This'ere blog has had some fits and spurts lately fer sure...
2022 started out fine enough, with a lot of posts going into the first half of January (see here).
Then it diminished to a LONG update post at the end of January (see here). Thankfully, it was a long post because I'd actually done a lot of modeling and work on the layout but hadn't posted about it. Well, I'd done regular little posts on the Valley Local Facebook Group - but many of you here are not there.
Since the end of January, legislative session started and work got busy. Thankfully though, I've still been able to do some modeling and such - and I had an an ops session!
I've only hosted 3 sessions since the big Pre-Springfield AML session of January 23, 2020 BC (before COVID) - July, September, and October, 2021. While I posted reports for the first two (click on the links), sadly, I forgot to take pics during the October session. That's especially disappointing since that session featured two newbies to the Valley Local - Mark Herrick and Alex Wood! Kaylee Zheng, Chris Zygmunt, Jim Fellows, Jim Lincoln, and regulars Tom Derwin, Bill Schneider, and Bob Murphy attended as well. I'm REALLY hoping one of them may have taken photos (and will let me know!)
So yeah - I've been a bit spotty with posting, but hope to slowly work my way out of that rut . . . starting with a quick report of the most-recent ops session, and the first one since last October!
The February session was another shake-down of sorts, since shorting issues have continued to bedevil me over the past few months. But thankfully, I seem to have FINALLY solved the problem. If you're interested, I'll go into more detail in a future post, but suffice it to say I needed to 1) upgrade my PSX circuit breakers, and 2) increase their trip delay by 30ms vs. the PSX reversers.
Confident I'd finally fixed things, I had some of my regulars over to put the layout through its paces. Randy, Tom, Bill, Pieter, Kaylee, Bob, and Chris ran all four local freights as well as the Shore Line trains. And I'm pleased to be able to report that everything ran really well! Well, the Shore Line trains continue to be a little finicky over the West End Loop (blame full-length passenger equipment on a 24" radius turnback curve), and a few decoder programming issues manifested themselves, but all in all, I consider it a success!
Heh - I think I may actually dare to run a full-steam session next time...
|Randy working The Valley Local (HDX-7) in Middletown Yard.
|Tower operator Bill supervising Pieter running The Shore Line local (PDX-1) while Tom (New Haven staging/Shore Line trains) looks on.
|Kaylee switching the Airline Local in the freelanced town of Somerset. Note she's using the ProtoThrottle to operate DERS-2 #0510.
|Chris operating The Haddam Local(aka westbound Shore Line local, aka PDX-2) in East Haddam.
|Tom and Bill - right before I had the temerity to mention how well the layout was running... and just at that moment, the layout shut down with a short. I kid you not. Thankfully, it was operator error and not a revisit by the gremlins...
|Kaylee and Randy with their locals meeting in Middletown, just like the prototype.
Especially during the COVID months of isolation - and occasionally since then - I've wondered if I've taken on too much with this layout, and if I'd be better off with something smaller, more manageable, and more quickly finished. But it's sessions like these that remind me why I expanded the layout to take up most of my basement. Being able to have friends over and have so much fun doing something we all love and have in common makes it all more than worth it.