Guest OpsLog – Deland – 4/6/2024

Guest OpsLog – Deland – 4/6/2024

Editor/Blogger’s note: Thanks to John DeVasto for recording all that took place at the Deland Train Show while I was swanning around the Netherlands. I have to admit to having lunch at some very nice place and realizing that the crew was currently, six time zones away, assembling the layout. I felt pity. Not guilt, no, but  pity. Thanks for the effort, guys, and thanks again to John for the blog!

’m writing to you all in the absence of our chief executive Scribe. For reasons unknown to us he is venturing throughout distant worlds exploring their dimly red lit districts.

Someone had to carry on this duty, it may as well be me.

One of our strictest rules is to practice at the club what you intend to run at the show. You’ve seen me do this at the previous ops session and other times over the last few Wednesday evenings with zero issues whatsoever. I was ill prepared for the calamity of running thirty-two triple crown trailers on the traveling layout. I couldn’t make one complete loop without several derailments. Because these trailers connect into each other, when one falls it’s like a domino effect. Yet nothing like this happened during my practice runs. I made two laps around the layout and parked the very thing I had hoped to run for the majority of the day.

A battered and weary crew leads the Triple crown north. They wonder if they will survive this trip. (Photo: John DV)

So I went to plan B. The Autoracks, the rolling art gallery. I’m barely out of the yard and one of the racks are having problems, ‘that’s just how this day is going to go’ I thought to myself correcting the issue only to have it continue to be an issue until I discovered that one wheelset was missing from one of the racks…This happened to me at the clubhouse either last Wednesday or Sunday, one of the Concor racks had yeeted a wheelset but continued to run without any problem. But on the travel layout it’s nothing but problems, engines that should be matched are separating and etc.

So the irony in both of these cases is that despite exhaustive practices stuff can still go wrong at the show. A case could also be made that we’re practicing on the permanent layout for different running conditions on the traveling layout but that’s probably just my frustration talking.

Had I simply fixed the wheel I could’ve continued on and probably would’ve done better but I was already frustrated with both options I had brought with me fail, so I parked that, put it away and explored other options.

I realize that this blog is mostly about my woes at the show and I wasn’t done having problems with stuff this day. I did notice a few things that were moving around the layout such as Kaden’s loaded Military train and Junior Member Jayden also running his own military setup. I’m guessing there was a war going on with all the rockets and tanks on the move. Jeff Chisholm was running his CSX coal with three SD40-2’s which is something which actually happened in real life railroading. The Palatka, FL plant received a similarly powered train earlier this year (I’m pointing this out as such a thing is extremely rare in 2024). Kyle also ran his foreign passenger train pulling cargo wagons as well, you never will know what you’ll see when we go all out at the shows.

There were also a few kids running the layout, thanks to the members who showed them the ropes.

For my part it took some reassurance from Jeff Chisholm to get me back onto the layout “even a bad day at the show is still better than a good day at work”. He was right.

A local heads north, passing an FEC coal train bound for points south. (Photo: John DV)

Final notes, thoughts: John Womack did an excellent job as the superintendent for the show and It appears as though nothing was damaged.

I did the best I could with this and now I bequeath the title of Scribe back to its usual holder.

>>>Buy one of Robert’s books to help fund his next adventure!<<<