On Sheet – Guest Owner

On Sheet – Guest Owner

‘ve written about my diminutive Tuscarora Branch Lines often. It’s the focus of my life right now, getting it right and adding more scenery. I love doing ops, and our sessions are getting bigger and bigger (last time we had six attendees). But now I’m giving the railroad away.

What, the physical layout? No. But I had my friend Kyle bring his English equipment late last year. While we ran the usual schedule, we called it “Tusk Hill”. It had a really European flair. And, of course, switching was a lot easier with those dinky cars. I talked about it HERE.

Peep-peep, goes Thomas. The day opens in a quiet English rail town thousands of miles from Pennsylvania (Photo: Kyle S)

Anyway, Kyle wanted to do it again, but not with my timetable. He wanted English operations, not in flavor but in actuality. For example, did you know that some cars have actual brakes and others don’t? This means you have to order the cars specifically so provide maximum braking. And there is that station he wants reopened (it’s just a boarded up Pennsy station now) – we’ll be running up-trains and down-trains through the switching moves. But really, it’s his show.

And suddenly I’m just an advisor.

We stood over the layout at the club last night, talking about his ideas. New timetable, new operations, new function for the branch line. I will have a new annunciator bell installed by then: instead of assuming there are ten miles of trackage to either side of the interlocking plant (and forcing us to use TT&TO), the other interlocking plants are adjacent to this one. As soon as the bell rings, the train is there (no ten minute delay).

It’s weird to stand there and give away control of your railroad, carte blanche, to someone else. Oh, I have to clean it and get it prepped and ready, but he’ll be in to add the rolling stock and engines, to set out new timetables and get ready to run things. He will also be the dispatcher (as noted, we use a flip clock so time can be halted – we might need an occasional explanation of what we’ll be doing in the coming hour). But yes, mostly I’m standing there with my hands in my pockets, just watching him design his own unique run on my railroad.

I think I’ll end up as the lowly coal mine loadmaster, working the tally sheet. I’ll assist the actual coal engineer to understand the sheet and train him up.

So yes, June 24th is going to be a very interesting day on my railroad.

I wonder if I can get him to write the blog for me too. You think?