Photos of July 10, 2007 Ops Session
We are in the process of trying to start a periodic, recurring operating
session routine.  On July 10th we had an outstanding group of local
operators bring the C&M to life.  The railroad, for the most part, seemed to
amount of freight (and a couple of passengers!).  Here is a brief recap of
the session and a couple of pictures of the participants.
Most of the operators were either new to the layout or have not operated on the C&M for about two
years or more, so we started out with a very brief introduction from the superintendent regarding the
use of the car card system and various other geographic, operational and general information
adjourned to the railroad room to operate a railroad.   Because the session was scheduled for only
3 hours, from 7pm to 10pm, we did not spend much time on the orientation so there were still many
additional items in the briefing.

We were scheduled to have 9 visiting operators and all but one were in attendance.  The reluctant
dispatcher was
Dave Biondi who did a great job keeping everything moving without trains running
into each other, although there were a couple of close calls.  
Seth Neumann volunteered for the
Grand Rapids (Comstock Park) Yardmaster job and
Andy Schnur took on the Mackinac City
yardmaster duties.  Those were the three fixed positions.

The other operators functioned as the train crews and included
Jim Diaz, John Blunden, Les
Dahlstedt, Chris  Hochschild
and Jeff Osborn.  Jeff, as he had done in the past, also served as
assistant superintendent and all around railroad employee.  
Bob Osborn who was, of course, the
superintendent, was called upon to step down from his lofty management position and become a
Hogger from time to time.
 I loved It, it was great!

6 passenger trains
7 turns (out and back)
7 through frieght
2 PRR interchangers (out and back)
2 boat interchangers (estimated - out and back)

Our on-line customers were served well, as we delivered and picked up a total of
cars at industrial sidings (not including the Walton Junction and Kalkaska Branch
setouts/pickups) and in addition, we even picked up/setout a total of
14 express
We had no serious incidences and no-one died. No blood, no foul!
Good Session!
Click images to
Here is the first meet of the day, right on the
advertised, in Traverse City.  The commuter #86
We were off to a good start.
Rapids.  He started with a pretty fill yard, but being a
yardmaster extraordinare, Seth cleaned things up in a on
in the background.
Dave looks like he is having fun performing
reluctantly volunteered for the job, his
performance was exemplary.  We kept him
This was Dave's first try at dispatching on
Dave looks like he is having fun performing
the C&M and he did a great job, especially
his dispatching duties.  Although he
considering that he was not that familiar
with the layout.
 Great job Dave!!
position.  He did a great job handling all of the
traffic plus he actually got the passenger trains out
on time!.  That's a first for the C&M.  Not bad for
his first C&M operations!  (Below Mackinac City is
the Grand Rapids Passenger Terminal).
Jim Diaz is here working in Petoskey.  He is up on
the elevated platform that we need to utilize to work
Petoskey,  as the track is about 68" off of the train
room floor.  Jim also made short work of the morning
Cadillac Turn earlier in the day.  Looks like Jim is
having fun.having fun.
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Well, that's it.  I want to thank everyone.  I had a great time
and I hope you did too.
Let's do it again
Looks like Les needs some caffeine!  Actually,
he is not sleeping, but waiting for the Grand
Rapids YM to finish up putting together Les'
Here is the last crew member, Chris.  He was head
well as trying his hand at a Petoskey turn.  Chris is
Here is the last crew member, Chris.  He was head
just getting into operations and did a fine job on the
Hogger on our passenger and through freights as
well as trying his hand at a Petoskey turn.  Chris is
just getting into operations and did a fine job on the
C&M.  Jeff is looking on, while resting, and John (the
Company man) is busy working in Traverse City -  
other two guy are loafing!  
Good job John.
Here's John working Traverse City.  I think he is
having fun, but you would never know it from this
picture!  John earlier ran the morning Petoskey Turn
and banged out that assignment quickly and
efficiently. John's a Company man - all business!
to Jeff for fixing all of the radios so they worked pretty well
(unlike prior problems).
Thanks Jeff!