Take a Ride with the Local

Click a picture to see a larger view.

Take a ride on train #728 (GP9) as it gets its train up and away from Shelby yard to service a few industries along the line.

Train #262 is a through freight, St Paul to Seattle. It will set out a cut of cars on the arrival track at Shelby. These cars will be sorted and added to the relevant locals to continue their journey to the correct industry.

#262 arrives at Shelby. Todays power has been an F3A+B set with a GP7. This part of the run has been reasonably flat so there has been no need for dybamic brakes.

The power consist sets out the cars on the arrival track, for sorting and then delivery by the locals.

The Train #262 gets a green light to continue on the mainline to Seattle.

GP 9 #728 pumps up the air before leaving the yard.

(A count of 3 for each car is the norm on this layout.)

These are the loco card and car cards with waybills for this run. The cars have been blocked to help the crew of the local. The loco card also shows the function buttons that relate to this loco.

The Local #728 arrives at Havre to set out an empty covered hopper and pick up a full car from the Centenial Mills complex.

The caboose is parked out of the way on an empty track (on track 5) while the two covered hoppers are exchanged on track 2.

After the car cards have been checked and the air has been pumped up, the local gets a green signal to proceed up the 1.95% grade to Great Falls South.

Our train exits the tunnel at Moccasin and passes someone watering the plants!

As we climb the grade, we pass over the 3' gauge logging line that runs down the valley.

Our train arrives at Great Falls South and pulls into the passing track. Here we will set out and pickup a flat car at the team track, a boxcar at Hogan's Hardware, a tank car at the Magic Chemical plant and a reefer at the cannery.

While switching the industries, it is important not to park the freight cars across the the level crossing. We have to drop a flat car with new headers for the local wheat growers and pick up a flat car with donkey engines being taken away for major repairs.

The last set out/pickup is at the Magic Chemical plant. Here they make the smoke that goes into decoders - let the smoke out and they will not work.

After pumping the air in the brake line we set out for the return journey to the yard at Shelby.

With dynamic brakes singing on the downhill to Shelby, we pass the stock yards at Black Eagle - the driver has his window closed here.

The round trip takes between 1 hr and 1hr 15min depending on the skill of the conductor and any other traffic on the line.