At the throttle

Train Blog

November 22, 2021

OpsLog – TY&E – 11/21/2021

remember when there were five N-scale layouts in this area. Every Monday night, younger versions of myself and my friends would meet and operate. We’d stick through things until 11pm or so and run the crap out of whatever home layout we found ourselves at. But everything changes. People. Relationships. And clubs. Now here are three layouts that can operate in this area (and two of them are mine). The other belongs the Python-quoting JW, the Tipton, Youngstown & Erie Railroad. And in a creepy Frankenstein way, the TY&E is made up of 30 year old modules (which our club […]
November 19, 2021

OpsLog – TBL – 11/19/2021

ad to go out to the club and wait for the alarm guy so I decided, since I haven’t run since thousands of people required my assistance for every little thing, I’d run a switching session on the Tuscarora. And to make it fun, I’d run the full tower (using signals) too! The main thing was to see how my SW-7 would work. Right before the NMRA convention the chip croaked (three weeks out of warranty). I originally had a Paragon 3 sound decoder installed (it’s what it came with). New ones are shipping with 4s – Craig LeVasseur noted […]
November 7, 2021

OpsLog – WVN – 11/06/2021

harlie might be ecstatic over his golden ticket to the chocolate factory. But it’s nothing compared to getting a slot on the the Komar’s West Virginia Northern. I mean, crap’s stake, I gotta get up at 6am, leave by 6:30 and drive for over two hours (in the rain) to get there. Yeah, it’s that good! Don’t believe me? How about this? Since I was first in the door, I got first dibs on job and I took my new favorite, the Ashbury Hostler. My post was way down in the back of this photo (you can just make out […]
October 28, 2021

OpsLog – LM&O – 10/28/2021

eft-seating it in a pair of beat up old C&NW units, rattling down through the spiral tunnel below Harris Glen, running to Lehigh and a possible meet. I’m conducting for a young scout, Aryon. The kid’s got a steady throttle hand and is drifting the helpers down to Calypso nice and easy. The club’s full of people tonight – visitors, a group of boy scouts, lots of people. Most of them have been put on trains as engineers, the guys giving up their throttles to allow newbies to realize that trains are more than just circles of tracks. Trains are […]
October 17, 2021

OpsLog – P&WV – 10/16/2021

y second session of the Plant City Convention took place over at the Pittsburgh & West Virginia. Like the L&N, I got in under boomer law – I was “assisting”. But unlike the other layout, this time there were no Meddling Cody’s to take my seat. This time I was dispatching. So the session went well. Tom’s layout is great to run (even with the East and West confusion that still lingers in the train names). We ran under warrants (I think Tom called this right – under TT&TO, we’d have been sunk by the newbies). As it came out, […]
October 17, 2021

OpsLog – L&N – 10/15/2021

‘ve run on John Wilke’s L&N / Southern layout many times (or rather, I’ve run it from one of the two dispatcher seats). It’s a great railroad full of fun, coal and a lot of switching. And since I was attending the Sunshine Express II Convention, I offered to help out. Assisting on a layout is a great way to be helpful, meet new people, and get around the cost of attending. Since we were only running one line and Cody had beaten me to the dispatcher seat, I was on “turn warden” duty, pointing out where towns and industries […]
October 5, 2021

OpsLog – TBL – 10/4/2021

t was a rough day and a rough night at the club. I worked on the gravel road outside (doing convict labor) and then traced wires in the hideous mess under Zanesville. And after all that, I wanted to run my own session on the Tuscarora, just the coal job testing out the new tally sheets. And I’d use my SW-7 switched to make sure it was all ready for my clinic/ops session next week. And of course, the chip blew. So I can make the bell and horn works, and the engine idles. But you get headlights on both […]
October 3, 2021

ShowLog – Deland – 10/2/2021

his show had all the earmarks of a disaster. First off the club president was out of town and the tech officer was on an effing boat. I had a few old sweats and a buncha newbies. Day of load, we discovered that the trailer registration was out of date (I fixed that with a couple of quick calls). Day of show, I stopped over at Krispy Kreem to pick up donuts for the crew. Their donut machine was broken and all they had were three dozen donuts that nobody wanted (think about that for a minute – these were […]
September 26, 2021

OpsLog – TBL – 09/25/2021

ell, it was another run on the Tuscarora today. Unfortunately I wasn’t able to finally run the new coal job since my coal operator is out with medical issues. I posted to the club but got no takers. So it was just the hard-cores – Father and son Brian and Tyler, running with me for a nice and tidy session over two and a half hours. Gotta say this – since we weren’t running balls-to-the-wall like we usually do, Brian was able to study his timetable and actually learn the job. He began to understand why he was doing what […]
September 23, 2021

OpsLog – LM&O – 09/22/2021

feel like the guy the moment after a sledge hammer hits him in the forehead. Or he is hit with two bullets. Silver Bullets. The session started out well enough. I wrote up some warrants early on – neat meet in Zanesville, with the local coming west and ducking into the industrial trackage, 202 coming east (and taking the siding) and Silver Bullet 2 running down the main. That went down like clock work. Out east, 223 was into Calypso and the Harris Glen Local was already climbing the grade. Everything was going as planned. I actually thought maybe we’d […]