Way back in June I read a post on Eric Hansmann’s excellent blog regarding blue flags. Here is a link to that post (HansmannBlueFlags). This inspired me to make up some and incorporate them into Fillmore operations. The obvious places for blue flags are at the REA platforms, the passenger car service building, and at the roundhouse dock beside Garden Track 1 – anywhere where men would be working in, under, or around spotted cars.
I made two sets of flags. One set is more robust and is used like gaming pieces during operating sessions while the other is finer for photography. The operating session type was made from black .060″ styrene sheet and .020″ wire. The locating feet are made from the same styrene material and are cemented slightly more than the outside gauge of track. I spray painted them Tamiya Flat Black (I chose black styrene so that if the paint wears away from use it would not be apparent).
The flags are made from label maker ribbon: I cut a strip from my machine, scuffed it with 600 grit paper, measured and marked it to size. This size is double the flag size so that I could wrap it around the end of the wire to self-stick once the backing paper was removed. Then I took a blue sharpie and coloured it.
The finer set is made the same way but without the stand and with .012″ wire.
Above is PRR 9020 B60b Baggage Express car spotted at the REA platform. Using blue flags adds another layer to operations and further helps us to better understand how it was.