Normally I would not post something on an operating session. We used to do them often, but then, well, you know. The last operating session here with the regular operators was in February 2020. The Toronto area Covid numbers eased in the summer and I had two operating sessions – one in September and one on October. It was only with my pal Regan and me (in our operating heyday, we would have up to six of us working away).

I did try to operate solo a couple of times, but my layout was not built for that. It is meant to be shared. So today was special when Regan and I were ankle-deep in cinders once again. Over the Christmas holidays I spent time cleaning and fixing Fillmore and today it operated flawlessly. I wish I could say the same for me – very rusty. At least we I did not put one into the pit.

It was a great time; just like old times. Thanks for coming over Regan.

Here are some photos I took prior to the start of operations…

The operating scheme – the enginehouse black board. We start at 10AM, but there is action in the recent past with locomotives at various servicing points.

Staging is pretty tight and had to be kept in good order for maintaining the operating tempo.
Inspection pits with subway entrance – locomotives take water here too.
J1D Hudson 5292 being sanded and coaled.
Aerial view of west side of the 300 ton coaling tower.
The east side of the coaling tower with the sanding facility.
The roundhouse foreman’s office and crew hut.
The cinder pits and wash racks with J3A Hudson 5436.
Cinder hoist with full gondola – we exchange it for an empty during the session.
Water tower and steam plant – we can deliver coal to the siding.
J1E Hudson 5326 is the Protection Engine today.
View of the roundhouse trackside – locomotive in stall 5 is being lubricated.
The firing-up shed at the ready tracks – any locomotives entering the roundhouse for repairs have their fires dropped at the cinder pits. Inside the roundhouse they are connected to the direct steam system to maintain boiler temperature. When called for service, they proceed to the firing-up shed to have their fire lit.
Inside view of roundhouse with J1D Hudson 5301 being lubricated and serviced.
Shop forces busy at work.
A roundhouse is a fascinating place for me.

Happy New Year!