e all can’t have good days.
Well, I had a great day. First, I tugged out a cut of rock cars out of City Point. Ran them down to Frontenac, ran around the train then cruised the layout on greens, a neat run.
Also got to brief a first-timer in the Eau Gallie shuffle, explaining the trick of it. And he did just fine. Smiles all around.
But then I was on the Buenaventura Turn, a clean run down without any interruptions. Since I’ve done this job before I had no problem sorting out the cuts and putting everything where it went. When I was done, the dispatcher gave me immediate run-around privileges on the main and then a green board to Cocoa. Had to rearrange things in the yard to make it fit but it was no wizz.
And then I ran a fast freight through. Interestingly, I had to pick up some of the hopper cars my Buenaventura Turn had spotted out. As I eased down the setout track to couple them on (ringing the bell as I snaked between the sheds to either side) I thought that if I’d run a little faster, I might have actually had the paradox of seeing myself switching. After all, I’d had no delays – Ken was running the layout very hot.
My fourth run of the day was a job out of Cocoa for City point. Getting ready for that was something to see – we laughingly called it the Cocoa Ballet. We had a long freight holding the main and two locals trying to build for departure. And we managed it, with everyone saying, “If you’d do this…”. Working together, we the first local out and the freight standing by, with me holding off the main, ready to draft him on yellows to City Point, but then the session ended.
I’m not sure what happened in the place we road crews call “the other shed” (hey, we had plenty of lightning going on, real and simulated, to make this as dramatic as possible). All we know was that Ken called the session. There were rumors of issues, and perhaps a head on collision in the yard, but whenever someone started to explain, the others involved would flash that shut up look. And so we’re not sure why we stopped, just that we did.
I can understand Ken’s obvious disapointment fully. I knew I didn’t just want to stop on that one club session where half the layout went down – I wanted to blow my brains out. Hosting is extremely difficult and Ken’s layout is huge and fully involving, meaning there is a lot of effort that goes into hosting (and dispatching) the line. I know that when I dispatch, driving home is a hard haul, tired as I usually am. So sadly, it was a DNF, but it was sure a lot of Damn Nonstop Fun while it lasted.
Count me in for next session, Ken!