Ops Live 5 - Op session on Mike Confalone's Allagash

29 Dec 2014

Average: 4.8 (16 votes)
01:52:05 - Visit the Allagash op session modeling Apr 12, 1980 (2013)

From the MRH Store DVD archives - in 720p HD video!

Watch nearly two hours of video as the train crews of the HO Allagash Railway operate their trains using DCC locos with sound and track warrants on the modeled date of April 12, 1980.

See actual prototype-based operating procedures and watch the train crews solve the actual operating session issues as they occur on live unrehearsed video!

•01 Session introduction (4:23)
•02 CPIP meets BM2 (13:47)
•03 BM2 stalls on hill (13:25)
•04 BM2 on to Madrid (17:50)
•05 MK1, V1, and P1 (14:16)
•06 Extra 700 North stalls (9:43)
•07 AD1, the Lumberjack (4:47)
•08 Extra 700 N and AD1 meet (17:09)
•09 Train M2 works Weld (16:33)

This HIGH DEFINITION version of our STD-DEF DVD content is available free to TMTV members (HD version costs extra to purchase and is only available as a download).

The attachments below include a track plan and panoramas of the layout room from 5 different locations. Zoom in on the panoramas and then scroll around to view them.


More explaination as to what's happening please!  I have never operated a layout before and find this hard to follow.

Also a map of the layout would be nice, and introduce the players.  And lets see the dispatcher and have him show us what he does and how he does it.

You asked for a track plan, so we attached one for you, along with 5 panoramas of the layout room. 

For details on the operating paperwork, prep, and info on trains run, there's nothing like the Allagash Story eBook series. We'll put together a special discount price on this series just for TMTV members - watch for it soon.


I enjoyed the OP session and Mike's layout.  The scenery ( late winter ) is beautiful and unusual.  I loved the camera angles used in the last segment.  The above shots are a great way to capture the switching action and were close enough to show all the detail on the locomotives.  Keep up the good work and bring us an update on this outstanding railroad as Mike completes additional scenery.


Thanks Joe, Mike and chaps

Absolutely loved it !!!  My wife and I just spent the last couple of hours watching and scanning back and forth to take it all in.

What a way to bring in the new year..........I hope you will keep it available to us online as a reference.

After twenty years packed away in storage and the last two converting my locomotive power to DCC and painting, we are just preping the basement room in the new house and starting the retirement layout......It will be like Christmas again unpacking and seeing all the early kits, rolling stock, etc. 

This, today has been an inspiration indeed .............keep up the great work

Sure glad we extended our subscription for the three years ........

Trust the new year will bring encouragement and Blessings to all,  Mike


Hey guys great videos!!!!!!

wiseconnect's picture

rally enjoy watching those great ops sesions keep them coming giving some great ideas

Yes, glad you like the Ops Live ... And Yes, we'll keep it on here forever. 

One important goal with TMTV is to keep building the video library by adding to it every week or so ... More often even as we grow and can afford to hire more help.

With the addition of eBooks to this mix in 2015, our intention is to build TMTV into an info hub for model railroading that's second to none - loaded with top quality content always at your fingertips. The only reason we will ever remove content on here would be if it becomes totally obsolete, like some little DCC piece on a product that's no longer available - and if that happens we'll probably REPLACE it with something more up-to-date rather than just pull it down completely.

Once posted, it STAYS on here - forever, forming a growing library you can always count on.

Tbgarland's picture

I really loved seeing this video and I hope there is a plan to revisit the layout in the future. Mike is what I would call a Railroad Modeler instead of a Model Railroader with the difference being his passion for realism in detail and operations. As someone who has been in the hobby for more than 30 years and also a professional railroader for 20 I really appreciate talented modelers like Mike. The guys who took part in the session seemed like they were having fun but also striving for realism. No one was goofing off and everyone was trying to simulate the actual experience of operating a real railroad in miniature. And you were pretty close. A couple of suggestions to improve your realism even further: Professional Railroaders do not say 10-4. That is a trucker thing. We normally just say, copy that, alright or Roger. Regarding Track Warrants or Track Authorities. When given a Proceed To you do not have permission to make a reverse move. In order to move in an opposite direction either the previous authority needs to be voided and a new warrant given or a Work Between can be issued which allows for movement in both directions. Work Between Authorities can also be given when two or more trains occupy the same block, but all moves must be made at restricted speed. Also be sure to only void the previous authority while issuing a new warrant or when the train is completely clear of the mainline, either in a siding or yard.  All in all I really enjoyed watching this program and look forward to more from the Allagash!

Fabulous layout and videos.  Having had the good fortune to operate on the Atlantic Great Eastern, these two layouts are so tied together in their overall themes regarding making the railroad look as if the "world" was truly there first, and not the other way around.  Avoiding the spaghetti bowl syndrome and allowing the railroad to fit the scenery has been accomplished superbly.  Well done Mr. Confalone!

JDY in Indiana

JDY in Indiana

Thanks for the compliment. Happy to hear you operated on Jack's. He and I are friends. He operated here once. Some Allagash power runs on the AGE, and for a time we had a couple AGE units here. An era shift on my part has put a monkey wrench into things, but we still interchange on paper.

Jack's railroad was one of several that influenced me.

Mike Confalone

Great feedback. Who the heck said 10-4?! I'll have to find out and have a word. yeah we know that.

We've had a professional dispatcher (Dave Santos) for a while now. He's a veteran of the B&M and MBTA and does a far better job that I could ever hope to.

Mike Confalone

Enjoyed your op sessions.Could you mention what brand of two-way radios you are using?

Bob Burke

Love the allagash, I watched op session 5 looking forward to op session 6...scenery is incredible top notch stuff...great how to videos Mike, please keep them coming..my goal down the road is early winter scenery, just after the leaves have fallen, with early flurries here and there..Mike your layout has been very inspiring please keep it coming when you can...

coyoteww's picture

For some reason the Play All Chapters option is not working. Also, I have to use the alternate player to watch the individual videos.

Issues ?


Michael, when reporting problems, we really need to know what kind of device you're using, otherwise we don't know where to start. It also helps to tell us what vintage (win XP vs Win 7, iPad 1 with iOS 5.1, Mac OS 10.6, etc) and what browser (Chrome, Firefox, Safari, etc) because those all can affect things. Often, just trying a different browser can make a huge difference.

Give us those extra details and we'll see if we can get you going.

Absolutely love this layout.  I'm excited to see what's coming up next.