Bear Creek and South Jackson Operations - Switching Oakhill (without using the main)

Bear Creek Operations
Switching Oakhill (without using the mainline!)

You are the crew of the Oakhill Turn. The dispatcher has given you a warrant from Mill Bend to Oakhill but the warrant says "Checkbox 9. Clear main track at last named point". You've made it up the hill and are sitting in the siding at Oakhill. Now what?

You call the dispatcher and ask for a work-between warrant so you can switch all the Oakhill spur tracks. But the DS calmly informs you that you should be able to switch all the spur tracks, put your caboose on the other end of your train, turn your loco and be ready to head back down the hill WITHOUT using the main track!

Your reaction is "Holy Toledo! That's not possible!".

Actually though it is possible. Here's what your train looks like when you've just pulled into the siding at Oakhill.

Switching Oakhill - Start here. You carefully blocked your train into the proper order while still in Mill Bend didn't you?

Are you up to the challenge? Or will you end up getting into a situation where you have to admit defeat and call the dispatcher to get permission to use the mainline for a run-around move or two?

Think carefully and plan well ahead... If you think you see how it can be done (or if you just want to see the "officially sanctioned" moves) click here.

Good luck!

Switching Oakhill - The ending point

Ok, ok. I admit it. There can be times when this won't work.

  • If the number of cars pulled from the log and team tracks plus caboose won't fit on the east leg of the wye.
  • If the number of gravel hoppers plus engine won't fit between the points of the west wye turnout and the end of the gravel track.
But aside from these this is definitely possible. And think how pleased the crusty old dispatcher will be if you don't tie up the main while you're in Oakhill.

Oh, I almost forgot to mention that sometimes the local passenger train comes through while you're in town. The passenger local is supposed to make its station stop on the siding, not the main in Oakhill (since the depot is on the siding). This of course adds an entirely new element to the switching game.

But if you get your switching chores done properly then you should be gone before the passengers arrive!

Jeez! And some people think this is fun?

This page and images Copyright © 2007 by Charlie Comstock. All rights reserved.