t’s been said that this blog writes itself. So there I am in the dark outside our trainshow venue, the gate and building all locked up, a line of members (and our trailer) idling in a line while the fairgrounds tries to get the guy with the key to come back and let us in.
And then we find out that another bunch of garden-potter railroaders have set up without regard to the tapelines, giving us no aisle space.
I was ready to go home.
But he had a good crew (thanks, guys, for that!). We talked it over with the (dis)organizer and agreed to set up in the back room where a trolley group had cancelled out of. So once the ramp was down and the carts rolled out, we built the layout in easy-time and were ready for the door opening.
And we ran. We had a lot of members so we had a lot of trains, and everyone was running joyously, uninhibitedly long. Trains of forty, fifty, sixty cars. Unlike some shows where we have maybe two/three trains out, we were packed – nothing but red and yellow block signals around the line. And people were still having fun. And, as always, we were popular. While the other layouts might have a couple of people looking on, we had ten or twenty people ringing the outer layout. So we put on a show!
Little problems, of course. A turnout motor fell off the layout but it was just for a trailing-point siding, about the best thing we could lose. And the booster was slot-maxing on us but Steve seemed to have figured it out (a dead battery, which he replaced).
So yes, the Orlando N-Trak was epic as always. And the takedown was fun – just everyone grabbing a position on the fly and moving modules (one at a time) to the racks. We were done in short order.
But thanks to the membership – we had all hands on deck for this long show.