OpsLog – C&A – 2/27/2024

OpsLog – C&A – 2/27/2024

rouped all my errands down the east coast of Florida into a big pile so I could work them all in one day. And one of these was a visit to Mark Svendsen’s Chicago & Alton Railroad.

This one was a tidy little HO layout in a small room over a garage, perfect for two-man operations (well, with John Ligda and myself there, it was three-men, ourselves and host John pulling his hair out at our operational inefficiencies (yeah, I like using those bells and whistles). In truth, this line shows that you can squeeze all sorts of layout operations into a small space if you aren’t worried about (a) small groups (b) punching through walls and (c) having excellent carpentry skills.

The A&S wraps around the room (and into various bathrooms and closets) with a lot of industrial switching on the wall-side, and a huge steel mill (painful to look at, what with all the detail) down a central peninsula. The interesting thing is that the mill is serviced by a car float (mounted on a swing-out, swing-down bridge with a ferry on it). It was done very slick and we never had any problems with it (and yes, you need to counterweight load it).

So John and I worked various jobs in tandem – for a while we were both down in the steel mill, then working the main, the back to the mill. Very interesting jobs which, like snowflakes, were unique. The trains ran well, most had good sound systems, and I didn’t have any problems in my various boomer jobs.

Anyway, it was a great time and the two of us really enjoyed free-loading on the A&S. If anyone wants to run it, let me know and we can carpool down. It’s really a two-man road but we could work things out.

All photos credited to Mark Svendsen, and used with MY permission from the Journal Box, Summer ’23 issue. Check it out for more photos and information!