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Thread: Vandalized UP M-RONY

  1. #1
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    Default Vandalized UP M-RONY

    I started this activity to see if Open Rails could mirror a real life situation as showcased in this video.



    (full screen it at 1080p to see the shattered windshield)

    I added some immediate AI traffic in both directions, but the activity aimed to be near identical. Was Open Rails up to the task? Can it mirror all these potential situations out there on North American rails? The verdict: Both yes and no. I was able to get through most of the switching, but ran into problems with AI trains getting bad signals later down the line. Also had an absolute wait point erroneously give me a premature green signal. I think the bad signals have something to do with the autorack running ahead of the player while both trains were in manual mode. There were some pretty hokey maneuvers needed just to preserve the original Player and AI3 services (the 2 trains engaged in the power swap) and associated paths. I.E. I had to jump to the cab of the NS unit before uncoupling the 3855 in order to keep the PLAYER definition/path alive and associated with the actual remainder of the player train, since the 3855 by itself needed to become the 'disposable' derivative player service that goes away once the SD70ACe couples to it. When the replacement 4528 was ready to couple, I again needed to jump to the NS unit and 'back up' the NS unit into a coupling with 4528 to once again to preserve the Player path and service definition. Apparently, all worked, but hardly traditional prototype maneuvers.



    The train is UP's M-RONY, the manifest from Roper yard in Salt Lake heading to North Yard in Denver via the Green River sub. Time is 7:45 is in the am, with the eastbound Amtrak CZ #6 running on my yellows. Activity begins dropping downgrade from Mounds to the river valley at Green River, where a climb back up out of the river valley awaits. Eastbound Amtrak #6 is scheduled into Green River at 7:59 AM.



    Passing under the overpass between Woodside and Desert sidings, a vandal has just dropped a cinder block onto the player train from the overhead bridge, shattering the engineer's windshield.





    Engineer's view passing Desert siding.





    Power is a pair of SD70's and a local service GP40-2 heading from Salt Lake to Denver diesel shop for it's 92-day federal inspection. Luckily, the geep is not out of time and still can work it's way east, contributing to the tractive effort.






  2. #2
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    It seems our payware vendors never give enough love to the GP40 and GP40-2, the second generation workhorses of the 1970s and 80s.

    After notifying the dispatcher of the shattered windshield and the need for a power change, he replied that there would be no immediate siding respite for me as he desired for me to maintain my downhill momentum to help on the upcoming climb. At Green River, we bottom out and roll through on the main line, while Amtrak behind me needs to diverge into the siding there to access the station platform. So his "Plan A" for me is to use all possible downhill momentum to stay ahead of #6, and go into a siding somewhere as I claw up the grade on the other side of town.





    Passing the Amtrak station at 8:02 am, 3 minutes after Amtrak's scheduled arrival.





    I bottom out in Green River at 65 mph, and by the time I reach the west end of Solitude siding, gravity and the non-prototypical 1.6% grade on the route has cut my speed down to 33 mph, roughly by half. I am routed into the siding at Solitude, stopping at 8:15 or so. Siding speed is 30, so I only have to go to notch 7 a smidge in advance.





    Amtrak back in Green River.









    Amtrak arrives at 8:19 and departs departs at 8:20, 21 minutes late.







    East end of Solitude is cleared for #6.





    Amtrak approaching my rear end.


  3. #3
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    Amtrak smokes by my train doing every bit of track speed.







    Time is 8:30 or so, and I've been here for 15 minutes so far.







    Just out of Thompson and heading west is the BNSF Denver-Stockton trackage rights train.









    BNSF gets a double yellow to go in at Brendel for Amtrak.






  4. #4
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    By this time, #6 is already past Floy, the only siding between Solitude and Brendel.







    BNSF is only stopped for 3 to 4 minutes before 6 arrives.











    BNSF coming past the player train at Solitude.







    View of the BNSF's cars from behind my cracked windshield.

  5. #5
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    My rear end (left) and BNSF passing on right.





    After the BNSF passes, it's been 40 minutes for me in the siding, waiting on the following eastbound to give me a new leader.





    BNSF passing through Green River and tackling the start of its uphill run to Mounds.





    In the siding at Sphinx is an eastbound Milpitas to Kansas City autorack train with 2x1 DPU.







    UP autorack departing Sphinx after the BNSF passes.







    Autorack passing through Green River at the fastest speed possible.






  6. #6
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    The autorack finally arriving and pulling up alongside my disabled train. Right now, I am in control of AI3, and you can see the absolute wait point on the track monitor to give me the proper red. Player is suspended and in manual mode.









    Stopped alongside.







    Autorack power cuts away and pulls to the other side of interlocking, stopping with enough clearance for a third unit.







    Once on the other side of the interlocking, both engines are separated.


  7. #7
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    This is where things get hokey. I move to NS 2532 prior to uncoupling the UP 3855. This is needed to keep the Player path and service definition with the NS unit and train, allowing the UP 3855 to become a disposable "Player6" service.





    Over to "Player6" to pull the 3855 away.





    Moving the 3855 over to the autorack train.









    Nothing gets coupled, just "positioned". I must occupy the UP 8367 and NS 2532 to do any actual coupling in order to preserve both trains' paths and service definitions.





    Jumped control over to the UP 4528 to send it back towards the NS unit.







    Over to the UP 8367 and couple up AI3 train's segments.




  8. #8
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    Here, I've jumped control back to NS 2532 and am "backing the player train up" to a coupling with the 4528. Strange.





    Coupled up, and both AI3 and Player service definitions preserved. All derivatives of Player and AI3 'disposed of'. Headlights on 4528 not on because I have not vacated 2532's cab yet.





    Multiple [CTRL] [E] over to the UP 4528's cab and lights are on now.





    Over to the SD70ACe to turn the autorack loose. I could not get past this wayside signal in Auto mode, I needed to tab for a signal (receive flashing yellow) to get through the interlocking.





    The valuable cargo departs first.





    From the engineer's seat on 4528. Relief from the spider-web of cracks.









    The UP autorack train got bogged down by bad signals at Floy. I actually had to jump back to it and nurse it through the area. This is where I bailed out of the activity for now. Need to debug it some more, and get a few more data collection runs in.


  9. #9
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    Boggles my mind how you get this stuff set up and actually complete the tasks. Amazing stuff.
    Neil

    Here at home, in the railroad mayhem capital of the world.

  10. #10
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    Agreed Neil. I remember watching that video ages ago and thinking it was a bit of a messy process they went through due to the broken window, but it was probably a walk in the park compared to setting it up as an activity. How long does it take you to make something like that geepster?
    Cheers!
    Pete

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