Can it be a crazier session? I’m trying to run the panel. Out in the main room, two of my crews are bellowing at each other like a pair of velociraptors in heat (about the Battle of Midway, I think). Of of the locals is solving his switching puzzle the way a computer would do it (trying every possible combination) while the other has been abandoned by its velociraptor engineer. We lost a switch machine early (wait, no we didn’t, wait, yes we did). And sometime during all this nuttiness, I’m supposed to be dispatching.
Got the local chip train (run by the other velociraptor) up in Harris Glen on the station track. Two freights were also grinding up the hill towards Harris in opposition – I knew you can’t pass them there (the sidings too short) so I’ve ducked one in at Red Rock. This only leaves the two scheduled Silver Bullets to make their meet at Harris as well. So the plan – Eastbound SB2 takes the siding, letting the freight and its following SB1 go by on the main. Nice and smooth.
Yeah, as smooth as a gulp of powdered glass.
Turns out that SB2 was stupefying long, way too long, a fact not mentioned by the engineer. This is only brought up when the overlong freight pulls in opposite, deadlocking the layout. I tried to call the crew to tell them how to solve it (back the tail end of SB2 into the Hidden Valley spur and drop off some of its coaches until the freight and other passenger could saw by) but all I could raise on the radio was a velociraptor. And then the layout went down – turns out two of the four trains in Harris derailed on switches and double-shorted the layout.
Of course, with five people standing around, it’s the dispatcher and yardmaster (thanks, Frank) who had to come all the way down the length of the layout and pull engines off turnouts.
Once all that was taken care of, once we got all the trains off turnouts and back on the rails, the booster stepped down and we resolved the knot.
But what a night.
I need a drink.