The workings of Dickinson yard….

On the layout Dickinson yard is of course the major yard. During an operating session it’s a two person job, both helping to break down incoming trains, plus switching the  industries around the yard. Particularly Electro-Met and the team track as they’re off a facing point turnout.

Meaning one crew and locomotive must pull the cars out for these two sidings, then shove them down the lead onto the headend of another locomotive which then shoves the cars through these facing point turnouts into the appropriate siding.

Working the yard without having to switch Electro-Met or the team track that day is a lot easier, but still a lot of work moving cars into the correct tracks if making up trains, or spotting cars at the correct industries on the industrial lead. This can be done with one person and locomotive, but is still time consuming.

Such was a day today working with just one locomotive, old GP7 5628. Cars had to moved from all over the yard to either be spotted down the industrial lead, or making up the turns going out of Dickinson.

One task was to pull two loaded grain hoppers out of ADM, and move these over to track 4 where the Spring Street turn was to be made up. In the meantime, two empty hoppers from the last inbound turn had to be spotted at ADM.

We had a boxcar load that also had to be spotted at Fowler Plumbing Supply, that was over on track three. Finally, two boxcars within the yard needed to be spotted at the freight house. We started by pulling the two loads out of ADM as shown below:


This work done, we had to move two loaded boxcars over to track three where the Morris Fork turn was being made up. These cars were headed for the Morris Fork hardware and farm supply. This finished our work on track three.

Finally, we had to finish putting together the rest of the consist for the Spring Street turn with a few cars for the valley, and cars destined for Nitro, including several scrap gons.

When we finished up, the yard looked like this, starting with the two boxcars spotted at the freight house:


Below are photos of the rest of the yard:

Finishing making up the consist for the Spring Street turn on track 4 above.

The Morris Fork turn is now made up on track 3 above.


In the photo above, tank cars are on track 1, which is held for tank car orders, behind is track 2 with the Hitop mine turn ready to go, behind is the Morris Fork turn ready to go on track 3, and beyond is the Spring Street turn on track 4….

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