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Train Blog

April 13, 2024

Guest OpsLog – Deland – 4/6/2024

Editor/Blogger’s note: Thanks to John DeVasto for recording all that took place at the Deland Train Show while I was swanning around the Netherlands. I have to admit to having lunch at some very nice place and realizing that the crew was currently, six time zones away, assembling the layout. I felt pity. Not guilt, no, but  pity. Thanks for the effort, guys, and thanks again to John for the blog! ’m writing to you all in the absence of our chief executive Scribe. For reasons unknown to us he is venturing throughout distant worlds exploring their dimly red lit […]
March 29, 2024

On Sheet – An English (and all over) Dispatching Game

ell, last week I turned up an interesting CTC game for you, free. This week, I found an even more involved dispatching game if you wish to test your merits and see what it’s like to dispatch when there is no model railroad about. Railway Operation Simulator is an interesting bit of freeware that you can pick up HERE. This is more like the old dispatching program that a company named Signal produced years back, where it provides a base for user railroads created with an editor. Looks kinda like this… The divisions you can control are put together by […]
March 28, 2024

OpsLog – CSX Taft – 3/28/2024

ith our influx of new members, it takes a little getting used to: guys showing up at sessions sleep-deprived and/or hung over. Hey, that’s youth. But Chris Strecker invited me to run on his CSX today and after the massive session at the club last night, detailed HERE, we went out with Yardmaster Zack for a late night meal. I just had a beer. But I didn’t get home until 2am and the alarm went off at 7:15am – time to head to breakfast with Chris and then the CSX Taft Yard! So yes, we both looked like used food […]
March 28, 2024

OpsLog – LM&O – 3/27/2024

kay, to be blunt. Operations stank last night. Stank to high heaven. Literally. I was told that some unexpected guests came in and they reeked of cat piss. Members were literally coming in to complain and to steal some of my fresh air. I considered sealing the airlocks and going to internal air. I suppose that people who live near pulp mills and canneries “get used to it”. So what, you have a sand dune of unchanged cat litter in your house? Thanks Steve for prompt fumigation efforts. Every session, something new. Now that we cleared the air, what happened […]
March 25, 2024

OpsLog – Tusk Hill – 3/24/2024

Dear Mother, I’m happy to relate that my employment on some nameless Midlands railroad, specifically in the area of Tusk Hill Tower, is going swimmingly. I started as a controller, and my progression since then has been been astounding. Controller (as I said) to passenger train driver, to goods driver, to shunter. I’ve put in for a wiper job now that I’ve confirmed it has nothing to do with the WC. My career has been meteoric, specifically when one considered where impact craters come from. It was quite astounding to see how seven operators could run an eight-square-foot layout, moving […]
March 22, 2024

On Sheet – A CTC Game

he whole thing about CTC (CentralizedTraffic Control) is pretty cool. It allows a dispatcher hundreds of miles away to set signals and turnouts, getting far more utility out of track than earlier methods. However, finding a layout that uses it is very difficult (in Florida, I know one full CTC layout and another that only sets turnouts (signals don’t do anything at this time)). So if you wish to experience it, either you find one of those layouts or you play a simulator. Which I”m including here: Now, keep in mind that this game was not quite completed – […]
March 19, 2024

OpsLog – TBL – 3/18/2024

hat? Didn’t I just have a session the other night? Yes I did, with friends, as reported HERE. But I had an urge to run (I was managing the tower all last session) and I wanted to run my SW-7 in a little more – it’s so sweet now with a Paragon 4 chip. So I set up the layout and ran after the work session was complete. Hey, I was out there anyway. Rather than the blow-by-blow I usually do, let me mention a new “scenario” for operations on my Pennsy line. Now, boomers on my line no the […]
March 18, 2024

OpsLog – TBL – 03/17/2024

ight on the heels of working the Virginia SouthWestern (as detailed HERE) I boomered a job up north, taking the night train up to drop off the very next day in Tuscarora, my favorite stomping grounds. Apparently the tower has been down for maintenance issues over the last few months. Finally the interlocking has reopened (or so the head maintainer told me) – it’s run only one day so far under limited operations (with the mines closed, as detailed HERE). With Tuscarora down, all trains have been picking up orders elsewhere – the tower temporarily lost its train order station […]
March 18, 2024

OpsLog – VSW – 3/16/2024

once read a book – Goshawk Squadron – about a maniacal squadron commander in World War One who is drilling his men to be killers. Even in a lazy afternoon aerial drill, his pilots try to get close and pop a couple of shots his way, only to dive clear when he swings towards them. Nobody knows if he’ll shoot back or what. It’s like kittens fighting when the claws come out. Today’s session on the Virginia South Western was like that. No matter what went wrong and what delays we faced, everyone tried to pop a couple of shots […]
March 15, 2024

On Sheet – Advice (Part 2)

n our last blog, I mentioned about getting advice from a kid in the middle of a brutal dispatching session. But sometimes advice can be useful. I was over at a great layout on the east coast of Florida. Nice line with CTC control and a lot of interesting switching. There is one job that runs down from the yard and works a very tight industrial area. One industry, a truss factory, sits across the main. Everything is is forward, and it’s all facing point, so it’s got that going for it. I’d just gotten down the hill when one […]