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A troublesome Q-CHCSSE

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    A troublesome Q-CHCSSE

    Normally, this train is the Z-CHCSSE from Chicago-Corwith to South Seattle WA, but it is a long and heavy train today, so it gets downshifted to a Q train to avoid performance penalties that go with the Z moniker. It's a siding filler today.

    Departing Wenatchee.

    Power is a CN SD70I and CN SD60 sandwiched by a pair of BNSF Dash 9's. My lead Dash 9 is throwing lots of smoke.

    Ahead in the siding at Cashmere is an empty eastbound earthworm, the G-INBHNF9, a grain shuttle from Interbay heading back to Hannaford ND. Also eastbound is the S-TACCHC, a stack train out of Tacoma headed for Chicago that is running around the earthworm at Cashmere to get ahead of it. After the S train meets me here, I will be next to be given the single track. The G train will go last.

    Takes about a minute and a half for the CTC to give it up.

    My lead unit is still throwing heavy.

    My Open Rails videos

    Passing the grain shuttle G-INBHNF9.

    Downtown Cashmere.

    Just past Dryden, my lead unit self-destructed and shut down.

    Just out of Winton heading east is the W-EVESPM, an empty welded rail train headed from Everett WA back to the BNSF welded rail plant in Springfield Mo. The yard in Springfield, once the hub of the old Frisco, has been downgraded, and much of the acreage is now the relay welded rail plant for the entire BNSF system.

    The rail train heads in at Leavenworth.

    My Open Rails videos


      With my train down a unit, the dispatcher hatches a plan for the crew on the rail train to cut off and shove me up and over the hill. So I pull to a stop on the main alongside the rail train.

      Stopped with a green signal.

      The work train crew leaves their third unit to keep air on the rail train which is draped over the vertical curve. With only about 4 hours left to work, the rail train crew will have just enough time to give me a manned shove over the hill, brake on the downgrade on the other side, and then die on their hours at Sky. By leaving one unit here, if a patch crew should be called for the rail train, there still is one unit to drag it down the grade into Wenatchee.

      I have jumped over to the pusher, and the dispatcher gives us the signal at the east end to pull out.

      About to couple up.

      Rail train crew delicately cuts their air into the train without the Q train losing its brake pipe. Head end is now ready to go.

      My Open Rails videos



        Rear end ready to shove.

        Clawing up the 1.6% just short of Winton.

        In the hole for us at Winton, delayed by our switching at Leavenworth, is BNSF V-TACNTW, a short 45 car train of imported Kia's out of Tacoma headed to Northtown.

        The three powered units on the Q are still shoving the dead weight on the point.

        My Open Rails videos


          The dispatcher gives us a red at the bottom on the serious hill climbing at East Merritt. We have to stop, cut off our 2 lead units, and turn them on the wye. There is no way in hell a dead unit containing the operating crew goes down the 2.4% on the other side on the point of the movement. If a knuckle ever broke, there would be no way to stop the dead unit which will run away right quick. The point unit carrying the crew must be on-line and working. The power spin will put the CN SD70 on the point.

          Once cut away, the dispatcher gives us the siding, which is needed to access the wye.

          Once tied back together and air charged, the dispatcher gives us the mainline for the march up the hill.

          My Open Rails videos


            Departing Merritt with fully-powered CN 'narrow noodle' on the point.

            On the 2.2% passing Berne siding.

            Dropping down the 1.6% inside the tunnel. Dynamics near 50%. Probably could have made it without the help, but for a UPS train the help gives us a safety net.

            Dropping down the steeper 2.4% approaching Sky.

            My Open Rails videos


              Arriving at Sky, we find the place living in the shadows of the mountains. We take the siding since Amtrak train 8, the eastbound Empire Builder is holding the main. We also need the siding to cut off the helper and tuck it away.

              Movement is stopped to cut the helpers loose.

              Since there is a 25 mph speed limit for the siding, I leave the player train in Auto mode when I jump ship to the GMTX unit. Once I do, the player train which is now temporarily operating like an AI slowly creeps away, while I get busy lining switches to get the helper onto one of the yard tracks.

              I got the helpers off the siding. Headlight and ditch lights are on, but since this movement is not the player train, there is no lighting cone for the ground ahead.

              Helpers are buttoned up, lights off, and rail train crew is in the van, glad to be able to return home unexpectedly tonight.

              By the time I jump aboard the player train again, it was already AI-piloted out on the single track and is passing the ballast quarry west of Sky.

              Coming out of the mountains, the last rays of sunlight find a way to illuminate the train one last time.

              I go into the hole at Monroe to meet the Z-SSEMEM, the Seattle to Memphis Z train.

              Clear signal out of the siding at West Monroe.

              My Open Rails videos


                Has anyone ever attempted a scenario like this under multi-player conditions? With Open Rails, is it even possible for one person to be manning a pusher to lend assistance on the rear end while another person is driving the head end of the train while everyone is communicating with each other via teamspeak? It is definitely something that needs to be tried out to confirm.

                Yes, multi-player where each person controls his or her own train is one thing, but can it go farther and support multiple people in control of one train?