his kinda came up from my editing of The Journal Box. Got to looking at Al Sohl’s pictures and missed seeing his layout after a year of quarantining. Wanted to show the wife the Room ‘o Rockies and wrangled a visit for me and my wife. We showed up and the next thing I knew, Al was starting up a mini-session.
Disclaimer: I knew he was going to do this but didn’t tell the wife, lest she chicken out.
And so this is how I ended up rolling out of Denver with a full head of steam on 124, heading toward Alpine with a string of diminutive freight cars behind my steamer, holding on the siding until the wife (with Al as her conductor) came past on the main.
I’ve watched the hand-off move with the “Gramps” tankers many times in my station operator position in Dulcie but have never done it myself. It was fun, of course, using the whistle and bell as they were meant to be used and easing the precision equipment through its paces, all in the shadow of the newest arm of the Rockies (freshly cast and painted). It was a lot of fun to run a train on this glorious layout again, and to run one without an aisle crammed fulla blue-shirts. Cleared down to Navajo without a problem and tucked away into staging – just a sweet little run.
Afterword, Al and his Missus treated me and mine to a great outdoor meal and one of the best hamburgers I’ve had in a long time. And on the long drive home, JB told me how fun it was to drive the train and do things – she might not become an operator but who knows – she is a yardmaster on the FEC. So we’ll see. But she just gushed about the scenery, the trains, all of it.
Which is what I always did when I got home from one of Al’s session.
Can’t wait until I get those shots and we’re back on the rails again. Thanks to Al and Eva for having us out. Nice road trip weekend!