On Sheet – Running Trains

On Sheet – Running Trains

o, I’m a model railroader. I must run a lot of trains, right? Especially now that I’m retired.

Let’s see – on Monday through Thursday, I worked on the Journal Box newsletter for the NMRA (specifically, the Sunshine Region, where I am a member). This is a quarterly publication which I do gratis. Mostly, it’s just a lot of editing work.

Monday night was also maintenance night at the club. We installed the new chip in Tuscarora and identified a mistake in the interlocking code. Also, I worked on an MOW siding, changed light bulbs and bagged up the trash.

Wednesday, as posted, we had our huge operations session. As dispatcher, I’m the only guy who didn’t run a train. Mostly I reset a fast clock, wrote a mess of orders and answered questions for the NTSB about that collision between 202 and Silver Bullet 2.

Thursday I finished up the Journal Box (and got a lot of bunch of little changes from the NMRA to make). I also finally got to fix the code that should make the Tuscarora interlocking plant work better (you won’t be able to unlock a turnout once a signal is thrown across it). I also needed to write something clever for “On Sheet” (which you are now reading).

Saturday, if my plans work out, I’m going out for some quiet time at the club. I’ve got some very slow ballast work on Kato track on the Tuscarora to do. Once that’s all solid, I can start finishing off some more scenery.

You might see the pattern here. With all this activity (and thank goodness I’m retired), I haven’t run a single train. Didn’t turn a wheel. Didn’t touch a throttle. It’s the nature of things – I do what I can to keep the club and the hobby running forward.

And also, model railroading brings me great joy. Even discounting the ironicicies above, it isn’t all about running trains. It’s about meeting the boys for dinner before club on Wednesday, and posting up my own interesting article in the Journal Box, and chatting with a younger member about a way to untangle the ore-dock snarl we’re suffering.

Often it isn’t just about toy trains that wizz around a loop of track. It’s about all the things that go with it.


Evil me (with the goatee) dispatching at the club in 2019.