he second day of my all-ops weekend played out even better than I could have hoped for. The drive was easy, traffic light. We met a couple of club members at Wendy’s before the session, to chat about the coming effort (one of the members for a newbie, so that helped him (or filled him with horrifying regrets)). And then we went over, met the rest of the bunch and filed out to the two sheds to get things rolling.
Kyle was on the panel and I had light road duties, meaning with one train, I stripped out every car I could at Cocoa, and my other train stuffed it full of cars. The sun worked correctly this time, but the radios were a bit squeally. But hey, I got to run. I don’t get enough train running these days.
My first train out of the yard managed to set off the detector, and so I stuffed that flat car with the dragging equipment (looked like a tractor – were we really dragging that? There must not be a telephone pole or signal mast from Palm Bay to Melbourne) into a siding. Screwed up my work in Cocoa – dropped the paperwork for an MT reefer but carried the car back to the yard. Somewhere on some freight dock, a farmer is watching his oranges wilt while a reefer drips and dribbles in Bowden Yard. That one was on me. On the next train, I had another effing flat car (an SP one, at that) hold onto the train all the way up a long helix and drop off while rolling level in Titusville (wha?). Got all the way to the power plant before I realized I was missing a caboose. The superintendent made me go back and fetch it. Pointless realism. Honestly!
Still, Dispatcher Kyle did route an inbound coal train the wrong way in the yard (we were all watching, seeing if he’d goof it) (the hobby really tells you who your friends are, right?). But overall he did a good job with painfully-loud phones. I’ve run with worse dispatchers on this line.
Overall, we had a great time. And, in a nice holiday act, the Farnhams picked up the tab for dinner. It was a wonderful gesture, the cherry on the cake of a great day on a great layout. The crews ran cool, the action was hot, the room was dark and the operations fun. It can’t get better than that!
Happy New Year, FECers, and we’ll meet again in January!