Tuesday 27 September 2016

A Day Operating Bill Moore's B&M Layout....by Don Janes

Bill Moore (center) goes over the operating procedures as Dan Lewis (left) and Rad Jones (right) take it all in.

Operating on a Boston & Maine Layout

     Several years ago I met Bill Moore, a fellow New England modeller and since then we have become very good friends sharing many common interests in the hobby.  I first visited Bill in the Detroit area and saw his beautiful Boston and Maine layout which was the cover feature in the Aug.2012 issue of Model Railroader.  Since then Bill has retired from his job as a University Professor and has moved to a beautiful home in rural Michigan just outside Imlay City.  Here he has built a new 21' x 28' layout which features the Boston & Maine as the primary railroad with connections with the Central Vermont. Although not the official name, he says "I call it the Requiem Railroad because, at my age, it is likely to be my last. I guess I would call it the Boston & Maine-Central Vermont Interchange". Bill says he has completed phases 1 and 2 of a three phase layout.  All of the benchwork and track work is complete for the three major yards of White River Jct., Concord and Enfield and scenery work has been started. Phase 3 will be the Maine Central Line through Crawford's Notch but Bill says that is still a few years in the future.  
     One of Bill's main passions in model railroading is operation.  He has worked very hard to create a layout geared for operation.  Many hours have been spent designing yards and towns that will fit into a  sequential operating plan. In the case of White River Jct., it has been rebuilt to better accommodate his operating plan.  Not a small job considering all the turnouts have been built using Fastracks turnout components. Bill first studied the prototype railroads to figure out what he wanted to include in his operations then designed the layout to make it all come together.
Here Bill shows us the prototype map showing the area modeled and the lines he is representing on the layout.
In this photo Bill is describing how he has interpreted the layout design based on the prototype map.
     As you can  see from the above photos Bill's layout had been built in a very bright room to make the operating experience a pleasant one.  There are wide aisles and all the lighting is provided by pot lights spaced to give the layout a nice even light. The floor is finished with a soft light coloured carpet which really helps when standing for long periods during an operating session.  All this work was done before the layout was started.
Bill is explaining how the new control panel at White River Jct. works.  With two double slip turnouts in the yard to save space the push button matrix really saves operators time trying to figure out the routes.
Veteran operator Gale Saxton is switching at White River jct. while bill keeps an eye on things. The Concord Station and coal tower are in the background.
       Without getting too complicated describing the operations, the layout is  designed with operators at the three major yards (mentioned earlier) making up trains destined for various other yards and mainline crews taking those trains to their destinations and doing any other required switching enroute.  Each train is run in a specific sequence and has a "Form 19" order that lists everything the train is required to do from the start to the finish of the assignment.  A car card system is used to route cars to their next destination and a card for each car is left at the yard or industry where the car is located.  The hardest part of the whole thing is to get familiar with the various tracks and industries on the layout but Bill has a done a great job of labeling everything either on the fascia or on the layout itself and I was surprised how quickly I learned where everything was.
This is one of the sceniced areas that had a lot of operations in a small space. Industries include Mcleod Oil,  The Rumford Press, Robertson Paper and Armour Beef Co. 

Another view of this industrial area.
    Besides Bill designing the layout and building the benchwork, he has built some very impressive structures and his weathering techniques are second to none.The ares that he has finished look great and now that he has the trackwork pretty much finished and the operating scheme in place Bill plans to forge ahead with some more scenery.  I might add also that the layout runs flawlessly due to excellent trackwork and is controlled by a Lenz DCC system. Bill is an excellent modeller and I can't wait until my next visit to see what progress he has made with more scenery and structures.   
     The operating session ran from 10am to 3:30pm and the time just flew by. Bill's wife Juli provided a delicious lunch also.We had five operators plus Bill overseeing the operations.  Bill is a gracious host and we all enjoy being part of his operating crew, always looking forward to the next one.
Here we see Dan Lewis working Enfield Yard.  Dan is an excellent N Scale modeller and has had many articles published in all of the major hobby magazines.

This is a view of the Concord roundhouse and engine facility.  The turntable is a Walthers product and is fully indexed.
Gale, Rad and Dan relax in the comfortable crew lounge at one end of the room
The operating crew posed for a group photo after the session. Left to right - Don Janes, Gale Saxton, Greg Rich, Bill Moore, Dan Lewis and Rad Jones

1 comment:

  1. This looks like a real pleasure to operate on. Kudos to Bill and his crew for a well designed system.