interchange runs (out plus back),  1  unit coal trains (one south and none north)

Online customer deliveries/pick ups totalled
100 (wow) cars at industrial sidings and in addition, we even picked up/setout
a total of
15 express loads in our passenger operations.  
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The Operators
Random Shot
Yes, it is true.  The Superintendent actually got back
in the dispatchers chair.  Not sure if the railroad will
ever recover, but trains seemed to run to the extent
of the yard availability.  It was fun dispatching again
but we don't have many pictures to show.
Look at that empty yard. Seth was back at
it again but it looks like it was a retirement
job, right Seth?  He did a great job in the
Grand Rapids as usual even got a chance
to got out on the road for a brief time.  
Now we know why the yard guys stay in
the yard!!!
John took over the Mackinaw City Yard
again.  As before, he took most
everything thrown at him but this time he
actually pushed a cut of cars into the
boat!  At the end of the day, the yard
looks pretty good! (everything is
Here is Extra 314 stalled on the hill in the Lake
City Block between Cadillac and Walton
Junction.  Luckily, there was a through freight
waiting in Walton Jct so he drifted down grade to
add some tractive effort to X-314 and helped
him conquer the hill.  

Although helper service is a fun operation, the
C&M management is considering strictly limiting
the number of cars on through freights or
possibly double heading all northbound (up
grade) through freights.  We will see.

X-314 was hauling 14 cars, one over the
recommended limit for through freights.
Clockwise from the top left, Andy working the second Traverse City Turn.
Andy was really happy because he didn't have to dispatch again! Steve is
working the first TC Turn. The industries in Traverse City are very pleased
with the exemplary service they received.

John is shown at the south end of Comstock Park Yard working the Pennsy
Interchanger.  John shares the honors for the most cars moves
singlehandedly at 68 cars.  Wow.  Earl is working the Cadillac Turn.  
Keeping the main line open in Cadillac is critical to moving trains on the
C&M and Earl kept it clear!

Tom, before his injury, is shown working the GRIND Job.  I think this was his
first Grind and he did a great job.  Finally (left) David sure looks like he is
having fun while he watches his Extra 314 head north out of Traverse City.  
David tied John for the most cars moved at 68.  That's 136 cars between
the two of them WOW.  Big bucks for the C&M.