he good thing about microlayouts (if you consider a 3×8 a “micro”) is that a session can be set up and hosted in quick order. So that’s what my friend Chris did – he asked me if on Thursday if we wanted to run on Friday and I said (of course) yes (is there any other answer?).
And run we did.
I might have mentioned this before, but Chris has a great small layout. Essentially there are four trains each day between Jacksonville and Miami. Each train takes six laps to complete a run. Each lap represents a different Florida town. Each lap takes an hour. So there is your twenty-four hour day for you. Also, one of the laps is Taft Yard (where all his switching is done). The local switcher has to swap out a cut of three to four cars from the pausing mainliner. Very busy. So what we do is to divide the jobs into AM and PM so everyone gets a chance to switch. It’s neat and simple and elegant.
There are also random event cards, and each train gets one. Of course, the weirdest random event I’ve ever seen in an ops session was pulled from the deck today. The card reads:
DAUGHTER PUKING HER GUTS UP IN DAY CARE. WIFE SAYS TO GO GET HER AND BRING HER HOME, STAT.
No, really, this happened today.
So besides a time out for fetching the “Vomit Grommet”, and a nice mid-run pause to drink cappuccinos in the kitchen, we did a lot of switching. There were chemical spills, emergency drops, coal runs and a cranky old scrapyard guy who closed his spur (our de-facto run-around track) for three hours. We were really busy working around the disasters and getting cars spotted and picked up. Very busy. No, it isn’t a basement-packer layout, but it was fun and busy.What more can you ask?
Anyway, that was a real fun day. And let me add that no feelings where hurt in the writing of this blog.
Unless that snarky comment in the line above hurt feelings.
I’m doing my best to be nice!
Chris, thanks for having me out.
All photos and cappuccinos care of Chris S