Sunday, December 28, 2014

My Layout in the Winter of 1995

I posted pictures of my layout on my old website when I started in November 2002. I never posted these pictures on my old website, but I am including them now for completion.

These pictures of my layout were taken in late November or December of 1995. My friend Eric Wemmer and I decided to try to run an extremely long train (50 cars, I think) on my layout. I think my dad had done this successfully before, so we thought we could do it ourselves. We decided the train needed mid-train and tail-end helpers, in addition to a lot of power up front. The train didn’t make it very far before derailing suddenly and pretty spectacularly. Let me be clear, we were not trying to make the train derail. It just happened. Though in retrospect, it was probably inevitable. I did realize that such a derailment would be hard to recreate, so I took pictures of it.

01 My Layout in 1995

This is the first part of the derailment, not far behind the lead locomotives.

02 My Layout in 1995

The locomotives are barely visible in the darkness. The yard tracks are completely empty, as we used every freight car on the layout for the train.

03 My Layout in 1995

A yard switcher soon arrived with a crane, as did a railroad bus with manpower.

04 My Layout in 1995

Here is an overhead view, showing the town of Logan. Note that emergency vehicles have responded.

05 My Layout in 1995

Here is another overhead view. Note that while cars at each end of the big curve derailed, most of the cars in the curve remained on the track.

06 My Layout in 1995

Here is the next big derailment area, just starting into the big curve.

07 My Layout in 1995

A police car was on scene to stop any traffic.

08 My Layout in 1995

Here is more of the derailment. The flash was too much for this ground level scene, but traffic was starting to back up.

09 My Layout in 1995

The flash really didn’t help this ground-level picture.

10 My Layout in 1995

Here is another overall view showing the rear of the train. Note the mid-train GP7 helpers on the left side of the picture, and the A-B-A set of pushers in the background.

11 My Layout in 1995

The depot structure is securely fastened to the layout, so the cars that derailed in front of it kind of piled up at it. The GP7 helpers on the right didn’t help. In the background are the five locomotives at the front of the train: an SD40-2, SD45, U30C, U28C and GP40.

12 My Layout in 1995

Another attempt at a ground-level view of a refrigerator car crashed into the depot.

13 My Layout in 1995

More of the derailed cars at the depot.

14 My Layout in 1995

Here is the last part of the derailment. Those two boxcars lying on their sides were actually in the train and were pushed clear out of the consist by the rear-end helpers.

15 My Layout in 1995

Here is another view of this part of the derailment.

16 My Layout in 1995

Here is another view. When the train derailed, the Shell tank truck apparently was involved in a collision. (The tank truck may have been staged for the photo, but the rest of the derailment is as it happened.)

17 My Layout in 1995

The reason I took so many pictures of this part of the derailment is that the ends of these two cars were actually suspended in mid-air, supported only by each other and held there by the other cars in the train, wedged between the mid-train and rear helpers. It was hard to find an angle that would clearly show this.

18 My Layout in 1995

The crane has been moved to help clear this area, and a tow truck has arrived to move the Shell tank truck.

19 My Layout in 1995

This was supposed to be a picture of the crane with the two cars suspended in mid-air, but with the camera’s viewfinder not going through the lens, it didn’t come out framed right. The flash didn’t help either.

20 My Layout in 1995

I took a few more pictures of the rest of the layout to use up the roll of film. Here is the town of San Miguel.

21 My Layout in 1995

Here is an attempt at a street view of San Miguel, but it was probably beyond my camera’s abilities.

22 My Layout in 1995

By now, I was old enough to appreciate the dock my dad built with the naked sunbathers on it, but I wasn’t old enough to know how to take a good picture of it.

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