Operating the FCFL: Globe, Gallup and the End of a Long Day

Last week the Herbst Junction turn was returning to Salvation Point after working the Red Earth Co-op and the Salvation Point industries. This week the operating session comes to a close with runs to Globe and Gallup, and the Phoenix-Salvation Point-Durango train passes through to clean everything up for next time.

Globetrotting

Globe is not modeled on the layout, but is merely a destination in Southwest Staging. It’s a simple out-and-back operation, with a little work to do at Herbst Junction.

The crew of train SPG31 heads west from Salvation Point Yard and descends into the Benjamin-Henry Canyon. Arriving at Herbst Junction, the crew picks up any Globe-bound loads spotted there by the Herbst Junction turn.

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With everything coupled up once again, the crew selects the diverging route toward Globe and gets underway.

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In staging, the inbound loads are cut off and the locomotive is backed up to the outbound train we placed during setup.

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SPG31 crosses back to the main at Herbst Junction and highballs back to Salvation Point.

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Gallup

The Gallup turn is the only eastbound local. SPL41 rumbles out of Salvation Point Yard and up the hill toward Many Lost Ways National Park.

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At Northeast Staging, the train pulls to a stop just short of the outbound Gallup loads we spotted during setup. The staging yard is a fiddle yard, so the locomotive is simply picked up and turned around, then coupled to the outbound train.

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The inbound cars are manually removed from the track. Their assignment cards are turned to the next destination, and they are staged as the outbound train for the next operating session. Train SPL41 then rolls back to Salvation Point.

PSPD12 – The Last Train Done Left Town

While the Gallup crew is heading out of Northeast Staging, the last train of the day is getting underway in Southwest Staging. PSPD12 was also staged at setup, with freight for Durango up front and loads to be handed by the Salvation Point locals in the next session out back.

The long freight heads across the Benjamin-Henry River enroute to Salvation Point.

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The Salvation Point yard crew has set out all of the outbound Durango freight. When PSPD12 arrives in Salvation Point, the crew pulls the locomotives and the cars continuing to Durango forward, then backs onto the siding where the outbound Durango work awaits.

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When that’s hooked up, the train regains the mainline and powers up the hill to Northeast Staging. Its arrival there marks the end of another long day on the FCFL’s Four Corners Division.

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Filler Traffic

The layout is nearly ready for more formal operating sessions with more operators. I need to work out the timing to allow the trains to run on a schedule rather than just sequentially. I will also include in the schedule Amtrak’s Badger State, the steam tourist shuttle, and a Union Pacific coal drag that runs on trackage rights over the FCFL. This will add an extra challenge as crews will have to wait for clear track and give way to priority trains.

Here SPL41, a Gallup local, waits for a UP coal train borrowing FCFL power to clear the main:

Adding even a low-key operating system like mine adds to the fun of any model railroad!

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