As our train leaves Rio, the Sonjora branch diverges from the main line and traverses a high curved wood trestle over Dry Gulch.
The stream is dry at this time of year but runs swiftly during the spring run off. Beyond Dry Gulch, we see the small town of Ojito. Our train will stop and switch the industries in Ojito. The track plan here is based on the John Allen “Timesaver” which only spells trouble for our conductor and brakeman. They will need the engineer to back into town with the cars that are to be set off. It is now that the fun begins. With limited capacity headroom on tail tracks, the ground crew must plan carefully so as not to get trapped in the switching puzzle.
Box cars and high side gondolas ship lumber to and from the Lumber Yard. The Farm Machinery manufacturer needs delivery of parts before shipping tractors and farm supplies. An LCL loading dock serves for small shipments to and from the town of Ojito while the Coal Yard on the same siding provides heating fuel for the residents and businesses in town. Occasionally, a road oil tank car is spotted in town bringing supplies for the highways department.
Visitors to the layout will notice the old roadbed entering Ojito from the
east. There are old bridge abutments at Ojito Creek where the Sonjora Branch crossed the river. A washout forced the relocation of the tracks which, in essence, resulted in the difficult maneuvering required when switching Ojito.
The town of Ojito is still mainly under construction. The Coal Yard, Lumber Company and main street of Ojito still need to be completed. In the mean time, the proposed industry locations still provide an location for setting off cars.
Switching chores completed at Ojito, our crew exits the “Timesaver” and couples onto the remaining part of the train that was left on the main track. With the brake test complete, our train is ready to depart Ojito for Sonjora.