Calling All Operators

Discussion in 'Operations' started by Rick McClellan, Oct 31, 2011.

  1. Rick McClellan

    Rick McClellan 2009 Engineer of the Year

    I spent a great day Saturday at Ron White :cool: and Ron Williams' :D layouts operating. While talking with Ron Williams, it occurred to me that while a lot of us in KC have become friends and fellow operators, I should probably send out the call again for those interested in operations.

    If you are interested in operations, please let me know at I will get you scheduled in an op session on my layout as soon as I can and you can see for yourself if operating is for you.

    This call is for KC area Frisco modelers as well as those who might be visiting KC.

    I look forward to hearing from the |-|Frisco|-| nation.
  2. yardmaster

    yardmaster Administrator Staff Member Administrator Supporter

    Rick, thanks for the invite. I owe myself a trip. We were out "that way" this weekend, but it was a full Saturday and Sunday of soccer in Lee's Summit. I need to see if the coach can schedule a tournament in Johnson County. :)
  3. Iantha_Branch

    Iantha_Branch Member

    For those of you that haven't been to Rick's layout I would highly recommend doing so. It's a ton of fun and a very friendly place to operate. Not to mention it is a giant layout (and it has my home town on it :cool:). Rick I can't recall, how long is your main line? From the very tip of 19th street yard to St. Louis/Memphis.

    Here is a brief description of Rick's layout. Era is either 1950 or 1978, (it was 78' when I was up there in august). He models the Northern Division from 19th Street yard to Springfield, and then has trackage beyond that that goes to a yard that represents St. Louis and Memphis. There are several towns and industries on the way. There are 5 switching yards and 3 staging yards. 19th street in KC (inbound Frisco traffic) Rosedale in KC (outbound Frisco traffic) MKT yard in KC, Glen Park. Kansas City Terminal yard that serves as an interchange between the Frisco and all other RR's in KC, but it's more of a staging yard. Then there is the Ft. Scott yard. Both the north bound and south bound locals originate here. Then there is a switch off the main that goes down and under the main layout to Tulsa, and it's a staging yard. Then there is Springfield. Past that is a 4 track staging yard that is both St. Louis and Memphis.
    So 5 people are needed to run the yards, and then about 4-5 to run the locals, through trains and yard transfers.
    He runs the layout on a wireless Digitrax DCC system.

    So if you haven't gone it is a great experience.


    PS if you are interested in seeing some footage, here is my most recent footage of his layout:

    Warning, if you do not like Metallica, or music of that sort then turn your sound off.
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 1, 2011
  4. Rancho Bob

    Rancho Bob Member

    Glen Park ...right over near Rosedale BBQ. I don't think I've ever watched Frisco videos backed up by , what, Megadeath or Metallica? But the footage was great and looks like you all had a load of fun.

    R Bob
  5. Jim James

    Jim James Staff Member Staff Member

    Wow! That's a cool layout. I would be very lost trying to operate something on that large of scale. Bravo!
  6. SteveM

    SteveM Member Supporter

    Jim, how can you get lost? You're on the Frisco between Springfield and Kansas City.
    Seriously, nobody should pass up the opportunity to enjoy Rick's railroad because you think it requires a lot of knowledge or special skill. Rick will find a job appropriate to the visitor. No good host wants to confound or embarass a guest, and Rick and Jo are great hosts. Take him up on the offer or tell me you are coming through town and want to run a train or call one of the Rons in Springfield or visit Mike and the guys at his club. Any railfan can enjoy operating and if we can't get crews, how will the Frisco survive?
  7. Iantha_Branch

    Iantha_Branch Member

    Jim, the first time I was there I got turned around a once, but second time it was a piece of cake. The layout is basically a straight shot from point A to B, with some turns here and there because of the rooms. If you went Rick would give you the tour so it wouldn't be confusing.

  8. klrwhizkid

    klrwhizkid Administrator Staff Member Administrator Supporter

    Aside from Rick being a great host himself, there are those of us from the World of Frisco, myself, Mark Davidson (mark) and others locally that help Rick host new operators and work as mentors. Modeling the details makes the railroad appear very near real, but operating makes the railroad come back to life!
  9. Jim James

    Jim James Staff Member Staff Member

    I've never even been to anybody else's layout.....ever. As a matter of fact, Keith is the only other model railroader I've ever met. I need to go to next years convention and see more about what's going on. I love trains first and foremost but the appealing part of the hobby for me is recreating scenes and watching trains pass through them. I admit that I have very little interest in operations. I think I could be considered a railroad modeler more than a model railroader. Although I will have to pick up boxcars full of railroad ties and drop off empties to be loaded at Zalma and Greenbrier.
  10. wpmoreland719

    wpmoreland719 Member Supporter

    I had a great time at the operating session back in June and came home with a lot of new found techniques and ideas to put into my own layout. I think that as soon as I got home after making the four hour drive, I went to work and completely rebuilt my yard into a ladder operation that afternoon, which made switching simpler and also increased the overall capacity. Sounds elementary for most of you guys I'm sure, and although I had heard of ladder yards, I wasn't exactly what one was until I seen Rick's set-up. Mark was also great about showing Austin (my five year old) and I how to operate our assigned train in a realistic manner.
    A great experience all around.

    Pat Moreland,
    Union Mo.

    "Birds on the Bat, 11 in '11"
  11. friscobob

    friscobob Staff Member Staff Member Supporter

    Not sure how you KC-area modelers do it, but here in the Tulsa area we have the TulsaAreaLayoutOperators group on Yahoo, which is our "crew-caller", as it were, for upcoming layout ops in the area, including the hosting of folks from out of town (such as the group from Texas who came up for the Tulsa Line weekend this month).

    This was how I was able to operate on Jim Senese's Kansas City Terminal Ry last weekend, working on a KCS switch crew (luck of the draw, actually) running transfer blocks to & from MP and Frisco, and switching the West Bottoms. His layout is the closest to a Frisco layout we have in this area, but it is no less impressive.
  12. friscobob

    friscobob Staff Member Staff Member Supporter

    And for the record, I too was privileged to run the local on Rick's Frisco Northern Division layout, even though I spent more time sitting in sidings than running (rather like real life, really). Makes me wish I DID have the room to model the Afton Subdivion..............

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