|OPERATING SESSION AT DAN'S
AUGUST 23, 2006
Joe and Carl are clowning around at Rockville while Dan isn't looking. Joe is an engineer tonight
and he's holding the waybills for his train. Carl is the Rockville Tower operator, running the
control panel, communicating with the other towers via headset, and a little bit of switching here
and there. At shoul-der level is the East Broad Top narrow gauge layout, and above that are the
staging tracks at Altoona.
Roy is switching Rutherford Yard, a Reading facility, using a Baldwin Switcher. The
waybills are suspended on hooks in the yards and bound by a shower-curtain ring when
a train is made up. A Reading coal train is also run using a T-1 4-8-4, which will be
delivered to the Pennsy at Harrisburg where a big J Class steamer will take over.
Here is the control panel at Lewis Tower, where I was working tonight. The switcher
is in the three-track yard, the Freight Bypass track is in front, and the station is in the
back straddling double track. On the far right of the panel are the Altoona Loops, at
which a passenger train (indicated by a red push pin) is occupying the center track and
a freight train (blue push pin) is occupying the outside track.
Here is the roundhouse at State. The engines are facing the proper direction, toward the
back wall, not the turntable. Soon one of the engines will be backing out to take the Unit
The "J" is at the service track now while the switcher is picking up a cabin car for the
coal train. On most operating nights this is a very busy place and usually requires two
As a parting shot, here's an East Broad Top coal train at Robertsdale Station. Our
Wednes-day Night Crew doesn't run the EBT - the Pennsy operation is about all we can