July 2020 operating session



Thanks to Paul and Sol for coming along to this reduced covid 19 social distancing operating session.

We have not had an operating session since March 3 due to the covid 19 lock down. I decided to restart with a smaller crew to allow for social distancing.

I only made one deletion from our usual sequence and that was the Emu Flat passenger. 

Sol took on the role of Hostler which the carried out as we normally would but with the exception that he would run four of the time tabled through trains, Adelaide Superfreighter, Melbourne jet, down Overland and the Adelaide Jet. The idea being that he would stand at the end of the peninsula with the controller and Paul and I would make sure that the turnouts were set correctly. This went well except for when Paul pulled into Kanunda with the down roadside goods just before the arrival of the Melbourne Jet and, I, Kanunda YM at the time, did not reset the cross over at the up end of Kanunda causing the Jet to collide with the brake van on the roadside goods. 

Having Sol as hostler the road crew jobs and Kanunda yard master had to be shared out between Paul and myself. Paul took the first train,between Paul and myself. Paul took the first train, departing Cooper at 0606, the down Mt Gambier goods, departing Cooper at 0606. The down Mt Gambier goods stops at Kanunda to set out a cut of cars. At 0608 I departed Foster with the up Overland which arrived back in staging first allowing me to run the up Myrtle Springs goods. When I arrived at Kanunda I took the YM’s job as previously arranged. The YM’s job was also to run the Maranalgo goods and the Kanunda Mile End transfer goods. I soon found out that it takes concentration to be a road crew because after shunting at Maranalgo I forgot to reset Sandiman switch. Paul was quick to rename Sandiman switch Ken’s switch when the down roadside goods started going down the branch to Maranalgo.

I then returned to shunting Kanunda. Made up and ran the Kanunda Mile End transfer and shunted the various trains that Paul ran through Kanunda that needed shunting. I did not make it out onto the road again. I do believe I could have been somewhat more efficient at shunting. For instance after I had shunted the adjoining industries Laucke Mills and Athol Freezers I left a reefer and a van sitting on the main line with out realising until I got to the crossover at the end of the loop and had to go back to retrieve them, quite some distance. Also when making up the down Myrtle Springs goods I put the brake van into track 5 first meaning that it would have been at the wrong end of the train so that caused me some rearranging.

When Paul ran the Mile End Kanunda transfer goods back to Kanunda I still had not spotted all of the wagons going to the Kanunda industries. Soon after that time was up. Paul had finished shunting Emu Flat with the up roadside goods and was about to depart Wooldowie. So the clock saved me from the embarrassment of having the up roadside goods arriving at a clogged Kanunda yard.

While I was stuck in Kanunda working as the YM Paul ran the grain extra, the stonie, the down roadside goods, the livestock train and the up roadside goods from Foster to Wooldowie.

It was never expected that the three of us could manage the complete sequence in two hours. However I thought we did pretty well. All that was left to run were the last bit of the up roadside goods’ run, the Oil train, the down Myrtle Springs goods and the up Mt Gambier goods.

We all enjoyed the session. I now have more respect for the efficient way Rod manages the Kanunda yard master job. 

P1060003 (1)

949 with the up roadside goods at Wooldowie at the end of the session.


Kanunda at the end of the session. The Mile End Kaunda transfer goods is in the passing siding. In the distance in front of the silos is the brake van at the wrong end of the first two wagons for the down Myrtle Springs goods.


On the Thursday after the operating session I completed the shunting at Kanunda. The transfer goods has been put away. The down Myrtle Springs goods has been made up in correct order in track 5. Shunt engine 503 is waiting for the arrival of the up roadside goods and the Mt Gambier goods to clear the yard. It took me 1 hour 48 minutes fast time (27 mins actual time) to complete the shunting at Kanunda.


Also at the end of the session the Cooper MPC was the home of an all Victorian fleet.


One unusual experience this session was when I was shunting the up Myrtle Springs goods at Wooldowie. Auscision 830 class 842 suddenly started running in the reverse direction that I had it going. Paul had accidentally dialled it up on another controller. After that the number lights on the A end started flashing at a fast rate and would not reverse along with the headlight as they should. I was unable to change this phenomenon during the session. After reading the instructions for 842 on Wednesday I discovered that if two directions were applied at the same time to the Locsound select decoder that was factory fitted to 842 you could get erratic lighting effects. I have not been able to cure the flashing number lights but I have found a good enough work around. It turns out that F7 (function 7) turns out the number and marker lights but not the headlights. So 842 will run without number or marker lights for now. 

I will wait to see what covid 19 restrictions are in place next month before deciding what form, if any, next month’s operating session will take.

Stay safe stay well.

Cheers Ken.

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