Last updated in March 2017
The session is set on Friday 19th December. Heavy Christmas traffic will demand that extra parcels trains are run whilst the daytime passenger trains will be strengthened to cope with the rush. It is likely that the higher parts of the line will be affected by snowfall and thick fog is also likely to be a problem.

There will be fewer photos in this session because the timetable obviously repeats itself and many photos would be duplicates of those in session 1.
  
  
1. Heavy snowfall just after midnight means that the AFK's ploughs are called out to clear the mainline over the Helcaraxë pass in the Altingablecautoj. The 0-4-4-0T Meyer tank is working from the Ithilarak side with the small rotary whilst towing the scraper (?) (flanger in US terminology) behind. The snow and fog are symbolically represented. The rest is left to imagination.
  
  
2. Meanwhile the larger (currently morphologically challenged) rotary is working at Caladonno from the Fenditavalat side. It is intended that this area will be finished to show a snowbound scene eventually.
  
  
3. The Urteno goods passes the down coal empties train at Glissent . The photo was included to show that traffic from the 'previous' day is run rather than ignored. The coal train was seen in session 1 picture 235.
  
  
4. The 0-8-8-0T mallet tank has been rostered for today's RFK-FDV goods. This loco was not used in the previous session but more locos are needed today as some are shoving the snowploughs. The loco has been a very long time in gestation as it has always been a temperamental performer.
  
  
5. At just after 04.00 the Meyer returns down the hill from Ospicio. The rotary is still working as more snow has fallen since it went up to Ospicio but, having cleared the line and the station (using the scraper) normal wedge ploughs will suffice for the rest of the day.
  
  
6. The cement train (session 1 photo 227) has resumed its journey and has reached Ithilarak where it waits for the plough to return from the Altingablecautoj. The train in the loop runs in the snow season to transport road vehicles over the Helcaraxë pass when the RN424 is blocked . The early morning and late evening trains are reserved for lorries only.
  
  
7. Thick fog is making running difficult and the Urteno train is now 20 minutes late and will only just arrive in time for the early morning railcar to leave.
  
  
8. The early morning URT-RFK  railcar is 5 minutes late due to the fog as it enters Lacono. This looks like it will be a challenging session unless the sun comes out!
  
  
9. The railcar over the Altingablecautoj has been replaced by a loco hauled train. Part of the reason for this decision is apparent in that the first carriage is conveying extra postal traffic from Lacono to Fenditavalat.
  
10. The RFK-FDV goods arrives at Lacono only 10 minutes late as time is allowed at Boursson for an exchange of wagons that was not needed today. The loco is a prima donna and has been on the back burner for years. Despite having had its drive shaft replaced and part of its gearbox removed it can still only be persuaded to move by....
  
  
11....... an ancient H&M controller. This is a pain in the neck because it is hardly portable and needs connecting to the mains via an extension lead. Modern controllers cannot do the business however!
  
  
12. The LAC-RFK local goods begins its daily shunt at Boursson. This is probably not a sight that you want to see looming out of the fog if you are an early morning motorist on the RN424.
  
  
12. The 1-D-1 has run round the RFK-URT freight and is about to place a van of Christmas postal traffic onto the rear of the scholars' train. This takes pupils to the Lyceo at Fenditavalat but these only board from Ithilarak onwards.
  
  
14. As things are already showing signs of unravelling the FDV_RFK goods is allowed to leave Fenditavalat roughly 30 minutes early to make sure that no avoidable delays are accrued.
  
  
15. The Meyer tank marshals the snow fighting equipment at Ithilarak as the 'Snow train' stands alongside in the loop.
  
  
16. Control's response to the heavy Christmas parcels traffic has been to turn round the AFK's diesel "crocodile" and send it out on a parcels train on a path behind the ERO-URT railcar. Unfortunately the fog delayed the down railcar so that both were waiting at opposite ends of the single line (a common enough experience in my daily working life!) The down train got priority. Here it waits as the parcels pulls into the loop recently occupied by the up railcar.
  
  
17. The scholars' railcar over the Altingablecautoj has reached the forests at Varden, alongside the Vardenamero. 
  
  
18. Shunting is taking place meanwhile at Eromarbordo which, as usual, is congested. The crew is waiting to be told about the fish loadings from the Quay whilst they shunt wagons onto the Town Staithe.
  
  
19. Train 2203, the RFK-FDV goods hauled by the 0-8-8-0T Mallet reaches Urteno where it's driver gives it a good inspection and discovers that one half of the brass band clamping its replacement motor to the chassis has broken away, partly accounting for its loss of power. The BIG soldering iron is warmed up and emergency repairs undertaken. Still not holding my breath but I suppose that the prototype had similar problems at times of stress! The 0-10-0T to the left is acting as pilot and banker today.
  
  
20. The progress of train 2203 has been aided by the hurried dumping of a number of wagons at Lacono which are due to go into the high country, but not all the way to Fenditavalat. The logic is to run the train on time as far as possible and schedule an extra train to cope with the surge, rather as in session 1. The 6 wagons stand on the near road.
  
  
21. Once again the wagon distributor has erred! There are around 10 empty vans clogging up siding space at Lacono whilst Relforka is running short. (A further 4 were built between sessions but it still does not look like enough given control's incompetence!) Completion of the signal cabin is yet another item on the to do list.
  
  
22. Train 9402, the extra parcels, finally clatters into the thick fog  shrouding the valley bottom running half an hour behind schedule.
  
  
23. Meanwhile the 'Snow train' runs through the alpine village of Caladonno above the frozen lake. This area will be finished as a snow scene at some time in the future. The trains progress through the Altingablecautoj was spiced by some interesting arguments between the wagons and some of the scenery. The finished part was supposed to have had clearances checked and the unfinished part will receive surgical attention. Its all part of the learning process.
  
  
24. The much delayed Eromarbordo to Urteno early morning railcar arrives half an hour late. Lacono's notoriously small yard is once again plugged which is beginning to cause problems. The SG wagons in the foreground are the day's output from the various factories in the Danulbo quarter of town, the area beyond the Karushnostrato.
  
  
25. Boursson's starting signal shows that both trains are clear to depart although the additional  parcels train will stand to unload Postal traffic. The LAC-RFK goods, with a wagon of cullet for the glassworks, leaves 43 minutes late and still has to shunt at Sojonno.
  
  
26. Most goods trains have some slack in their timings and the Eromarbordo branch goods is ready to leave well before its booked time. The 2-4-0T has a Brotan boiler and subsidiary oil firing.
  
  
27. The 0-8-8-0T has won its battle with gravity and stands at Ithiarak. It is actually now early because it did not shunt at Urteno. There are currently 200t of material at Lacono and Urteno waiting for a trip up  the Vulpafaulangulo. On the bright side the fog has cleared for the moment and the snow has stopped. Train loads across the Altingablecautoj are docked tonnage once it has snowed to reflect the poorer thermal efficiency of steam engines in cold weather. The plough engine is standing by to pilot if necessary (just out of picture to the left).
  
  
28. The return goods to Relforka from Urteno is ready to leave well before time and so, given that the railcar is late due to the fog, it is allowed to depart 75 minutes early. Here it clatters over the lifting portion of the bridge over the Spegulalaguno.
  
  
29. This is a view taken from the lecture rooms of the university, high above the tunnel at the entrance to Lacono, at 08.00. The goods side is congested.  A parcels train and two railcars are also approaching the station all due to arrive within forty minutes.
  
  
30. Fog or not work must continue. The railcar shunts the hoppers from the Co-op at Glissent. The signal droops at a non- commital angle!
  
  
31. The day's line up of express and local services shows changes in composition and motive power when compared to 'yesterday' (session 1 photo 64). The express today is hauled by the 2-10-2T and the local by the Austrian 1-B-1 loco. This has a brake van section behind the cab and was classed as a railcar as I understand it. Both trains are 15 minutes late as the fog has affected the SG connections.
  
  
32. Having finished its work at Boursson early the local goods had to wait 'in the hole' before it could leave. Here it appears out of the mists running 35 minutes late having stopped to pick up two vans of jam at Sojonno. The observant will note that Rhoaenna now sports a bent rusting sign (photo 1-55).
  
  
33. The express (train 11005) includes the AFK's pride and joy, the Pullman. The model is unfinished, as ever, and is based on a Swiss prototype built for the MOB. The Pullman rarely runs past Urteno which is today's destination. Urteno is a mountain tourist resort and business is picking up with Christmas coming and the snowfall promising good skiing. Any similarities between Urteno and St Moritz are not entirely coincidental.
  
  
34. Once the up goods has departed Ithilarak the down goods reverses into the colliery siding to pick up the coal loads. Eventually there will be a bunker fed by an aerial ropeway which will stand over the siding.
  
  
35. The steam loco is at Fenditavalat for servicing so today's services at Jakarutu are being worked by the diesel railcar. This is built over a Fleischmann Edelweiss chassis to provide cover for the rack services, although extra wiper contacts have been added to help it cope with the rough trackwork in the station. The model was modified from a model of a Berliet railcar which appeared in Continental Modeller years ago.
  
  
36. The augmented local passenger follows the express across the Kasatritikakamparoj.
  
  
37. A view only possible from the upper storeys of Fenditavalat's buildings shows the usual chaos in the town square. The right hand loop is occupied by the school train and the aditional vehicles for the postal traffic. The steam loco has unhooked and is ready to leave for the shed. The new dmu stands in the centre road waiting to back down onto the rest of its train which has been brought in by the shunter which is out of sight at the bottom left. The two car diesel set is too long for the headshunt which necessitates the second part of the train running as a separate trip.
  
  
38. The express arrives at Lacono running about 15 minutes late. Unfortunately it derailed on the points into the far siding which, along with the removal of malfunctioning points in the loco depot meant that operations were temporarily suspended for some time. As an aside the Pullman roof fell off behind the depot but this wasn't noticed for some time and caused some puzzlement until it was eventually located. It was there in photo 33!
  
  
39. The new DMU set, based on those used by the CdP (Provence railways), crosses the up goods at Ospicio. This scene is supposed to be covered in snow at this time of year.
  
  
40. The rack railcar stops at Gyorsmorabu halt high on the moors. The two trailing vans contain Postal traffic.

  
  
41. The RFK-LAC local goods shunts Breco de Glissent. The grain hopper has been inadvertently placed for this train to pick up but it was realised that it should have left for Relforka on the down train.
  
  
42. Urteno is the end of the line for the Pullman as it will be detached from the train here. The loco has had to pull out onto the northern approaches to fit its train into the platform. This is the area above the workbench hence the number of bits and pieces dumped in the foreground. The background is roughed in but needs finishing. One of the resort's sanatoria is visible behind the factory chimney at the top right.
  
  
43. The branch goods arrives from Eromarbordo. This will pick up the hopper left in error and place the flat wagon alongside the loading dock if space can be found.
  
  
44. The URT-RFK goods finally gets the road and is seen here passing Sojonno running early. Lacono's industries have provided the majority of the SG loads.
  
  
45. The unfinished DMU crosses the viaduct over the similarly unfinished Aepto Gorge as it enters Ithilarak. Work is supposed to restart here sometime soon.
  
  
46. The FDV-RFK goods runs into Lacono with a light load. This train will lift the remaining loads from the factories.
  
  
47. The Eromarbordo goods arrives at Relforka. The majority of these loads are for transfer to other AFK stations and will be placed into other trains leaving in the up direction.
  
  
48. The work stained 0-10-0T, today's banker, pushes the express through the Aepto Gorge just above Varden.
  
  
49. After many vicissitudes the 0-8-8-0T has finally reached Fenditavalat.
  
  
50. The extra postal traffic is beginning to cause congestion at Lacono. In the foreground the local that follows the express is preparing to leave. This terminates at Urteno.
  
  
51. Having lost the roof (see photo 38) it seemed appropriate to show the interior of the Pullman. I don't normally bother too much with carriage interiors but the large picture windows and the one-off nature of this vehicle merited an exception here. As with many AFK carriages it has been in gestation for some time and it awaits completion. The right hand compartment is completed but was removed for an article intended to be published in Narrow Lines, although this is some way off at the moment. Note the bevelled windows in each casement.
  
  
52. The late running passenger (photo 50) is further delayed by the Postal special's engine trying to relieve Urteno's congestion. The Pullman is shunted into the siding specially built for its layover, although it is rather unlikely that such a prestige vehicle would keep close company with coal wagons in reality! It is just another example of compression caused by space constraints.
  
  
53. Urteno suffers from trying to squeeze a quart into a pint pot. The local stands on the middle road and the down express, running 15 minutes late stands at the right. There is no set road for arrivals at Urteno, whichever loop is free is used, reflecting the intensity of operations. The station building still awaits completion. Note that the signal box has had a slight gouge cut into the rendering to allow vehicles to get to the ferry.
  
  
54. The train engine of the down goods picks up some of the spare vans at Lacono before placing them onto the front of its train. Despite appearances all three roads in the yard (nearest the camera) are blocked with wagons.
  
  
55. Having loaded to the maximum 220 tons allowed, the FDV-RFK freight passes through Boursson where the local RFK-LAC goods is waiting in the loop. (The engine is on the back of the train as it shuffles wagons.)
  
  
56. What had arrived at Urteno as an additional Christmas Postal extra has been directed to collect a number of wagons and form a trip working up the Vulpafaukangulo to relieve congestion.
  
  
57. A further train of vehicles due for northern destinations has finally been put together at Lacono and stands on the goods loop waiting for clearance onto the single line. The photo emphasises that the AFK is not flat, the marked hump being caused by the (ill managed) mating of two of the removal boards. This is not undertaken lightly but it will need to be done at some point to install the remaining parts of Lacono's signalling system, whenever they get built. The train shed wall is packed up on pieces of Cornflakes packets to ensure that it is true!
  
  
58. Fenditavalat's Basabazaro is a scene of animation in the late morning. At the  right the loco and carriage have arrived for the car train whilst the wedge plough prepares to go out into the Altingablecautoj to clear the latest fall of snow. The loco of the RFK-FDV freight and the shunter have coupled together for the trip working to Rivabordo to similarly reduce the need for paths. The shunter will return with the car flats.
  
  
59. The shunter duly returns with the car flats and the loco, which has run round, is waiting to back down onto its train. The car flats have only just been finished and the session was held up waiting for them. Sometimes its a bit like the Russians at Stalingrad. (The Germans could not understand why they were fighting unpainted tanks until they realised that they were being driven straight off the production line and into battle.) A nice collection of vintage cars though!
  
  
60. The demands of the session have depleted the front line passenger stock although there is still plenty of secondary equipment available. Although this is the second most important train of the day it has a bit of a rag tag assortment. In desperation the Director's saloon (at the rear) has been turned out for the more well to do patrons, rather in the manner of the County Donegal. No riff raff allowed! It is likely to be removed at Urteno as well if time permits.
  
  
61. The Meyer and the snowplough head for the hills towing the flanger. The fog has thickened and snow has fallen on the pass.
  
  
62. The FDV-RFK railcar arrives at Relforka only 10 minutes late. The weather is worsening however and the SG connections have been delayed by fog. The up train will leave 15 minutes late. The first coach is a radial axle design used by the Austrian NG. The prototypes were, I believe, converted to bogies due to problems with the running gear. The AFK example took some setting up but generally behaves itself.
  
  

63. Viewed from the RN424 bridge over the AFK mainline at Caladonno the snowplough waits in the loop as the RFK-FDV express passes. The major AFK locos have snowploughs fitted as a mater of course to deal with drifts and the diesel is pushing a wedge plough. Lacono is visible at the bottom left. Caladono is a depository for screws etc which are hidden by the fascia to the left.
  
  
84. The URT-LAC local is so long this morning that it fills almost the full half circle of the viaduct scene. The flat area beyond the gorge promises to be a scenic puzzle, although I have ideas for its development. Unfortunately it is conveniently sited to become a dumping ground and has been cleared on numerous occasions. Its current occupants are the now repaired Ithilarak home signal, awaiting further scenic developments in the gorge and the redundant painting of Ithilarak village.
  

85. Chaos abounds, as usual, in Fenditavalat's Basabazaro as the express arrives.
  
  
86. The crocodile has finished shunting at Ithalarak, and has collectied two vans of Postal traffic forwarded from the town and military camp at Jakarutu. It will work forward as a Postal special whenever a path can be found.
  
  
87. Meanwhile the two ploughs meet at Ospicio having cleared the line of the latest snowfall.
  
  
88. It doesn't take much to congest Lacono. The overly long local passenger (photo 84) stands in the platform and the local goods which left Relforka earlier (photos 41 and 55) has now arrived. All the wagons need forwarding as none are for the city.
  
  
89. The Austrian 1-B-1 crosses the single slip at Lacono having shunted the Postal vans and Ambulance into their correct sidings. Most AFK stock has been around for a while, No 727 being no exception. A number of unusual and unexpected problems were traced to the mainframes having parted company with the chassis on the offside, a problem easily sorted with a dosing of Evo-stick. Much AFK stock is now approaching 30 years old and has probably lasted longer than their prototypes did so such problems can legitimately be expected. Nice to support the sponsors of the Southern League, as well, who provide enjoyment in a totally different sphere of life!
  
  
70. The car train passes the two ploughs at Ospicio. The running of this seasonal extra train and a number of unscheduled freights is about to cause problems on the restricted track layout at Ithilarak.
  
  
71. One unforeseen consequence of the extra Postal traffic was that the express was incorrectly marshalled so that the regular interchange van to the CFS had to be extracted from the train and pushed behind the electric railcar. Some-one at Relforka will be receiving a phone call!
  
  
72. The car train has arrived at Ithilarak and begun to run round. The cars are supposed to be unloaded onto an adjacent platform, which still awaits modelling. When the train was initially timetabled there was less freight traffic on the line and it seemed a reasonable way of getting value from underused resources. Now it is becoming something of a nuisance for the operating department as additional freight traffic has gradually been added to the system. Its all part of the fun!
  
  
73. One reason for these problems is about to become apparent as the return express, on a tight schedule, gets the proceed aspect from Fenditavalat's starter.
  
  
74. The Postal extra passes Varden with the two vans from Jakarutu. The 6 wheel brake will be loaded at Urteno.
  
  
75. The Jakarutu branch train descends the rack towards Ithilarak.
  
  
76. The last piece in the jigsaw at Ithilarak is this additional extra freight currently passing Varden. Three trains are now approaching the station with a fourth occupying the loop.
  
  
77.With the express having departed Fenditavalat's shunter sorts the wagons that had to be left in the yard because of the extra traffic.
  
  
78. The shunter also begins to assemble the afternoon goods. This is the sharpest curve on the AFK and the van was pushed out of the siding by hand.
  
  
79. The Mallet is playing up once again and has been replaced by the Co-Co. The 0-8-8-0T is dismantled and scheduled for yet another rebuild. How high on the priorities list this will be is open to speculation. There are a lot of other chassis awaiting attention.
  
  
80. The up goods passes Breco de Glissent. Nearly all the loads this afternoon are destined for Lacono.
  
  
81. The railcar has arrived at Urteno from Lacono trailing the ambulance which follows its daily pattern. The road ambulances (requiring repaints) are waiting to transfer the patients to the Regional Hospital in the background.
  
  
82. The up mixto stands under the roof at Lacono. This view was taken from the passenger footway giving access to platforms 2 and 3. It stops short to allow the southbound railcar access to platform 1 on the right. The signals will eventually be provided at this end of the station to allow this.
  
  
83. The afternoon branch goods reaches Glissent before running round. It is lightly loaded this afternoon.
  
  
84. As seen from the avalanche shelter, chaos has descended upon Ithilarak! The various trains illustrated previously have all arrived, overwhelming the facilities. The express stands on the mainline whilst the branch train queues behind the car train. The connecting bus is standing on the goods loop. This is perhaps another area where the AFK pushes the envelope. Whether such congestion would have been found on such a simple track layout, even on a regional railway, is open to speculation.
  
  
85. The final train in the sequence stands at Ithilarak's home signal (or where it will be when it is built). Stopping heavy goods trains on the Vulpafaukangulo is not a good idea at the best of times, especially when no banker is attached. In these circumstances the SNCF placed sans arrėte signs or used a flashing red in colour light signals. Perhaps the AFK will follow suit. In actuality the model started easily enough but extra time was added to the clock to simulate the real thing's likely problems. The freelance 1-C-1 rod drive was based on an electric prototype and was bizarrely was converted to 2 rail running (with skates) from a 3 rail model converted by the Roco factory from a 2 rail item! 
  
  
86. The early afternoon railcar and trailer tow the ambulance into Lacono, revealing why it is necessary to stop the mixto so far down the platform. The Postal special stands at the top left of the photo, barely visible, having backed down onto the Lacono vans. The unfinished trolleybuses are just another occupant of the things-to-do list.
  
  
87. The mixto has now reached Urteno. The pilot waits with the Pullman to attach it to the down express before assisting the mixto up the Vulpafaukangulo. The passengers are already aboard and one of the hotels' Cadillacs is about to leave.
  
  
88. Once the express has left Ithilarak a complex series of manoeuvres take place to assemble the branch mixed whilst leaving the RT (through line) clear. The branch goods has received special clearance to run over its standard weight limit of 70T but this will cause problems later. The rack railcar is seldom used and usually languishes in a drawer as it was only built as back up for the steam loco. It later struggled to push its train into the loop from the top of the Vulpafaukanagulo and seemed as though it might need rescuing by the diesel. I should have been forewarned!
  
  
89. The up goods has been held at Boursson as the fog delays trains. As per usual the local, shown here on the through line, and the express, receive priority over the goods trains because they must make the SG connections.
  
  
90. Boursson has one of the shorter loops and the only way that the goods train can be accommodated is by running onto the canning factory siding. In reality the signal equipment's locking would prevent this but a blind eye is turned to this dodge. The keys locking the siding are held in the right hand case in the background (by the station).
  
  
91. The car train runs through Ospicio where the down goods waits in the loop.
  
  
92. Time is getting on and Fenditavalat's shunter has pulled the two wagons from the dairy that will travel on the down mixto. The operation is interrupted by the arrival of the car train in the background.
  
  
93. Disposal of the car train has required the shunter to go to Rivabordo and as things are getting tight the train engine is called upon to shunt the vans into the correct order. It is now waiting for a road to the depot (theoretically) sited down the hill from the town square.
  
  
94. The mixto leaves Ithilarak over the viaduct that crosses the upper Aepto Gorge. The vans for the dairy have been detached as there are worries about the train exceeding the length of Fenditavalat's loop. The train is also running late and, as has been noted before, it is on a tight timing for its turn around at Fenditavalat.
  
  
95. The Jakarutu railcar leaves the sheltered lower valleys as it climbs onto the moor. It is performing happily at this point but it stalled at the top of the hill when it left the rack. This was resolved by (finger poking it for a few inches) copious hand sanding until it got a grip on the rails, if not reality.
  
  
96. More excitement ensued when the guerite (brakeman's shelter) of the first wagon jammed solid against the tunnel roof and steadfastly refused to move. Close observation shows that the first wagon has magically been replaced with a van that passes through the tunnel. Once again it shows that with a large layout possessing a lot of handbuilt stock there is always some unexpected problem waiting to rear its head. There are not many guerite fitted wagons (way too few in fact) but it is difficult to believe that none have ever passed this way before.
  
  
97. There is another problem but this was anticipated. The train is too long for the loop and the engine cannot run round. A chain is provided to solve this problem but the layout can quickly descend into chaos if caution is not exercised with the loadings. As was noted in Narrow Lines, this part of the layout can be detached and taken to exhibitions to act as a shunting puzzle. It made an appearance at the 7mmNGA Bradford members' day many years ago complete with three scenarios of increasing complexity but few took up the challenge! These were offered to the editor of Narrow Lines but he felt that there was a limited interest in them. They could, I suppose, be resurrected on the website if there is sufficient interest.
  
  
98. Be that as it may the train is pulled forward by the chain. This is not uncommon at Jakarutu, the main problem with this train being that the chain has to be used twice to pull the train forward. The crew also have to make sure that the points are correctly set to avoid unwanted sideswipes. The backwater nature of the branch is apparent in the careworn brake (based on an Irish broad gauge prototype!)
  
  
99. The RFK-LAC local goods is quite short today and has now reached Boursson after being held at Glissent for an hour to let the passenger trains go by.
  
  
100. Having run round and pushed a wagon into the cannery the local waits for the Postal special to run through before continuing its shunting.
  
  
101. The school train is augmented by an additional coach for the Christmas rush as it backs down from Aspargo depot. This is another cheat because the train was assembled on the main and run into the shed before propelling out into the platforms. The AFK's oldest coach, dating from the 1970s brings up the rear. This was modelled complete with slatted seats and passengers but these are not obvious and dissuaded me from repeating the exercise elsewhere. The more laid back atmosphere of the original AFK is apparent in the people casually sitting on the steps in the doors and the drinker complete with wine bottle in the rear vestibule.
  
  
102 The two school/commuter trains wait for custom at Lacono Cittavecchia. The local brewery advertises its wares on the inside of the train shed roof. The skeleton roof is another project in abeyance.
  
  
103. The 2-4-0T takes water between moves whilst shunting at Eromarbordo. Traffic is light this afternoon and there is likely to be a long wait before the railcar returns and a path is available for the departing goods.

  
  
104. The school trains stand in the square at Fenditavalat. The CFS electric also provides a through service to Krelm with ongoing SG connections into Ruritania which is why it runs into the square. Although it would be more inconvenient it would be possible to catch the same train at the CFS station across town some time after it leaves the square. The AFK train usually leaves earlier but it will not be able to fit into the loop at Caladonno as it is too long today. The normal service is covered by a railcar but today being the Friday before Christmas the train has an extra Postal van and a carriage for the weekly boarders.
  
  
105. Train 9102 pulls out of Ithilarak heading north. This is an example of a "Von Ryan express" as they were apparently known  in Leeds control office in the 70s. The original was a loco and van allocated to the PW department which went where it wanted when it wanted with little knowledge of its whereabouts back in the office! An alternative nickname quoted in Model Railway Journal is a Martini ~ anytime, anywhere, any place! 9102 started as a trip to move wagons between Lacono and Urteno. It is now carrying the two wagons for the dairy at Fenditavalat as well as two grain wagons it had previously detached before its orders were changed.
  
  
106. The Postal extra runs into Relforka whilst the up railcar stands in the platform an hour or so before making its connection with the SG services. The fog has mainly cleared for the moment so it looks as though it will depart on time.
  
  
107. The school train, now running half an hour late, crosses the viaduct outside Caladonno. The frozen lake is visible in the foreground.
  
  
108. The banker returns to Urteno at just after 17.00 towing a van of empty beer barrels. These are bound for Karamspur via the train ferry but had been wrongly taken to Ithilarak by the special train. Misdirected wagons were a problem for the prototype, particularly in the days before block trains and computers. People were employed solely to chase after lost wagons and establish where they were. Another interesting point arising from this photo is that this is the first movement for 2/2½ hours at Urteno. Not much to see for the casual enthusiast!
  
  
109. The Eromarbordo goods has been given permission to run early. There isn't much revenue from this service today as it is simply carrying an empty flat wagon.
  
  
110. Lacono is busier as the pilot begins to make up the evening LAC-RFK goods. The SG tank wagon is conveying oil for Aspargo depot. It will receive weathering one day.
  
  
111. Loco 505 is ready to depart Boursson with the local goods. Once again it is a short train with only one van of pigs needing transport to Lacono slaughterhouse today.
  
  
112. The extra goods has reached Ospicio where it crossed the late running school train. It will be held to let the down mixto pass before proceeding on its way.
  
  
113. The down mixto is ready to depart. The milk for the confectionery factory (in the slide wall wagon) will be taken down to Lacono on the returning special because the train would otherwise be over the weight limit for the stiff climb to Ospicio. Control has deemed it more important to return the peasants' milk churns to the Kasatritikakmparoj rather than face the howls of protest and censure that would otherwise follow.
  
  
114. The Eromarbordo goods is seen through the trees at Breco de Glissent. The engine has run round, collecting a few wagons along the way, and is waiting for the LAC-FDV school train to pass. The difference in height between the loop and the siding is apparent which explains the unusual layout for a continental station, where loops were preferred for sidings. It looks as though another tree will have to be placed behind the engine to help delineate the boundary of the scene which is perceived as being between the tree on the left and that behind the van in the siding.
  
  
115. Whereas Urteno was deserted for most of the afternoon it is now, in the early evening, a hive of activity. The schools/commuter railcar is running round the extra coach and PO van to clear a road for the RFK-FDV freight.
  
  
116. As soon as the railcar clears the bridge the freight pulls in.
  
  
117. Once the railcar departs the down freight crosses its counterpart. This is light enough to manage the hill without a banker which isn't really surprising given the number of extras and trips which have run up the bank earlier in the day. All roads are now occupied.
  
  
118. The banker/pilot is standing on the bridge with the Post van and extra carriage and will shunt onto the middle road once the up freight leaves.
  
  
119. Complex shunting is taking place at Lacono too. The shunter has pulled the wagons from the goods shed onto the siding behind the down local goods to make room for the up local goods to run into the yard.
  
  
120. The RFK-FDV railcar leaves Relforka on time.
  
  
121. The down goods arrives at Boursson.
  
  
122. The down mixto enters Ithilarak. It will overtake the schools train at the left of the picture which has unloaded all the children for their Christmas holidays. The goods train is standing on the uphill side of the schools train with the loco just visible behind the milk van. This will leave as soon as the mixto clears the loop points.
  
  
123. The extra goods has arrived at Fenditavalat where the shunter has assembled a train of wagons (to the right) which includes the milk containers for the confectionery factory at Lacono. The day's last snow train service, loaded with lorries, waits in the main loop.
  
  
124. The FDV-RFK goods leaves Urteno.
  
  
125. The mixto runs through the lower Aepto gorge just above Varden.
  
  
126. With the mixto bearing down on Urteno the ferry arrives and needs shunting so the shunter and reach wagon are going to the ferry apron. Timings are tight here because currently there is no through road available for the mixto. Once the mixto leaves, the wagons on the right will be put onto the ferry before the pilot prepares to bank the notoriously late running railcar up the Vulpafaukangulo. The railway bus is exchanging mail bags with the railway's Post van which will shortly return to Fenditavalat.
  
  
127. On a misty dark evening the last railcar 'over the top' growls through the Kasatritikakamparoj towing the ambulance and the Post van. An additional carriage is just visible on the tail. The railcar has just reached the end of the completed scenery and the photo shows how vestigial the wheat field is in actuality! The rabbits are out in force.
  
  
128. The RFK-FDV goods makes a momentary stop at Cadsuine-Fanhuidol to set down any parcels and passengers travelling in the 'van'.  The low arch severely restricts road traffic into the hilltop village.
  
  
129. Back in the more urban reaches of the AFK the down mixto has been given the road by Lacono's signalman.
  
  
130. The interested observer (see photo 108) would have probably had his fill of action at Urteno by now, and gone home for tea. The pilot shunts wagons into the coal sidings as the overtaken and empty school train drops down to the entry signal (or where it will be eventually). The pilot will couple onto the Post van and give the railcar a push up the hill, when it arrives.
  
  
131. The well photographed extra has been turned around quickly at Fenditavalat, with the help of the pilot, and is now ready to run south with the milk containers and a couple of empty vans.
  
  
132. The Kasatritakamparoj local goods runs into Breco de Glissent. It has a light load and the Eromarbordo goods removed any Glissent wagons bound for Relforka so there won't be too much work for it today. The up goods is a relatively recent addition to the timetable and transfers empty SG wagons to industries that are likely to need them tomorrow.
  
  
133. The snow train pulls into Ithilarak. The lorries will soon be offloaded to lumber their way along the RN424.
  
  
134. The last Fenditavalat railcar of the day is banked up the Vulpafaukangulo by the 0-10-0T. I was tempted to edit the photo but have left it because it shows the relationship of the three levels with the Gyorsmorabu at the top and Glissent below. The tractor standing on the lake is perhaps anticipating it freezing which it will do shortly when it becomes a venue for winter sports.
  
  
135. Running as train 9702 the special is returning to base at Lacono. It has just pulled under the road bridge at Caladonno.
  
  
136. More snow has fallen on the Altingablecautoj and the snow ploughs come out to clear the line again. This one is heading down the hill from Ospicio having just crossed the bridge over the ice strewn Lagablanco. This has been modelled as an early Spring scene with the ice melting rather than freezing hard as imagined for this operating session.
  
  
137. The engine from the school train has been suborned to temporarily act as Urteno pilot. It has just worked a trip to Varden to position a wagon for loading with pit props. This requires the points to be placed onto local control, although the relevant equipment is not yet modelled. Having cleared the siding, as here, the crew calls Urteno so that the points can be locked normal before departing.
  
  
138. The LAC-RFK finds a surprising amount of work to do at Breco de Glissent (see photo 114) rather to the chagrin of its crew. This train, as has been noted before, is regarded as an easy ride by crews as most of its work is done by its up counterpart. Control has also noted that there are a number of empty opens at the glassworks (off scene) which need picking up and bringing in.
  
  
139. As a result the local is overtaken by the down mixto, as is meant to be in the timetable.
  
  
140. The plough  has reached Ithilarak and the line is clear once again.
  
  
141. The railcar is piloted up the hill, as per the regulations, which require this if snow has fallen. The loco previously worked the "snow train" carrying lorries to Ithilarak and will most likely return on the extra waiting to cross the railcar at Ospicio d'Helcaraxë.
  
  
142. Journey's end. The down mixto stands in the platform having arrived 12 minutes late. Although the timings are tight this is well within the acceptable boundaries for holding the connecting SG train. This is the last service of the day from Marronĝaco, giving access to the major cities of the country, which will not be reached until tomorrow morning. Seasoned travellers will have booked their couchette in advance. The model train will have travelled approximately 320 feet in making its round journey roughly equating to two and a half scale miles. Temperamental locos need not apply!
  
  
143. The cement train is transferred between the CFS and the AFK in Fenditavalat's square. The CFS railcar is soon due to be augmented by a loco. On one of the few occasions that the predecessor layout was exhibited, many years ago, adverse comments were received about the loco's out of scale appearance. It has since received a rebuild but even so it is probably still too small and doesn't see a lot of use nowadays. The AFK has had its money's worth, however, as the model is knocking 40 years old.
  
  
144. The banker returns down the hill towing a couple of vans. Karamspur is a little short so control directed that these spares be retrieved from Ithilarak. The forest drove is immediately north of Varden station. The crossbucks could do with muckying.
  
  
145. A somewhat bland shot but it does illustrate operating problems, The pilot has transferred to the back of the extra train but the railcar is held, waiting for the plough to clear the long section to Caladonno. It seems likely that the section will have to be  split with a newly devised plough signal.
  
  
146. The local goods has grown in size as it picks up empties at Breco de Glissent to ferry to Relforka.
  
  
147. The last up train of the day, the RFK-URT railcar, waits to depart Relforka. As is often the case its departure is delayed by late running connections on the SG. Departure will be 30 minutes late.
  
  
148. The extra's progress across the Altingablecautoj is temporarily checked at Cadsuiane-Fanhuidol where the crew have to operate the block instruments to clear the signal allowing them to continue their journey.
  
  
149. The evening Urteno-Eromarbordo railcar (train 1858) arrives in Boursson at 22.08, running 12 minutes late. This train really amounts to little more than a positioning move, getting the railcar back to its starting point for the next day's services. The up Relforka-Urteno railcar (train 1425) is running over 30 minutes late due to SG connections and the fog. A decision has been made to give the up train priority as there is usually a reasonable load of passengers coming into the province from the rest of the country. This illustrates some of the problems of running a single track line with heavy traffic.
  
  
150. The Altingablecautoj school train nears journey's end.  As has been observed, there is little traffic for this train once it leaves Ithilarak and it often gets sidelined. With the engine having been used as Urteno's shunter for some time, the train is now running over three hours late. Whilst this would doubtless enthral the railway enthusiast a travel time of  5 hours 31 minutes for a 30.1 kms distance gives a rough average of 5½ kms per hour or about 3 mph! Apart from the Post van tagged onto the rear there are no takers!
  
  
151. The school train picks up a spare coach left in the yard and heads for Aspargo depot.
  
  
152. Activities continue at Urteno where the down goods is ready to leave. The shunter retrieves the coal hopper, with the reach wagon, as this will be emptied into the ferry's bunkers once the last sailing has arrived at Karamspur.
  
  
153. The last train of the day, the cement train, drops down the Vuklpafaukangulo.
  
  
154. The railcar finally arrives at Urteno, half an hour late, and the connecting ferry will soon depart.
  
  
154. The down goods halts at Sojonno to work the instruments that will enable it to run across the fog shrouded Kasatritikakamparoj.
  
  
155. The final act is not the return of the pilot to Aspargo but instead the banker follows the pilot sometime around midnight. Things have finished quite early but business will doubtless restart in two hours time.
  
  
156. The trees, tractors and grain silos have been removed from the lower level and are stored at Ithilarak and....
  
  
157. ....the drop leaf is open once again.