As well as receiving some informed and considered feedback from those operators at the October “pre-Ops” operating session, it has been great to receive some feedback via the blog and emails too – thanks everyone. I’ll also seek feedback from some learned and valued friends at a casual gathering shortly.
The “plan” then is to hold another “pre-Ops” session before Christmas, hopefully affording those who weren’t able to be at the afternoon held in October the opportunity to attend.
The redesigned signal panels and car card sorting stations won’t be available in time for this session (I don’t think), but will be added to the list of “high priority” jobs for the Christmas holiday period.
However, the “spider” diagram (locating the layout within the bigger scheme of the SAR and VR systems) will be distributed to all for comment and use. The Station Master (SM) role at Tatiara Downs will become that of the Yard Master (YM), with the Train Controller (TC) taking over the operation of the signals and points at Tatiara Downs.
Another suggestion likely to be employed is breaking the 2x 12 hour shifts into 3x 8 hour shifts (thanks Shelton), and increasing the amount of VR traffic in and around Nankiva. This will impact the overall timetable and sequence cards, but will be for the better. It should mean a less cluttered staging area … emphasis on the “should”!
In the interim though, there will be some more “tinkering” with traffic patterns, sidings and industries and the “big picture” timetable.
956 has completed shunting requirements at Tatiara Downs and is ready to head west with SAR 186 paper train. It is seen here waiting in Road 2 for SAR 731 Jet Goods to arrive from Adelaide. Shunting was done post the “pre-Ops” day and train 731 was one of three that we didn’t get to in the session.