ifficult day on the TY&E. Our host JW was in it up to his red ears, even up to his horns.
Look, I know that hosting can be difficult. I’ve even had terrible sessions on Tuscarora. On my Cuesta, I used to dread sessions (and truthfully, it might be why I’m slow to return it to service). Hosting a session can really run a person ragged.
The only thing I know is that if ten guys run on your layout and each has a minor problem, they’ve had a fun time with very little in the way of issues. But for the same session, the host has to deal with ten failures and thinks the sky is falling in on him (or his backdrop is coming unglued). Yes, hosting is difficult and the larger the layout, the more that can go wrong. And in that escalating ratio of space to errors, that’s why the TY&E (which covers a quarter of a garage) has more problems than the TBL (which covers little more than pillowcase).
I could just see JW getting madder and more frustrated with things as we proceeded. Sure, some of it were issues you’d find in a garage layout where the cold/hot temperatures can flex and expand your right of way. And some of it was operator issues – trains running way out of their schedules, not doing what their instructions detailed, not following their timetables, all that stuff. Even my REF2 train was nowhere to be found when the time came – it hadn’t stopped at Youngstown as ordered but ran licketty-split all the way to Staffordtown. I’m sure the unloading facility was happy to have a trainload of perishables perishing at the dock because the crews assigned to this were still in bed, hours from their on-call. So when JW Mazel toved a troublesome caboose that had hit the deck, yes, things got quiet. Even the piano player stopped.
But what he didn’t see and which I did (with my keep blogger’s eye) was that a lot of people where helping other people. I helped a couple of crews rerail cars. Other people set my turnouts when I coudln’t get to them. I’d see crews walking other crews through their work and helping them find correct tracks and pickups. So yes, in that, the session was an amazing example of cooperation. Regardless of some of the rocky events in mid-session, we still ran everything and got done on time. And nobody plowed me in the tunnel (though I did hear that a couple of trains did bang off each other (railroad safety – it’s on everyone’s lips these days)).
Overall, fun times on the TY&E, challenges we can meet and conquer in our next go-round, and maybe if Sparky can get his chitty-chitty-bang-bang truck running, we can have a full crew and JW can supervise (and scream) without the distraction of running trains. I’m really looking forward to it.
But yes, I could have written an entire blog about that batshit clock of his. Which team of Polish programmers put that together?