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May 2001 - Page 40


Fixing the Yard at Trinidad
Correcting a Major Operational Bottleneck

by Bob Foltz
Photos by the author The westbound Super Chief pulls to a stop in Trinidad while the yard crew in the background continues to work uninterrupted.

WHEN I BEGAN DESIGNING

In a similar scene prior to the rebuilding discussed here, the passenger train occupies the same track as the yard engine in the previous photo, blocking all work in the yard.

my Santa Fe Raton Division, Trinidad yard was envisioned as the center of all operations on the railroad. Although Santa Fes famous name trains would only make brief stops at the Trinidad station, I pictured all through freights dropping blocks of cars for the division. The road power on these freights would be swapped here to add operational interest and to justify my large roster of locomotives. Mail and express cars would also be exchanged by the heavyweight Fast Mail Express. In the interest of generating local traffic on my modeled version of Raton Pass, I made several towns grow and prosper much more than their real-life counterparts. Industries and businesses along the route would naturally need rail service, so a local turn would originate in Trinidad to service the towns along the line. This local, mixed in among all the high-speed traffic passing through town, would generate plenty of work for the yard crew. Trinidad was not envisioned as a major classification yard, but it would be the hub of operation on the model railroad and critical to keeping things moving over the pass. One thing model railroaders frequently forget is that switching takes real time. The Super Chief might easily run according to

40 MODEL RAILROADING

MAY 2001

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