I remember back when I used to fly how rusty I could get if I didn’t get up into the air every couple of months. I’d get “behind the plane” as they say.
Happens in model railroading, too.
Tonight on the L&S, I took out the Hunt Club Local, a late little run that sorts around the main, hitting a team track and a couple of industrial spurs. No big problem. On the way in, I worked one double ended spur, setting my caboose so I could pick it up (with the car) on the way back to the yard. That’s because I’m clever.
Once I got into Hunt Club, I realized I wasn’t as clever as I thought. Every car was a brown box car, and more than once I got a car spotted on a siding, only to realize I’d dropped off the wrong one. The high point of the night was when I got to the end of the line at Hunt Club where there is a facing point switch with two industries (say, A and B). But the cars in my cut were organized as A-B-A-B, meaning push the train into A, drop a car, back up, push into B, drop a car, etc, etc. Worse, there was a rogue empty car bouncing around on the spurs, meaning I had to get it off one track and onto another before I could spot the car. So, each switching move took something like 35 shunts to pull off. I figured that empty was beat to hell by the time I was done with it – must have moved it a dozen times.
Then, on the way home, I stopped at the siding to pick up my last car and caboose and found out I’d set it up with the wrong car – essentially it was a total cockup. Again, something like six or so moves to get everything on the train that was supposed to be there, and to get back to the yard.
Got into the yard, dropped off my train, and headed to the bean house for a cold one. What a night…