ood session today on John Wilke’s Louisville & Nashville railroad. A couple of the old sweats I’m familiar with across Florida got together with a fresh batch from elsewhere.
The thing about the L&M is that you need to be up on your layout lore – this isn’t point-A-to-point-B stuff. Two mainlines tangle about each other through the southern Appalachians, crossing and recrossing. Some of them, the Southern RR dominates, some the L&N. This means the dispatchers need to trade off and work together to get things done.
For me, I was on the quieter Southern panel. In this, it’s like a ninja doing Tai Chi, doing everything slow and exact, working on form rather than the frantic combat dispatching sometime is. John (the L&N panel) hung in there really well for a first timer. Really, it’s a panel that everyone feels they want to bolt from once the heat goes up.
So we got the usual batch of newbie mistakes; trains running down the wrong lead, the wrong main, and even advancing without papers. Actually, one train ran virtually the entire division without any direct paperwork (how he didn’t hit anything, I’ll never know). But we got through the six hour session without too much damage (did see some folks under the layout fetching out cars, the usual tunnel/helix disasters). But much fun was had, and much chiding was passed out, and we logged a lot of smiles. Thanks, John!