OpsLog – LM&O – 9/27/2023

OpsLog – LM&O – 9/27/2023

‘m sitting in my dark, dingy writer’s loft, smoking my metaphorical cigarette as I prepare for my character assassination hit. On the chipped and stained table before me, my M102 Blamethrower. I check the fuel level. Topped off. Taking that final drag, I engage in the time-honored memory flashbacks of the session. The screams. The collisions. The confusion. The helplessness. So many trains doing so many things wrong. My hands tremble. I shake the nightmares clear like under-layout cobwebs.

I cannot do this. I cannot torch egos.

Yeah, there were layout problems. It’s N-scale and there always will be. But there were a lot of goofups, a lot of run-turnouts and misunderstood warrants. Had my hands full as superintendent, cleaning up all the questions.

I’ll say this in my populist smug fashion – if I can fix everything for all of you, there’s no reason that each of you can’t fix your own simple problems.

A typical near-miss with two packed passenger trains. Just another night at the club. (Photo: John DV)

Woops. I wasn’t going to use the blamethrower. I’ll stop.

Okay, let’s go with the good side of the coin. We ran everything. Everyone filled the list full out. I went back at midsession to sign up for one of the reluctant final drag freights only to find them taken (that made me blink). We ran every train (and some of them we ran the wrong direction). Considering that we ran four new moves (two intermodals and two auto racks), it was a mega effort that we should take pride in doing. How many was it? Twenty trains. That is up there in the record books.

Lots of people earned seniority points for this.

Intermodals around the passenger loop. Really? Who thought this was a good idea? (Photo: Jeff C)

So overall, it was a good session. Given the crowd and the confusion, nobody lost their shit. That shows what a good club we have. Everyone worked together. Makes me proud of everyone who stuck with it through to the end.

Oh yeah. One thing. I shoulder the blamethrower, turn it on wide aperture and spray down the crews of the eastbound freights (202, 244 and 298). For almost a year, they have dropped their excess cars in Calypso before proceeding to staging. Drop ten, take fifteen back. There is a big sign stating this. Been there forever. What did you do – drive into the yard, look around, shrug, and drive back out? Staging is as jammed as Grandma’s basement, and Calypso is empty. And with Zach on hiatus, I get to clean the whole thing up.

Shuts down the blamethrower. Oh yeah, that felt good.

Closing thoughts:

I don’t like intermodals (having spent so much time under the layout last night fishing them out of the tunnels). Articulated, top-heavy wobble-queens? They look dangerous in real life, and especially so in our tiny scale. I knew this was a bad idea from the moment I saw club members chalking a pentagram on the floor, summoning these evil things. Give me a good, short TOFC any day.

I’ll note that the DS is pissed at himself for how he “thinks” he did. Look, nobody can ride the dispatcher desk except him and me. The only person beating himself up is him. And that clock, that might have slipped into high gear.

One of our members drove into a ditch out front. That pretty much tells us the level we’re playing at here. Thanks to Chris and Bill for cleaning that “derailment” up.

Someone needs to tell Sean that just because the pennsy could run steam at 140 mph, it doesn’t mean that he should. You know, you have a timetable to maintain, not “beat”. We’ve already got an AJ in the club – pick your own shtick.

And finally, President Shannon switched Mingo with two articulated steamers. I hope he did well at it (I was cooling in Carbon Hill at that point). Gutsy move, all said.

Passenger 95 glides out of Pittsburgh station for its wonderful run. Except it’s going to the wrong way. I thought we’d just discussed this? I think the DS countermanded my instructions (Photo: John DV)

A long cut of autoracks crosses the high arches outside Lehigh. Imagine if they were bike racks. It would be one rail car and we wouldn’t be melting the polar ice caps. Go bikes! (Photo: John DV)










The Racks meet at Lehigh. At least something went right. (Photo: Kaden S)

Intermodals. We hates them. Hissss…. (Photo: John DV)

95 ends a perfect run. Did he have paper to run this? Did the Shelfton Local get a warrant out? And are those my boxcars all smashed up??? (Photo: Chris T)