Monday, June 23, 2014

Operating Session #4 - June 21, 2014

Operating Session #4 on Saturday June 22, 2014. Started at 0900 with victory being declared (and lunch served) at 1252....One of my visiting operators, Wayland Moore, took photos - a good thing since I didn't! Thanks Wayland!
Mat Thompson stepped in to take Bob Warren's normal place in the dispatcher's chair.
Randolph made its operating debut. Note the "spare" locomotives in the background.
All in all, session went well. A few trackwork gremlins hid until visiting operators were present, and one feeder wire connection came undone which rendered a section of the mainline dead for a time while the Section Foreman (me) tracked the problem, failed to find it, and ran an over-table temporary jumper to get the trains moving again.
I had fun and the guest operators enjoyed themselves (or so they claim). We will finish the operating "day" next week with a different crew - it will be interesting to see if they can recover from some of the issues "earlier in the morning" since the cascading effect of the mainline shutdown is most certainly showing itself in the on-time performance....
Post session I spent some time getting another of the 2-8-0s up and running - and reprogrammed the steamers on the layout so the brake squeal is turned way, way, down.
A few granuales of ballast found their way into the turnout going to the creamery, which caused some issues. I got those cleared out so hopefully that problem is fixed.
Roger is asking two guys who clearly don't know the answer "Which track is this?"
Answer: I forgot to tape the Randolph track diagram to the fascia....sorry.

Paul Dolkos and Steve Williams try to
decide what to do next.

Steve and his conductor on a northbound.

Paul gets ready to depart St Albans (north staging) while Molly makes
sure no one gets out of the aisle without petting her.

Lunch! the best part of any session. Thanks  to Christine for the delicious BBQ and potato salad!
Rain held off long enough for us to enjoy lunch on the deck.

Interesting angle shows the current state of the peninsula "blob."
Need to tweak some track issues in Essex this week prior to our next session on the 28th. I might end up replacing Essex with something much simpler since it's a little jammed in. But this town does add a great deal of operating interest.
 The Essex operator left several little notes on track issues in Essex Jct - I need to resolve those before next week's session. I might (and emphasize might) make some radical simplifications to the track in that section of the layout - one possibility is removing Essex Jct from that section of the railroad and replacing it with a much simpler town of Richmond, Vt. I just think there's a little too much jammed into Essex - something that's becoming more obvious as I try to fit buildings between the various sidings. I'd lose the Essex switcher position if I did that, but Essex Jct might return on the currently empty wall of the basement beyond the current north end staging yard. 
As an aside, if I do change out the Essex scene the remaining styrofoam subroadbed will be replaced with plywood on that side of the peninsula.
Another lesson learned was I need to be a little more specific in some of the train card instructions - I will try and beef those up a little before next Saturday.


Bernie said...

Glad the session went well. You are shaming me as I have yet to operate.

Tore Hjellset said...

Very nice to see so many familiar faces. Be sure to say "Hi" from Tore next time you see them :)

Trevor said...

I love the photo of Molly making sure nobody gets by without petting. My dog Mocean does exactly the same thing - he picks the narrowest spot in the main aisle and sleeps there. It's right about where the turntable is in Port Rowan but so far, nobody has stepped on him.
- Trevor
Port Rowan in 1:64