The September Open Meet on the Big Creek & Southern took place September 23rd through 28th. The week started out with a few railroaders arriving late Monday and into Tuesday with the majority arriving Wednesday night into Thursday. The BC&S team spent all of August and September working on finishing projects and honing the track work to have the railroad in the best condition possible for our guests. A new bridge at Tarn, the CTC machine and associated signals at HK Tower, finishing the Wyaconda branch track work, a new elevator at the end of the branch, and a new freight house adjacent to HK Tower were the major projects completed during an eight-week period.
Attending the 2013 meet were Richard and Cathy Osborn (Texas), The Mikko Family (St. Louis, MO), John Toothacre (St. Louis), Doug DeBerg (Smithville, MO), Pat Hiatte (Mexico, MO),
Chief Dispatcher, Jim Duncan, manned HK Tower aided by Pat Hiatte and Derek Briley throughout the week. Thursday evening's operation featured long trains and dispatcher coordinated movements using radio and the new CTC machine and signals.
Derek Briley and Doug DeBerg, assisted by Dale Perry, operated local switching trains Friday and Saturday using switchlists prepared by Jim Duncan. Switching was intense at Bethel Park and down the Wyaconda Branch. The branch line was even switched by steam power operated by ____ of _____ using his Wabash ten-wheeler.
Mother Nature came to play on Saturday and set up an all-day rain event which brought a whole different series of challenges. Trains were unable to operate until nearly noon due to heavy rains and thunderstorms but a few hardy souls steamed up anyway under the "bad day railroading being better than a good day working" adage. With rain-slickened rails, Tim Mikko double-headed his long train and even required a pusher at one point even with the extra power up front!
Due to the inclement weather and cooler temperatures cars and engines starting departing for more favorable climates Saturday and the last trailers were loaded out by 5 p.m. Saturday.