Thursday, August 29, 2019

Throwback Thursday: August Ops Session

Operating with Greg, Dale, and Kaylee at sadly-blogless James Mayo's Shreveport & Central Mississippi
I've been so involved with scenery and operating at other layouts lately that I totally forgot to put up a post about the latest Valley Line ops session earlier this month!

Since the layout hadn't operated since my "out-of-state" ops session last March, and regular/formal monthly sessions start next month, I decided it was time to invite my core crew over for a shake down session. Fortunately, the railroad operated well, with only a few glitches (related almost exclusively to too-long cars going around too-tight curves at too-fast speed %^) and a relatively short Punch List of stuff to address. Which is great, cuz that way I can Get More Scenery Done!

But as wonderful as it is to have nice scenes for the trains to run through, the main point of having operating sessions is to be able to get together with your friends as they breathe life into the world you've created. Unfortunately, all too often I'm so immersed in what all's going on that I totally forget to take pictures. Fortunately, this wasn't one of those times - I at least got shots of the participants.

Randy & his buddy, first-timer John, operating PDX-2 westbound from Fort Yard, New London and heading up the Valley Line here at Saybrook Jct.

But first, they have to pick up a hopper of coal from Track 7 for the power plant at Dickinson's Witch Hazel plant in Essex, up the branch. In the meantime, PDX-1 - eastbound from Cedar Hill Yard, New Haven - has just arrived on Track 6 behind the station.

Bill holds down the Agent/Dispatcher's desk for the day.

New Nutmeg Division, NMRA Superintendent (and AML regular) Kaylee was assigned to West End (Cedar Hill/New Haven/NYC) staging duties. Clearly, there was a lull in the action :^)

And holding down the East End staging duties (Fort Yard/New London/Boston), waaaaay back in the back is James Mayo.

Since we had just the core crew, the work on HDX-7 (The Valley Local) fell to just one man. Here's Pieter working the southbound train at Wethersfield (to orient you, East Berlin is way back in the corner).

Meanwhile, back in Saybrook, yours truly held down the PDX-1 job, switching cars on tracks 6, 8, and 10.

It's rare enough that the layout host gets to actually operate a train during an ops session, but this time I got to operate two! I've just brought the Airline Local into Middletown from Cedar Hill Yard. Meanwhile, the Valley Local waits at the diamond.

The prototype Airline local would typically leave a cut of cars for the Valley Local at Middletown and continue across the river to Portland, CT and points east, leaving all Middletown switching for the Valley Local. But since on my layout the Airline ends at Middletown, the two crews split the switching.

One of the downsides of having too-few staging tracks on the west end is that PDX-2 often has to hold for a while in Saybrook while waiting for a track to open up in Cedar Hill. But that gives its crew (in this case, Randy) a chance to just watch the parade of trains on the Shoreline
Thanks Randy, Bill, Pieter, Kaylee, James, and John for putting the layout through its paces and helping me get it ready for the 2019/2020 operating season. Already looking forward to the next session!

No comments:

Post a Comment