Re: The Day I Flummoxed John

Bob Friddle

Thanks so much for this amusing and enlightening story, Don. These recollections are absolutely invaluable to us here! This yard lead track conundrum has been irritating me for years as I looked for ways to understand the design and, through doing so, divine whether I could (dare I?) improve on it at all. I thought I had a better understanding and acceptance of it when I arrived at the assumption about a year ago that the main line must have just been indicated (with bold) wrong; it made so much more sense to me to have the right track be the main line so the left track could be the (less) encumbered yard lead. Now you’re telling me that’s not the case, and it’s blowing my mind again! So trains arrive from Cross Junction, go up the bridge by the roundhouse, then back into the freight and passenger stub yard. Similarly, they were assembled on the main line/lead track?, then the engine went around them on the right track to lead them out to Gorre? Of course they don’t have the choice to go over Port and back around over the yard, because that yard crossing was never finished. I have speculated here before that he didn’t want to obscure the view of the passenger station, or perhaps he just liked the complication, or just didn’t want to complete the circuit – did he ever say?


So Randy, are you planning to finish the bridges over the yard or leave that open like John did????


Bob Friddle



From: [] On Behalf Of Don Mitchell via Groups.Io
Sent: Sunday, July 14, 2019 6:50 PM
Subject: [GandD] The Day I Flummoxed John


[Edited Message Follows]

it was my good fortune to be able to operate the Great Divide yard several times in the days before trains were run up to Angels Camp.  The track arrangements there always seemed a bit illogical to me.  If you look at the large track diagram on pages 84-85 of "The Book", you'll see what I mean.

Trains arrived and departed through the tunnel connecting with Cross Junction.  The main track, indicated by the heavy line in the drawing,, connected directly with the leads to the passenger and freight sections of the yard.  Switching the freight yard meant having to use the main as the switching lead, so my practice became to route incoming trains to the siding near the point marked 50" on the diagram.  That elicited some grumbles from John, but no major objections.

What really flummoxed John, though, was the time I was switching the passenger yard and associated industry trackage.  That meant clearing the main for incoming trains until they could run from the Cutoff Switch onto the siding.  But, if you look carefully, there is an alternative.  I routed an incoming train through the industrial trackage containing the double-slip switch while continuing to use the main as the passenger switching lead.

"No! No! You can't do that!" was the immediate and loud reaction from John.  Instructions were soon posted making it clear to all operators that this alternative was NOT to be used.  Properly chastened, I resumed holding passenger switching movements in the clear for arriving trains.

But, to this day, I still think the track at GD was not optimal for operations. <g>

Don M.

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