February 2, 2023

OpsLog – CSX Taft – 2/2/2023

et my friend Chris Strecker for an early morning breakfast, followed by an invite to his house to try operations on his blossoming layout, a simulation of car spotting in Taft Yard in Orlando, Florida (yeah, right down the road). His layout is one of those elegant small layouts (where you aren’t throwing track across a basement). Basically it’s a dogbone with two staging tracks on the back wall and a host of industries along the leading edge. Chris has actually placed a number of real places on his line (and a couple of fictitious ones at well (and who […]
February 16, 2023

OpsLog – CSX Taft – 2/16/2023

ent over this morning for the second running of CSX – Taft, a neat little layout that explores potentials for fun without throwing away hundreds of square feet. And today, we ran with a number of new additions (Chris and I had talked this over and the fact that he took me seriously made me blink). Anyway, some new – neat things, first, a magnetic plate where you can keep track of your laps (when running mainline trains). And each lap is represented in a town roughly in that location (between Miami and Jacksonville). And second, random event cards! My […]
March 18, 2023

OpsLog – CSX Taft – 03/17/2023

y order of the dispatcher, I’d dismounted from my CSX switch engine and walked down the industrial siding. A flat car was being worked by a crew off a remote loading dock. Then an off-spot box car. And then the center of the crisis, an industrial loading dock. At it sat a boxcar and a reefer, the latter’s refrigerator engine running with nobody home to unload it. The Brotherhood of Knuckledraggers 107 had walked off the job. And worried about the time this car could run off it’s internal tanks, the railroad had set me down to check it out. […]
May 18, 2023

OpsLog – CSX Taft – 5/18/2023

feel kinda bad about this one. See, my friend’s CSX Taft railroad has a job change-over. One guy takes the mainline freight, another runs the local. Twelve-hour shifts, lots of fun. So I started on the switcher and started working to get set for the north bound before working the southbound. I was like one of those guests that eat you out of house and home, then belch loudly. I thought the outcard box was for the shift, not the entire session. So I selected a bunch of pickups (allowed) and then noticed “easy to grab” cars that were also […]
June 20, 2023

OpsLog – CSX Taft – 6/19/2023

‘m suffering survivors’ guilt right now. See, we ran on Chris Strecker’s CSX Taft railroad, a small two man pike with two jobs – the guy running the freights and the other running the local switcher (stationed at Orlando’s Taft Yard). The crews work their jobs for the first half-day (twelve slow laps of the freight, with drop-work done enroute). And the local, he preps up outbound cars and spots in dropped inbounds. Then you swap jobs. In theory, under the law of averages, in game-science, the crews should face the same amount of effort. Should. That’s the operative word. […]
December 23, 2023

OpsLog – CSX Taft – 12/22/2023

he good thing about microlayouts (if you consider a 3×8 a “micro”) is that a session can be set up and hosted in quick order. So that’s what my friend Chris did – he asked me if on Thursday if we wanted to run on Friday and I said (of course) yes (is there any other answer?). And run we did. I might have mentioned this before, but Chris has a great small layout. Essentially there are four trains each day between Jacksonville and Miami. Each train takes six laps to complete a run. Each lap represents a different Florida […]