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OPSIG at the 2014 NMRA National Convention

 

Welcome to the OPSIG activities at the 2014 National Convention! The highlight, of course, is operating sessions at local layouts. Operating sessions are open to all convention registrants, and there is no fee. We always have a mix of seasoned veterans and “newbies” experiencing the pleasure of running a model railroad. You can also stop by the OPSIG room, Grand Ballroom C, to chat with OPSIG members, preview the sessions planned, join up, and check out the store. If you’re new to OPSIG, be sure to check out our web site www.opsig.org.

The Schedule
The schedule for operating sessions is shown in the table below. Sessions generally start at 7:00 pm on the weeknights (with a few exceptions); operators can start arriving up to 30 minutes prior to the start to get acquainted with the layout and to get a pre-briefing from your host. Weekend day sessions start in the early afternoon.

The Layouts

2014 NMRA National Convention
OPSIG Operating Session Schedule
May 31, 2014 Update
LAYOUT ID HOST LAYOUT SUNDAY
JULY 13
MONDAY
JULY 14
TUESDAY
JULY 15
WEDNESDAY
JULY 16
THURSDAY
JULY 17
FRIDAY
JULY 18
SATURDAY
JULY 19
OPS01 Bailey Ontario Central Railway 1:00 PM 7:00 PM 7:00 PM 7:00 PM 7:00 PM    
OPS02 Bitte Allegheny & Northern Railroad   7:00 PM 7:00 PM        
OPS03 Brintnall Memphis Ridge Railroad 1:00 PM 7:00 PM 7:00 PM 7:00 PM 7:00 PM   12:30 PM
OPS04 Buehner Grand River Railroad   7:00 PM   7:00 PM     12:30 PM
OPS05 Club Layout Cuyahoga Valley Terminal     6:30 PM        
OPS06 Club Layout Cuyahoga Valley & West Shore   7:00 PM   7:00 PM      
OPS07 Feldman New York Central Lake Division         7:00 PM    
OPS08 Filipiak Chessie System Chicago Junction 1:00 PM 7:00 PM 7:00 PM 7:00 PM 7:00 PM   12:30 PM
OPS09 Flash Johnstown and Crystal Lake RR   7:00 PM          
OPS10 Hazlett DH Rail     7:00 PM   7:00 PM    
OPS11 Johnson Pennsylvania RR Pittsburgh Div.     6:30 PM   6:30 PM   12:30 PM
OPS12 Mitchell CSX Toledo Division   7:00 PM   7:00 PM      
OPS13 Moore Cold Creek & Lake Erie Railroad       7:00 PM      
OPS14 Naramore Little Penn Valley Railroad   7:00 PM          
OPS15 Novak Gold Creek Railway     7:00 PM   7:00 PM    
OPS16 Puch Union Valley Central Railroad     7:00 PM   7:00 PM    
OPS17 Smith Ohio Northern Railroad   7:00 PM     7:00 PM    
OPS18 Desser Erie, Eastport & Eastern           6:00 PM 12:30 PM
OPS19 White PRR Chautauqua Branch 1:00 PM            

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Layouts are described in brief below. If you are an OPSIG member, you can get a little more info on most of the layouts in the January issue of the "Dispatcher's Office."  Most of our layouts are midsized, and operating tone and rigor here in northeast Ohio tends to be fairly relaxed. Included in the summaries are travel distance and time. We do have a couple of ADA accessible layouts for those who require such. Note that there is a link to a layout website included, where available.

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OPS01 ONTARIO CENTRAL RAILWAY BRAM BAILEY HO
50' x 32' 70% Double-deck, 5% Scenicked Era: 1967 Operators: 10
Control: NCE DCC Desc: The layout is a proto-freelanced circa-1967 model of the Ontario Central Railway with an International Nickel industrial railway. Offline traffic arrives via Canadian Pacific and Ontario Northland interchanges as well as by car floats.  Classification is done in one central yard and trains are dispatched over 5 subdivisions.
Car Forwarding: Car Cards
Dispatch: Track Warrant
Comm: Verbal
Location: Vermilion
Distance/Time: 43 mile/50 min
ADA?: No

 

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OPS02 Allegheny & Northern Dave Bitte HO
40' x 18' 85% Scenicked Era: 1965 Operators: 8
Control: NCE DCC Desc: The Allegheny & Northern is a free-lanced, short line railroad located in central-eastern West Virginia during the summer of 1965. Both coal and merchandise traffic are generated on the railroad, running from Allegheny W.V. to Mill Creek yard. The railroad supports branch lines, interchanges and multiple on-line industries.
Car Forwarding: Car Cards
Dispatch: Sequenced/Freeflow
Comm: Phone
Location: Rittman
Distance/Time: 45 mile/55 min
ADA?: No

 

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OPS03 Memphis Ridge Railroad Bruce Brintnall - MMR HO
11' x 23' 100% Scenicked Era: 40's/50's Operators: 6
Control: NCE DCC Desc: The Memphis Ridge Railroad has a freelance C&O theme built around a coal mine of southern Ohio and limestone operation of western Ohio. All runs are end turns departing from, and returning to, a staging yard. Local freight destinations feature interesting switching to various industries.  Operators load and unload live coal and limestone loads.
Car Forwarding: Rail Ops
Dispatch: Sequenced
Comm: Phone
Location: Brooklyn
Distance/Time: 6 mile/15 min
ADA?: Yes

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OPS04 Grand River Railroad Mike Buehner N
14' x 26' 5% Scenicked Era: Modern Operators: 8
Control: Digitrax DCC Desc: Grand River Railroad (GRRT) is modern era, loosely based on Northeast Ohio. The layout is single track main with two yards and a branch line. Operations consist of a 14 train sequence: mainline freight and passenger trains from hidden staging interact with the yards and station stops, four daily locals for switching industries, and two branch line locals with interchange service.
Car Forwarding: Car Cards
Dispatch: Sequenced
Comm: Verbal
Location: Madison
Distance/Time: 42 mile/50 min
ADA?: No

 

OPS05 Cuyahoga Valley Terminal CVT Club HO
12' x 36' Partial double-deck, 75% Scenicked Era: 1950's Operators: 8
Control: Digitrax DCC Desc: The proto-freelance Cuyahoga Valley Terminal Railroad is based upon the former Valley Railroad / Cleveland Terminal and Valley / Baltimore & Ohio Line that ran from Cleveland to Mineral City Ohio during the 1950s. Trains consist of turns and through, with mixed freight, coal and passenger movement through Cleveland, Akron and Canton.The layout has a fully functional signal system.  This club layout is in the basement of the Whistle Stop hobby shop. For photos and more visit their Web Site: http://www.cuyahogavalleyterminal.org
Car Forwarding: Switchlist
Dispatch: Time Table
Comm: Phone
Location: Cuyahoga Falls
Distance/Time: 35 mile/45 min
ADA?: No

 

OPS06 Cuyahoga Valley & West Shore RR CV&WS Club HO
40' x 20' Double-deck, 80% Scenicked Era: Modern Operators: 10
Control: Digitrax DCC Desc: The freelanced Cuyahoga Valley & West Shore Railroad layout is housed in a restored Lake Shore & Michigan Southern Depot, built in 1876. The  CV&WS is operated as a point to point railroad; West Shore yard is at the western end and Cuyahoga yard is the eastern end. The CV&WS has fictional connections to Buffalo and Toledo. There are 7 towns to switch, a coal mine, coke works, stone quarry, large grain elevator and an operational steel mill complex. Dispatch is conducted from a PRR caboose on-site. Photos and more at the Web Link: http://www.cvwsmrc.org
Car Forwarding: Car Cards/WB
Dispatch: CTC
Comm: Radio
Location: Olmsted Falls
Distance/Time: 19 mile/30 min
ADA?: No

 

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OPS07 NEW YORK CENTRAL LAKE DIVISION RICHARD FELDMAN N
26' x 18' Partial double-deck, 90% Scenicked Era: 1961 Operators: 6
Control: Digitrax DCC Desc: The layout is loosely based on the Lake Division of the NYC from Cleveland to Buffalo. Features include Terminal Tower in Cleveland, East Cleveland industries, Collinwood Yard, Diamond Alkali in Fairport Harbor and a steel mill complex symbolic of northeast Ohio.
Car Forwarding: Car Orders
Dispatch: TT/Sequenced
Comm: Verbal
Location: Pepper Pike
Distance/Time: 20 mile/30 min
ADA?: No

 

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OPS08 CHESSIE SYSTEM, CHICAGO JUNCTION DIV JOE FILIPIAK HO
31' x 35' 95% Scenicked Era: 1985 Operators: 6
Control: Rail Lynx, NCE DCC Desc: The action starts in Logan, West Virginia at an operating coal mine where coal is loaded, taken down a double switchback and onto Peach Creek Marshalling Yard.  Coal drags of 25 to 30 cars are pulled across the layout to Lorain, Ohio on Lake Erie and are unloaded via an operating coal dump into a lake freighter. Other industries that are served include the Huron Pillsbury Mill and Belden Brick Plant.
Car Forwarding: Car Cards
Dispatch: Sequenced
Comm: Verbal
Location: Grafton
Distance/Time: 35 mile/45 min
ADA?: No

 

OPS09 JOHNSTOWN AND CRYSTAL LAKE PAT FLASH HO
37' x 15'  75% Scenicked Era: 1930's Operators: 6
Control: Lenz DCC Desc: The Johnstown and Crystal Lake Railroad is a free-lance depiction of a 1930’s Eastern US short line. The point-to-point railroad passes through five towns over the 37’ x 15’, partially double-deck layout, ending at a small car ferry in Crystal Lake. For photos and more visit their Web Site: http://home.windstream.net/pflash/index.htm
Car Forwarding: Car Cards
Dispatch: Sequenced
Comm: Verbal
Location: Roaming Shores
Distance/Time: 55 mile/70 min
ADA?: No

 

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OPS10 D H RAIL DAVID HAZLETT HO
25' x 30' 10% Scenicked Era: 1970's Operators: 10
Control: NCE DCC Desc: The operations-oriented D H Rail is a 1970’s-era, Akron-area shortline railroad centered on three yards. Each yard acts as its own division, controlling the mainline in its area and working the local industries. Each yard sends trains to the other yards and to off-line staging. Occasional through-freight, coal and passenger trains traverse the layout.
Car Forwarding: Car Cards
Dispatch: Track Warrant
Comm: Phone
Location: Akron
Distance/Time: 38 mile/45 min
ADA?: Yes

 

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OPS11 PENNSYLVANIA RR, PITTSBURGH DIV DAVE JOHNSON HO
35' x 37' 50% Scenicked Era: 1952 Operators: 12
Control: Digitrax DCC Desc: The PRR Pittsburgh Division is a Class 1 Railroad operating from Enola Yard in Harrisburg, Pa. (staging) to Pitcairn Yard, Pittsburgh, Pa. (staging). Proto-typical towers, a 235' main line and 1.75% grade on Horseshoe Curve are some of the highlights. Altoona Yard is 37' long with crews working both ends and local industry.  Two dispatchers control mainline turnouts and train movement with closed circuit cameras monitoring interlockings.
Car Forwarding: Car Cards
Dispatch: JMRI CTC Panel
Comm: Phone
Location: Solon
Distance/Time: 23 mile/35 min
ADA?: No

 

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OPS12 CSX TOLEDO DIVISION JEFF MITCHELL HO
30' x 24' Double-deck, 80% Scenicked Era: Modern Operators: 5
Control: Digitrax DCC Desc: Welcome to the flat lands of western Ohio. A proto-freelanced, single track, point-to-point layout based on the CSX from Toledo’s Rossford Yard to Dayton’s Needmore Yard. Interchanges with Norfolk Southern and I&O. Other features include computer dispatch panel featuring touch screens and a working talking defect detector. A railfan-friendly track plan featuring long coal and intermodal trains. Jeff’s layout was featured in the March issue of the NMRA magazine.
Car Forwarding: -
Dispatch: CTC
Comm: Radio
Location: Brunswick
Distance/Time: 25 mile/35 min
ADA?: No

 

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OPS13 COLD CREEK & LAKE ERIE RR JIM MOORE HO
39' x 29' 15% Scenicked Era: 1968 Operators: 6
Control: Digitrax DCC Desc: The Cold Creek & Lake Erie runs between Cleveland, Sandusky and Toledo in the fall of 1968. Many prototypical sites are represented: grain at Eastern States Mill, iron ore with two Hulett’s at Huron NW yard, limestone from Marblehead, a car float to the Kelley’s Island quarry, downtown Sandusky waterfront and Sandusky yard , Lorain Ford plant receiving dock. Interchanges with the Penn Central and B&O.
Car Forwarding: Car Cards
Dispatch: DTC
Comm: Phone
Location: Sandusky
Distance/Time: 67 mile/75 min
ADA?: Yes

 

OPS14 LITTLE PENN VALLEY RR DICK NARAMORE HO
13' x 18' Double-deck, 80% Scenicked Era: 1945-55 Operators: 5
Control: Digitrax DCC Desc: The Little Penn Valley runs in central to western Pennsylvania in the transition era, with interchanges with the PRR. Lots of secondary switching!
Car Forwarding: Switchlist
Dispatch: Track Warrant
Comm: Radio
Location: Jefferson
Distance/Time: 58 mile/65 min
ADA?: No

 

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OPS15 GOLD CREEK RAILWAY PAUL NOVAK & SONS HO
14' x 32' 100% Scenicked Era: 1950's Operators: 6
Control: Digitrax DCC Desc: The Gold Creek Railway is a freelanced 1950’s bridgeline. Cars inbound to the railroad originate from the interchange point (the staging yard) with the Milwaukee Road and the C&NW. Operators will run their respective train to one of six areas and perform the needed switching activities. A “peddler” freight may come by and pick-up outbound loads and may set out cars to be spotted.
Car Forwarding: Car Cards
Dispatch: Sequenced
Comm: Verbal
Location: Olmsted Township
Distance/Time: 20 mile/30 min
ADA?: No

 

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OPS16 UNION VALLEY CENTRAL RR JOHN PUCH HO
10' x 24' 75% Scenicked Era: 1950-60's Operators: 5
Control: Rail-Lynx DC Desc: The Union Valley Central Railroad is a freelanced two-room double-loop switching layout focusing on a variety of commodities being delivered to small towns and industries. The Railroad features an operating coal mine and coal dumper. It also has a small steel mill, Texaco Gas Company, beer plant, ice house, and stone quarry. Diesel road engines transport 5-6 car freight trains to individual towns and return cars to the yard.
Car Forwarding: Car Cards
Dispatch: Sequenced
Comm: Verbal
Location: Brunswick
Distance/Time: 26 mile 35 min
ADA?: No

 

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OPS17 OHIO NORTHERN RR HARLEY SMITH HO
23' x 46' 80% Scenicked Era: Open Operators: 20
Control: DC, Radio Throttles Desc: The free-lanced Ohio Northern Railroad has a heavy traffic double track mainline and plenty of switching. It has 400’ of mainline track, two large yards, three branch lines, and a 14’ gauntlet track to keep operators on their toes.
Car Forwarding: Switchlist
Dispatch: Block control
Comm: Verbal
Location: Hambden
Distance/Time: 38 mile/50 min
ADA?: No

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OPS18 Erie, Eastport and Eastern Dale Desser HO
20' x 26' Multi-level, 40% Scenicked Era: 1967 Operators: 11
Control: Digitrax DCC Desc: The Erie, Eastport and Eastern is a free-lance railroad based on the Pennsy with a little Bessemer and Lake Erie & Union. A working coal tipple and rotary car dump allow for live loads running across this multi-deck layout. Staging yards serve the layout.
Car Forwarding: Car Cards
Dispatch: CTC/Signalling
Comm: Radio
Location: Erie, PA
Distance/Time: 100 mile/1:45 Hr
ADA?: No

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OPS19 PRR Chautauqua Branch Brad White HO
22' x 26' 10% Scenicked Era: 1955 Operators: 8
Control: Digitrax DCC Desc: The layout is based on the branch running from Oil City, PA to Buffalo. Single-level, single-track with passing sidings; point-to-point with staging at Pittsburgh and Buffalo. Interchanges with the Erie RR  and the PRR line from Erie to Warren PA. Operating signals between Oil City and Corry.
Car Forwarding: Car Cards
Dispatch: TT/verbal
Comm: Radio
Location: Erie, PA
Distance/Time: 100 mile/1:45 Hr
ADA?: No

 

Layout Sign-ups and Assignments will depend on availability. See below.
When you’re ready to sign up for sessions, go to the OPSIG room for further information. You will have the opportunity to select the number of days (sessions) you’d like to operate, specific days that you are available, and to enter your layout priorities. Session assignments will be made on a sign-up date basis, so the earlier sign-ups will have the best chance of getting your highest priority choice.

You can also request to operate with up to 3 other operators. Please coordinate amongst your operating colleagues before you register as the following considerations will apply:

  • We will only fulfill requests that match. If Fred Frog asks to operate with Herm Crossbuck but Herm doesn’t request Fred, we will ignore the request.
  • Joint requests will be prioritized by the latest sign-up date, so make sure your co-requesters are on the ball!!
  • If three of you request to operate together, but you each have a different layout top priority, what are we to do? Probably pull one from a hat!

On-line session sign-up will be open until May 31st. After that, you will need to sign-up for sessions at the convention. The initial block of assignments will be made later in the spring (date will be announced here), after which you will receive an email with your assignments. Your layout host will have your contact info and may elect to send you information before the convention.

At The Convention
Crew Call for the evening operating sessions will be at 4:00 pm in the OPSIG room, Grand Ballroom C. At this time we will confirm that everyone who has signed up for that evening’s op sessions is present, fill any vacant slots with volunteers, and assist in forming car pools to the sessions.  CREW CALL IS REQUIRED! If you are not present within 10 minutes, we will scratch you from your scheduled session and fill the slot with a walk-in operator. Unless you have made prior arrangements with the OPSIG committee, you are expected to Not Show at the layout. Showing up at Crew Call is an important courtesy to your session hosts. We will generally assume you’ll use GPS to navigate to the layout. There is, however, a lot of highway construction going on in the city, and GPS may not be reliable. We may provide maps at Crew Call to make sure you can get on your way. Time for Crew Call for Saturday sessions will be announced later, and provided in advance to those signed up for those sessions. There will not be a Crew Call for the Sunday July 13 sessions, we will provide info and coordination by email the week before the trip.

Other OPSIG-related Events:
The OPSIG Annual General Membership Meeting will be held on Thursday, July 17 at 1:00 PM in Grand Ballroom C.

Check out the LDSIG page for events you may be interested in, including:
- Meet-and-Greet on Sunday evening from 7:00 - 10:00 PM
- LDSIG Banquet on Friday evening

And make sure you come back to this page, as more info on OPSIG-related convention activities will be posted.

OPSIG 2014 Co-coordinators
Scott Benson – Mid-Central Region Division 4 
Randy Dettmer -  Mid-Central Region Division 1
Mike Buehner - Mid-Central Region Division 5

 

 

 

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