I start to forget how far the group has come with model railroad ops. Oh, we’re not those super-prototype groups that do everything by the book (that’s what November at Tehachapi will be about). But over the years, everyone has learned to work radios and throttles simultaneously, and to generate more solutions than problems. And with my dispatcher program, I can keep the railroad moving like an air-traffic controller.
So just as contrast helps to define, we had a visitor at Doc’s session today, a nice gentleman from England. He’d come to the club last Wednesday and the offer had been extended. He wasn’t sure if he could attend. I was delighted that he did.
As I understand operations in England, it’s done with one or two people on a small “station” orientated layout. The UP Nebraska is a sprawling double garage packer, two mains, all sorts of interchanges, locals out the yoohoo. I’ll generally have six trains in motion. And these are American trains, multi-unit monsters with the impressive lengths N-scale allows. So our guest got to run a train or two with a conductor, chatting with the remote dispatcher, following orders, interacting with numerous other trains. My guys took good care of him so he wasn’t frustrated, abandoned, confused, neglected or cornfielded.
In the end, I nipped down the stairs during a slow spot to ask him what he thought about it.
“Brilliant!” he glowed.