Author Topic: Preparation For Halloween  (Read 2152 times)

Ed Lecuyer

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Preparation For Halloween
« on: January 11, 2009, 10:40:11 PM »
Preparation For Halloween has been converted from the pre-July 2008 WW&F Discussion Forum.
Some formatting may have been removed or modified from the original postings that appear quoted in this topic.
Information contained within this post may be superseded by more recent postings and conversations.

Joe Fox wrote:
Does the preparation work for Halloween begin this weekend?

Steve Smith replied:
Joe--It sure looks that way. See Fred Morse's email appeal for Halloween workers Sat. 10-14. I see you were on his list of recipients.--Old Timer

Joe Fox replied:
Yah, but I am not sure exactly what they are going to do tomorrow. I am going to do some tie replacements if I can organize a small crew. Talk to you later.

James Patten replied:
I believe the Wiscasset HS students are showing up on Saturday to scope things out and start their setup.
Anyone that's going to be there that will be part of the crew one or both of those nights - don't forget the noon meeting to discuss the plan.  I actually suspect there won't be many there, so the plan may end up here.

Joe Fox replied:
Is that noon tomorrow James? See you tomorrow.

James Patten replied:
Yes Noon Saturday the 14th.

Joe Fox replied:
Ok. Thanks. See you tomorrow James.

James Patten replied:
Here's the Halloween Operating plan, as typed up by Jason.
Operating Plan
-2 trains, designated X10 and X52, shall operate round trips from Sheepscot.
-Trains shall meet at Sheepscot Station as follows:
1st train is out with passengers
2nd train takes platform, unloads and loads passengers.  Takes yard after loading, with due regard to 1st train departing Alna Center Southbound
1st train Southboud prepared to stop at Sheepscot North Yard Limit, pending permission to proceed from Yard Master.
2nd train departs Northbound upon 1st train clearing switch.
- Trains depart Alna Center upon arrival (we had two lighted posts which facilitated engine crew knowing where to stop last year, this should be repeated).
- Trains shall not run around.
- Trains shall travel at moderate speed to allow for passenger viewing, and for wait.
- Trains shall not blow for crossings with proper signal from crossing tender.
- Yard Master shall control Sheepscot Main Line switch
- Single train operation to commence once trains leaving are less than half full.
Train Consists, south to north:
X10: 10, 103, 3, 320
X52: 52, 118, 8.  Eng. 52 at south end of train for visibility in Sheepscot Yard
Train Control
- Once person with sole duty of dispatcher and trainmaster.
- Trains shall depart platform for yard with dispatcher permission only
- Trains may depart yard Northbound at Yard Master's signal
- Dispatcher may hold a train in the yard by signalling Yard Master a red stop signal, after which direct communication should be established.
- Dispatcher will be available to magneto and cell telephone lines for communication with Alna Center and lineside parties.
- Train Master shall maintain an available crew list, to allow for efficient crew rotations.
Operations Support
- Gift shop should have two crew members - one for tickets, one for general sales.  Gift shop personnel shall be prepared to receive telephone calls for dispatcher and pass them on as necessary.
- 2 platform tenders should be provided.  Dispatcher could serve as 3rd hand in this regard, but dispatcher may wish to be based out of Bay 1 to be more easily available to crew (ie, no crowds to fight to get to him).
- Alna Center Agent shall inform dispatcher of trains departing Southbound, and serve as communication for parties there.
- Yard Master shall man Sheepscot  North Main Line Switch.  Yard Master must be prepared to signal Southbound Trains to stop at Yard Limit awaiting opposing train to take yard.
- Crossing Tenders shall be provided at Stockford's and Trask's Crossings.
Passenger Handling
- Platform should be divided down the middle with a barrier, with trainbound passengers behind the barrier.  This allows offloading passengers easy exit.  It also allows better loading control.
- Colored tickets shall be issued, in quantity equal to the next train's consist.
- Signs on station display color for next train.
- Platform Tenders shall call for passengers with correctly colored tickets to form lines on the platform behind barrier.
- Waiting passengers shall be held behind barrier, waiting for disembarking passengers.
- Passengers shall be instructed and assisted to disembark from SOUTH end of cars when possible.
- Passengers shall load on NORTH end of cars.
- Platform takers shall take tickets on the station platform as passengers board the train and keep count for conductors.
Communication and Emergency
- Each train shall have a magneto and cell phone.
- All lineside parties shall have at least 2 people.
- Every lineside party shall have a magneto or cellular phone.  Magneto telephones are preferred to reduce the quantity of telephone numbers kept by dispatcher.
- Dispatcher/train master shall keep a list of all lineside parties, their location, and cell phone numbers as necessary.
- All people in lineside parties shall be specifically instructed to keep off the track when a train is seen approaching.
- In the event of a train emergency, a crew member shall contact the dispatcher, even if said person is dropped and train continues.
- In the event of lineside party emergency, the dispatcher should be contacted.
- Lineside parties should be instructed how to stop a train in an emergency.  However they shall not stop trains for anything other than emergency.  Other needs shall be handled by telephone.
Crew Requirements:
X10: Engineer, Fireman, Conductor, 2 brakeman: 5
X52: Engineer, Head Brakeman, Conductor, Brakeman: 4
Dispatcher/Trainmaster: 1
Yard Master: 1
Platform Tender: 2
Crossing Tender: 2
Alna Center Agent: 1
Gift shop: 2
Traffic Handlers: 2

John McNamara replied:
The Yardmaster is going to have to be very careful to shield his lantern properly during signalling, as a backup signal tells X52 to move south and X10 to move north.
If X52 is awaiting clearance into the yard and X10 is awaiting clearance out of the yard, and both see a backup signal, they would be on a collision course.
A symmetrical situation applies if X10 is awaiting clearance into the yard while X52 is awaiting clearance out of the yard, and the Yardmaster gives a go-forward signal that is seen by both engineers.

Allan Fisher replied:
Wiscasset High School students gathered today at Sheepscot with Fred Morse and Allan Fisher to bring all the Halloween decorations down from upstairs over Bay 2, and placed them in Sheepscot Station, and Alna Center Station.
Thursday after school some of them will come to decorate Sheepscot Station, and Friday all day is volunteer day to set everything in final order.

James Patten replied:
Email appeal from Fred:
We need help badly all day Friday, from 9:00 a.m. on. The school kids got everything downstairs and in the Freight shed and Alna Center and as so few showed up we had no time to decorate or get things ready at Alna Center. We also will need Generators and power cords and portable lighting as with the high school kids we hope to have more locations set up along the track. We also have to get campfire wood for several locations. I do not have a mailing list for all people so please pass this message along.

James Patten replied:
Forecast for Friday is calling for rain all day into the evening, with clearing by midnight.
Forecast for Saturday is nice and dry.
I'm wondering if Friday's runs will be canceled.

Allan Fisher replied:
We advertised Halloween Trains on Friday and Saturday night - we did not advertise rain dates - so rain or shine - we must run trains!
We have enough covered equipment to run at least 125 people on one train.
(Coach 3, Coach 8, & Car 103)

James Patten replied:
And the results are in for Halloween.  Drum-roll please....
We have at this time a total of 997 tickets for the two nights.  130 or so on Friday and the rest on Saturday.
We took in approximately $2700.
From my post as yardmaster, I can report that nearly every train went out full.  Everything ran fairly smoothly, with a few hitches here and there.  At one point cars were parked out on Rt 218 and people were waiting in a line out into the road.  It seemed like most trains took about 20 minutes to run up and return.  The fires were dropped Saturday night on #10 at 10 PM.
If we get brakes on #126 next year both trains can be three cars long.

Bill Reidy replied:
That's great news.  I know the weather was awful Friday, so I'm glad the overall ridership was high for the two days.

Joe Fox replied:
Hi James,
That's good to hear that we had a lot of people for the two days. Running two trains made things go quicker so that we wouldn't have to run into the late into the night like we did last year. Ticket count was lower than last year I think, because I remeber somebody said that we had 1,400 people in two days last year. But we would have had more, had it not rained on Friday.

James Patten replied:
Joe's masked mug was on the first page of the fourth section of the Lincoln County News this week, plus 4 other photos of the halloween trains: the mound of skulls, a picture of kids in #103, the Witches of Sutter's Crossing, and another picture I'm not sure of.
Ed Lecuyer
Moderator, WW&F Forum