f you want to see a BUSY mainline, look no further than the Orlando N-trak sectional layout. We’ve got a train by on our double-track mainline every 30-40 seconds or so.
Which is why, when your equipment takes a dump, it’s such a mega-pratfall.
Was running north through the bottom of the “U” (what is geographically just north of Jacksonville bay, just beyond I-95). I was pulling 40 mixed freight cars behind two dinky Geeps. Now, these four-axle jobs have a unique deal – if you load them up, they don’t just wheel-spin, they conk out. Reasons abound for why this is, but they remind me of two stubborn horses who, when you load up their cart, just stand listlessly in their traces regardless of how hard you beat them.
Anyway, I’m going past the recycle spur where I’d just placed two more cars I’d just purchased – wanted to add them to my consist. Stopped, dropped the caboose, and backed down and picked up the cars. And conked out.
So I’m on the front end, trying to figure what to do. I know that behind me trains are begining to stack up. I can see them going past me, southbound, and know that after swinging around JFC Southside, they’ll join the line. But I can’t get these silly engines to run, not even dropping the load.
I had a pair of big six axle units and attempted to put them on the head end but they wouldn’t run either. One ran, one didn’t. Well, one six-axle is not going to pull forty cars. So there I am, standing there with the entire parade of trains stuck behind me, trying to figure out what to do. In the end, I stuck with the one six axle, pulling half the cut off and jamming it down the TTX yard. That let me pick up the rest of the train and rumble out of town. It was a ten minute delay, achingly forever in show terms.
I’m not sure why those first engines were malfing. They somehow got consisted to other mystery units, something I don’t think I could have done on a UT-4 throttle. It wasn’t until we reprogrammed the chips and cleared the consist that I got decent running out of them again, and this was with a shorter cut. As for the six-axles, a bit more running and the inert unit finally gasped to life (likely corrosion on the brushes or whatever). Once I got it running, I added it to the head end and got my half-cut off the TTX line and out of there.
Yeah, it doesn’t happen often, but this time I got to be the show butt monkey, a position I’m not too keen about. We’ll have to look into those four-axles and find out just why they conk rather than spin. I think they are possessed, but my electrical-orientated friends have some ideas.