ey, I like running trains with the guys. Operations is about playing a multi-participant game bigger than yourself. I love it.
But it also means that, since I’m one of the founding members of ops, I get called on a lot. People don’t understand their timetables. Or their warrants. Or their freight waybills. There are accidents out of reach, whole train derailments, dead engines, stupid questions (yes, those DO exist). One moment, I’m in the cab, pondering my switching moves. The next, someone is tapping me on the shoulder. I get pulled out of it a lot.
So tonight I slipped over to the club on a dead Thursday night with a generated switchlist in hand. Set up my cars on good old Tuscarora (with the cool new scenery around Jacob’s Petroleum Distributor) and gave it a go. I boosted the car loading the maximum so I’d have plenty to do. Plugged in the cheater box so I could run without a towerman and the next thing I know, MT-1 was rumbling into Tuscarora at 12:30 am, ready to start sorting its cut from Martin.
I’m going to say this – Yardmaster Hooper must have personally sorted these cars – there wasn’t a single car in correct order. And with extra drops in Tuscarora, I had a lot of work to do (including a hopper run to Bexley).
But on the good side, I had a fun, quiet session all on my own. Everything ran really well. Shemp’s SW-7 ran like a champ with hardly a hiccup. And the turnout leading to the outer industrial area (known to the tower as “Lever 19” and the guys on the ground as “You Bastard”) threw every time.
I really had a great solo session. Without coal extras, dispatchers or levermen, I ran through all the scheduled trains in ninety minutes.
Remember, even if you have your own layout, you don’t need the gang over to have fun. Figure out a mini-session and enjoy some “you” time. It really put a smile on my face.