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some basic rules, including sig- nal, radio protocol, and whistle rules. All volunteers who oper- ate trains must be qualified by an experienced volunteer be- fore being allowed to run trains on the layout. Given the size of the layout and number of sig- nals, even experienced model railroaders welcome running a few times on the layout as a conductor to familiarize them- selves with operations. An FSR radio system is used to commu- nicate between the dispatcher and train crews to facilitate op- erations. For example, all trains leaving the staging yards must first call the dispatcher with their train length and get per- mission to pull up to the signal at the entrance to the railroad. Trains vary in length, with some up to 90 cars, but most are in the 35- to 50-car range, equating to a scale 2,500 to 3,500 feet — still long by model railroad stan- dards. Trains are powered with three to six units to ensure they can manage the ruling 2.2 per- cent grade on the railroad. With more than 200 locomo- tives and 2,500 freight and pas- senger cars on the roster, op- erating with car cards or even computer-generated switch lists wouldn’t be practical with so many volunteer hands “touch- ing” the layout. The museum needed a plan to operate trains in a semi-prototypical manner without trying to keep track of actual car numbers.

Operating instructions for trains were developed and are available as laminated cards for all volunteers. For example, a re- gional freight might have instruc- tions to set out ten cars from the rear of its train at Lakeview Yard and pick up ten cars from track three in that yard. All the yards have diagrams that make it easy for crews to understand the yard tracks and industries. Locals have instructions about which industries to work, how many cars, and the type of car to pick


up or set out at each industry. The actual car numbers are not important, but general types of cars are relevant to the in- dustries served by the railroad. For example, a local switch crew might have instructions for three woodchip gons to be spotted at the Fremont Sawmill Sawdust Track or for up to six loaded TOFC flats to be spotted at the Klamath Falls TOFC ramp. An 80-car ore train traverses the layout from Fairport staging to Klamath Falls, where six-axle power is exchanged for four-ax- le power for the trip down the Coos Bay Branch to the Port of Coos Bay. In Coos Bay, the load- ed ore cars are exchanged for empties by the Coos Bay yard crew. In Coos Bay, a model of the Edmund Fitzgerald is tied up at the ore-loading dock as it prepares to make its last trip back to Duluth using the Rocky Mountain Canal just prior to its ill-fated trip on Lake Superior on November 10, 1975, where it sank in a severe storm. One of the more interest- ing jobs is the Weyerhaeuser Log Turn that runs from Klam- ath Falls to the log load-outs at Quartz Mountain and return. Af- ter the crew makes up its train in the Klamath Falls yard, the empty log turn heads east to Quartz, where it has to work two different load-outs by get- ting track and time from the dis- patcher. Track authority is given to work and clear by a certain time as noted on the 6:1 fast clock, which is visible in various locations around the layout and on each NCE throttle. The chal- lenge for both the crew and dis- patcher is to complete the work and not to tie up the single-track railroad.

All freights are restricted to a scale 20 mph on the main line with passenger trains and high- priority freights such as TOFC trains allowed 30 mph. With meets, it typically will take 1½ to two hours to run over the en-

tire railroad. The dispatcher’s skills are tested by ensuring that the higher-priority trains are not delayed by running behind a slow freight. From an opera- tions standpoint, it is always in- teresting to run a higher-priority train around a low-priority train at one of the six passing sid- ings. Passing sidings range from 3,780 scale feet at Dog Lake to 7,180 scale feet at Klamath Falls, which includes two cross- overs to facilitate three and four- way meets.

The ruling grade on the rail- road is eastbound at 2.2 percent, while the westbound climb to the summit at Quartz Mountain is slightly less at 1.1 percent. Some heavy eastbound trains require mid-train helpers from Klamath Falls to Quartz Moun- tain, and these are operated by a separate helper crew controlling the helper set with a separate throttle and carefully watching the slack ahead of their help- ers. There is a crossover and wye at Quartz Mountain siding, allowing the helpers to cut off and return down the mountain. To facilitate light helper moves, there are two helper pockets for the dispatcher to get light west- bound helpers in the clear for uphill eastbound trains. Volunteers with 100 hours of operation plus nonoperational 100 hours are permitted to bring personal trains to operate on the layout on designated days, providing the equipment is first qualified to meet the Museum standards. Any volunteer train must have a plausible “story,” even if the train is outside the 1975-era of the layout. Though the railroad models south-cen- tral Oregon, some volunteers model eastern railroads and do operate personal trains on the OC&E. While most volunteers operate their UP, Rio Grande, SP, or Santa Fe equipment, it is not unusual to see a New York Central Mohawk pulling a model of the Twilight Limited, a Penn-

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