So, after the first date I picked was snowed out, we were able to finally get together on Saturday, March 9. The layout hadn't operated in a while - and there were more than the average number of giltches as a result - but overall, it seemed like everyone had a good time. At least if you judge by the photos . . .
|Jim Lincoln & Bill Start in Saybrook, operating PDX-2 and waiting for the main to open up so they can continue west to Cedar Hill Yard. James Mayo is working New London & Points East/North for the first time, and doing a great job.|
|Pete Luchini operating the tower, having made short work of PDX-1. PDX-2 is sitting on the liftout between Saybrook and Essex.|
|Kaylee Zheng operating Cedar Hill Yard and Points West/South - and apparently having a rough time of it. Maybe cuz it was her first time on this job as well . . .|
|Joe Cummings (a first time operator) and Schuyler Larrabee working the Valley Local in Middletown.|
punch list of projects to do before the next session (one of the most valuable products of a session for me) and it also provided another record of the attendees in the crew register (probably the most important keepsake of these sessions). And it's always interesting - and sometimes a little frustrating (but in a good way) - the new things that folks come up with for me to fix/address.
This time, for example, one of the operators suggested I move the track diagram from the fascia to somewhere above the town. Apparently, as he was operating - and having to lean over much of the town to get to some of the spotting locations - he forgot all about the diagram that was at his waist. Out of sight, out of mind - but an easy correction and one more thing that will make the layout even better next time.
Also, despite being thrown into the deep ends of the
Jim's operated here before, but Bill hasn't. Despite that, PDX-2 not only ran without any hitch (not that I recall, anyway), but they even had time to get started on another local freight before the session had to end.
Neither Joe nor Schuyler had ever operated the Valley Line before either - and I think this was Joe's first time operating at ANY layout - but they piloted the eponymous Valley Local from Hartford down to East Haddam and back with few problems. Turned out their power (Mogul #343) was a little troublesome and got swapped out early on. After that, I think everything went fine.
None of the locals were operated perfectly - some cars didn't end up where they were supposed to - but I attribute that to the fact that so many of the operators weren't qualified on the line and had no experienced pilots - and to the fact that my paperwork may not be all that familiar even to experienced operators.
But all in all, I think we accomplished the main goal - to have fun spending a day doing some railroading in the Connecticut River Valley during the Autumn of 1948.