he third ops session in a week (starting with Night Ops last Saturday and Club Ops Wednesday), a great run of John Wilke’s massive and amazing Virginia SouthWestern.
So this was an effort to get Orlando N-Trak to get out of its tiny clubhouse and into the larger world of Central Florida layouts. John was nice enough to open his layout for us; still, all sorts of problems, scheduling conflicts, people dropping out, a truck with three of us nearly breaking down on the side of the highway, everything going wrong. But once we got there, what a session!
We were a little under optimum for crew and given that most of the group is still antsy around switching, John just let them run while and free about the layout (well, not too free – Tom Wilson and I held their leashes as dispatchers, with me controlling the Southern). But everything went very, very well. The guys settled in and learned the layout. Even better, since they knew warrants, they had no problem with getting from point A to B (and John’s well-marked locations helped). In fact, they were so good at it that Tom, sitting next to me on the L&N desk, complemented me on how well the crew did their warrants. I don’t think we had any instances of people overrunning their limits or blowing meets. In fact, I don’t think that evil Mt. Ramsey, the scene of so many sad disasters in the past, claimed a single victim this time. The damn thing ran like, well, a real railroad. John seemed pleased with us when it all shut down.
So, yes, we had a great outing. Next time I call for one of these events, consider coming. You’ll find yourself having a great time. I know I sure did! And thanks to John Wilkes for opening the line up to us. A true southern (the region, not the railroad) gentleman.