Sunday, June 29, 2014

Operating Session #5 - June 28, 2014

Hosted another op session yesterday. 
I'd have to rate it as the most successful session to date. 
I spent several short work sessions over the last week correcting the few track work issues that revealed themselves during the previous session. 
One lesson I learned from last week is to have a "ready toolbox" of frequently needed track and wiring tools available. Putting such a tool kit together seems to work - I didn't have any layout issues at all! Perhaps being prepared scares away the gremlins? Or at least keeps them at bay? 
Things ran so well I actually ran a couple of trains during the session. 
I tried to shoot some video but failed miserably - I need to work on figuring out the video functions on my camera. 
So here are a few "grab shot" still photos:
RS-3 on the empty sand and gravel train north of Randolph:

My contribution to the next generation of model railroaders - two of my three sons are into model railroading to one degree or another. The oldest likes building models - the youngest could care less about building models but loves operating, and has since he was a kid. Here's the youngest, Matt working the northbound local in Randolph with Phil. As an aside - I need to add cup holders to the fascia to give people a place to put the soda cans. 

Several of the guys on today's crew belong to the Vienna Model Railroad Club in nearby Vienna. Turns out one of them, Dave Mitchell, is also a Central Vermont fan and modeler! Was nice to have someone immediately recognize the various stations and scenes. His train, the southbound local, is meeting the northbound in Waterbury. He's temporarily changing roles to that of Waterbury station operator and calling the dispatcher to OS his trains northbound counterpart.

White River Junction yard is always a busy place - it got a little backed up at one point in the session until I gently reminded the yardmaster he might want to call the B&M to come take some cars off his hands...Getting the scenery done in this area is high on the list. It also needs additional lighting. The coaling tower is based on a standard Roberts & Schaefer design and is detailed to match the one in White River. If you want one it's  available as a kit from my good friend Bernie Kempinski's Alkem Scale Models. 
As I said I managed to run a couple of trains. I also had the chance to "rail fan" the layout a bit during the session. Those are both firsts for me. This is train 307, the Boston/New York to Montreal "Ambassador" heading through Everett, Vt. 
And yes, the day ended with Christine's now famous (at least among our NORVA operating group) BBQ sandwich lunch. On another forum someone commented that op sessions are too serious and take all the fun out of the hobby. Of course that same person went on to say he didn't operate and didn't care to try it. As you can tell, no one here was having any fun. 


  1. Nice report - including the lunch report. A layout crew, like an army, moves on its stomach - and it injects a nice sense of the social nature of operating session into the report. (I need to get more pictures of our post-session lunches and dinners to share on my own blog.) It looks like a great time was had by all - and I look forward to future ops session reports!
    - Trevor
    Port Rowan in 1:64

  2. Marty,

    Sure looks like no one is having fun, especially in that last photo. I've been fortunate to fall in with a group of people who operate frequently, are serious about moving trains, and are all great people. Sharing experiences, learning new tricks, and having a load of laughs together- all of this has shown me what operations can be, And it's opened up a whole new world of enjoyment in model railroading,

    It's great to see the progress you've made in getting the layout operational. The scenery is really coming along nicely, too. Thanks for the update.

    Tom Patterson