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For most of the Bellefonte Central Railroad's life, State College was its western terminus.
In 1953, President Dwight D. Eisenhower came to State College by train. His brother, Milton, was president of the Pennsylvania State College. You can read more in the article POTUS to Penn State.
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Just outside of State College was Struble, which was the location of a wye for turning power and/or trains. It had a stub end to the south for most of its life, but for a short while was the connection to the Fairbrook and Pine Grove Mills branches.
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There is no need for prospective attendees to register for an open house.
Operating sessions do require prospective attendees to register via OperatingSessions.com. Registration will be closed once a set number of positions is filled.
Existing crew will receive a special registration code within their e-mail notice of the session. This code will provide preferential registration for 48 hours before new crew are accepted.
OperatingSessions.com instructions to come
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Crew members draw numbered chips from a bag before each session. The individuals select their jobs in the order of the numbers drawn, starting with #1.
In this manner, all crew members have equal opportunity to select various jobs over the course of their career.
The Call Board
The call board is divided into two sections.
Down the left side are static positions, such as yardmasters and tower operators.
Down the right side are road positions, both mainline and secondary. When enough people are available, trains may run with both an engineer and a conductor. Running with two-person crews is a good way to train newcomers in rules and procedures so they can gain the experience to operate on their own.
photo to come
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Mainline crews communicate with tower operators, when needed, via train phone. Train phone is simulated via lineside telephone.
Secondary crews communicate with tower operators via lineside phones. Locations of lineside phones are indicated on fascia control panels and represented trackside; locomotives/cabins should be stopped close to lineside phones for the convenience of the crews.
Until such time that lineside phones are implemented, crews shall walk to the tower operator to communicate. The act of walking to the tower operator shall simulate the act of walking to the lineside telephone. FRS radio shall be used temporarily between the yardmaster and the tower operator.
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The PRR Middle Division utilizes a Digitrax digital command control (DCC) system. Operators are encouraged to bring their own Digitrax throttles. Wireless throttles are supported.
A limited number of Digitrax UT4 throttles are available for those who do not provide their own throttles.
To use your iPhone, iPad or iPod Touch with JMRI as a throttle, you run the WiThrottle app on the iPhone or iPod Touch. The basic application is available for free download from the iTunes store.
To use your Android device with JMRI as a throttle, you run the Engine Driver program or Digitrains on the Android device. These free apps are available from the Google Play Store or the EngineDriver site.
Follow the configuration instructions for the respective application. The wireless network SSID is PRR and the server to connect to is Lewistown. (The Supervisor will provide the password on-site.)
Web Browser Throttles
webThrottle runs on the most recent browsers on computers, smartphones and tablets. The device and browser must support HTML5 and websockets. It has been tested on Safari, Firefox and Google Chrome running on Windows, MAC, iPad/iPhone and Android - it should run on Internet Explorer 10. There is nothing to install on the device! webThrottle is completely resizable and it ajusts automatically to the size and orientation of the device screen.
The wireless network SSID is PRR and the server to connect to is http://10.0.0.2:12080/roster. (The Supervisor will provide the password on-site.)
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All trains run as extras per prototype practice. The employee timetable does not provide timetable authority.
Movement of trains is based on a Sequence of Trains table. Sequences for each line are independent from one another.
Main Line Operations
Crews follow signal indication and operate their trains out of staging, proceed through Lewistown, and return to staging.
Some trains will originate or terminate at Lewistown. Crews will follow signal indication to/from the yard.
Secondary Line Operations
All non-main line trackage is categorized as secondary lines. Secondary lines have no passenger traffic (or they would be “branches”).
Authority to proceed is granted verbally at the leisure of the LEWIS tower operator via telephone.
The LEWIS operator will grant permission between points on the secondary line. Crews must contact the tower operator by telephone to indicate that they have reached their destination so as to clear the block.
All movements on secondary tracks are at restricted speeds with crews responsible for stopping short of obstacles or other trains.
There are numerous “yard limits” along the secondary lines. Movements within the yard limits are coordinated among affected crews.
Train Order Cards
A Train Order card is included at the front of every train packet. The card provides the train symbol, the train name (if one), the class, the origin, and the destination of the train.
An Instructions area provides information such as stops or work to be performed during the course of operation of the train.
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