or those coming through this blog’s homepage, you might notice that, yes, I had two sessions on the same day. This is all about Protorails, a popular convention in town that I never get to go to because the Deland Train Show is the same weekend and I’ve got to assist. But I guess my dispatching is okay since I had two layouts request me for the same day. And yes, I do love it.
So after a roaring session at the Virginia SouthWestern, it was ten miles up the interstate to Tom Wilson’s Pittsburgh & West Virginia, a steel-making, multi-deck layout with a brisk main line thrown in. After a quick dinner, I took the seat in an office at the other end of the house and fell in with my life mission, that of keeping trains from crashing into each other.
For my efforts, I was using my homewriten Dispatcher Panel 2, a simulation of a train sheet. Unlike the first time I tried it (on the WAZU), Tom has hands-free headsets, critical for this effort. And it worked well. I was typing in times and capturing information as the trains reported in (and, as usual, most crews do NOT OS passing stations and destinations, which is nice to have as a dispatcher when lives and reputations are on the line).
Anyway, we really ran this layout well. For the most part, crews controlled their trains and worked in busy spots with each other. Of course, there is always someone who doesn’t understand what the “Not in effect until arrival of” checkbox means – but we flagged him into a siding and got it under control.
I’ll admit that with a short crew and few people on the mainline, it got quiet in the back for long minutes. I figured I could nap with the headset on and come awake when needed. Fortunately it worked and the superintendent didn’t need to shake me awake (and kick me off the property). So, yes, a great session with a lot of trains rolling (though Train 92 seemed to go on vacation for an hour (actual time) in Rook Yard). We worked around him.
Thanks to Tom for the session and his family for dinner. Great end to a double-session day!