The Anachronistic Region operating crew (a round-robin group) participated in seven operating sessions in 2017. In May, we added a sixth job, switching cars between Benning Yard and Alexandria Branch yard transfer. The other five trains remain: Port Shepherd Job, Uniontown Turn (U-Turn), Twining City (TC) Switch, Second Port Shepherd, and the B&O Coal Extra to the Potomac Electric plant.
Scenery, mostly card stock buildings and flats, was added along Nichols Avenue (along the east wall). The buildings include apartments, a clothier, a drug store, a furniture store, and a brewery.
The Red Caboose EMD GP-9, B&O #6464, was brought on line.
The shops made no progress on diagnosing the erratic behavior in the operation of the kit-bashed Weaver Alco RS-2 Southern #2118.
The B&O car shops produced the Red Caboose tank car as UTLX #41289. The railroad acquired a B&O stock car (make unknown), #112430. Trucks and couplers were added.
The Maintenance of Way (MOW) crew replaced the frozen switch motor in P&P Junction. The addition of Walthers grade crossing gates in Hiram did not work out well. A short circuit burned out one of the controllers.
The OR&W Planning Department redesigned the planned track work for Westfield using XtrkCAD. The expanded plan required the acquisition of additional flex track (bought on eBay). Sub-roadbed was cut for the northeast corner of the railroad using foam core over plywood. The MOW crew began installation of a turntable in the planned engine service area.
The shops completed modifications to the three 2-6-0s. Oil headlamps were installed; the steam generators were removed; bell and whistle pulls were added; and two of the locomotives were lettered and numbered. (The third was already in OR&W livery.) Soundtraxx Econami decoders were installed in the tenders of two of the locomotives and weight was added to all three. (One of the locomotives has an older Soundtraxx decoder.) Pilots with working couplers were installed on two of the locomotives. The third has a coupler pocket in which a working coupler will be installed. Decoder Pro was used to adjust the sound of each locomotive.
The OR&W car shops acquired a box car and a gondola.
The annual convention of the MER of the NMRA was held in Harrisburg PA in mid-October. On Thursday evening, I performed my duties as MER Secretary during the 5+ hour board of directors meeting. On Friday afternoon, I was part of an operating session in Blue Ridge Summit PA. I was able to visit two open layouts in the evening on the way back to the Harrisburg. On Saturday morning, I attended the Superintendents' Breakfast hosted by the MER board. Then, I drove to Strasburg PA for the Eastern O Scale meet. I stopped at two open layouts on the return trip. On Sunday morning, I was taking notes at the annual members meeting before heading home.
In 2018, Shepherd Branch management intends to continue its assessment and overhaul of the branch’s steam and diesel locomotives. It may be time to try to market the steam locomotives that remain on the property. P&P management will focus on adding more scenery and operating accessories to the three-rail display railroad. Ohio River & Western management hopes to complete construction of the railroad main line before the National O Scale Convention opens in late August in Rockville MD. All three railroads will be open for viewing by convention attendees.