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June 2002 - Page 37


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A pair of Oakway SD60s pulls a coal train up the nearly 1% grade through Kimber Canyon. A hi-rail truck inspects track on the Kimber Canyon branch, which is seldom used anymore. an informal operating session with a few friends. During each session, operators can expect to see a variety of trains. Included are high-priority double stacks, unit grain trains, unit auto racks, coal drags, mixed freights and even a daily Amtrak passenger train. Local freights run in each direction b etween the end-point stations (hidden staging), making stops at each town to set out or pick up cars. Specials can also be seen through the year, such as the annual BNSF Christmas train in December and an occasional steam excursion. Because the layout is linear in design, trains only pass through each scene once between the time it leaves hidden staging and when it returns to staging. Staging also provides a continuous loop and trains can s top within the yard limits during operating sessions or con tinue to circle during railfanning ses sions. This approach also works well when I feel like operating a local freight alone and need the challenge of opposing traffic. Operating sessions are very informal and work well when there are between three and six operators. With a minimum aisle width

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Everyone is hard at work at the Mobile gas station in the town of Sage.

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The car shop at Fall River is full as a BNSF GP38 prepares to grab two repaired boxcars. In the distance, a westbound autorack unit train rushes by.

JUNE 2002

MODEL RAILROADING 37

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