At the throttle

Train Blog

January 8, 2022

OpsLog – VSW – 1/6/2022

‘ve got a friend who like to play psychoanalyze-games with me. All of her questions are pointed and reflective. Anyway, the other day she asked, “What was your greatest accomplishment for the week?” I didn’t even have to think that one out. “I got three trains by at Ramsey.” As mentioned in my other blogs, John Wilkes Virginia SouthWestern is a great railroad with two main lines. For the Protorails convention, I was invited in to  dispatch the L&N and Tom Wilson grabbed the Southern desk. Since the L&N has a higher density, we usually give the CTC panel (kinda […]
January 8, 2022

OpsLog – WVN – 1/5/2022

y green West Virginia Northern RS units grunted like laboring elephants as I slowly pushed a flat car into a the New River mill, down in a river valley where the mainline ran. I’ll admit that I nearly put the flat off the end of the crude siding, distracted as I was by my paperwork spread over the oil-reeking cab. I wasn’t really confident in my work orders. See, some newbie back in Ashbury yard, a guy with no west-end switching, had built this train. And he’d gotten one or two corrections from the superintendent while doing it. Also, he’d […]
January 1, 2022

OpsLog – TBL – 12/31/2021

es, I was able to round out a wonderful year of operations (with all the covid concerns) on a high note, coming back to my personal favorite, my own Tuscarora Branch Line.           Now, before moving to what happened, a quick New Years Tally. Over the last year I was able to operate at the following places (ranked in order of attendance): TBL: 16 LM&O: 13 FEC: 4 WAZU: 2 WVN: 2 L&N: 2 TY&E: 1 P&WV: 1 WB: 1 So that totals out to forty-two ops sessions, pretty good all together. The Tuscarora I ran […]
December 20, 2021

OpsLog – Wazu – 12/19/2021

ell, we partied like it was 2010 today. By that, I mean we had a room full of enthusiastic operators in a large home (well, clinic) layout, we ran everything and most of the people stayed for the end. Just like our club used to do things. It was an interesting session – I’ve been dispatching at Andy’s for years (across three or four layouts). The Wazu is by far the best, a loose simulation of the UP line from Spokane to Portland. And for this session, I pulled out my new dispatcher program (focused more on being a true […]
December 16, 2021

OpsLog – LM&O – 12/15/2021

ast time we did ops, we got a couple of people to attend and ran a handful of early trains. I groused about it in the blog and nobody liked that move either. This time we decided to pick up at 6am (a quarter of the way into the session) and just run the balance. And now EVERYONE showed up and the layout was jammed. Hopefully you’ll like the blog. So yes, it was a pile on. We ran the rest of the trains, all the passengers (who were probably pissed at the LM&O’s excuses for the horrible service delays […]
December 5, 2021

OpsLog – FEC – 12/4/2021

nother day on the Florida East Coast and since Ken and Bev were short, I was able to bring a couple of N-trakers along. With all these newbies (and long-aways) we were expecting a very chaotic session and in that, we were not disappointed. Session started out great (from the moment I was assigned the dispatcher sheet). There were some wobbles early on as trains were delayed getting out of the yard (usually we sweep everyone out quick and make room for more but dial-up issues and throttle-chasing put us in the hole). After that, things settled down (or so […]
November 25, 2021

OpsLog – LM&O – 11/24/2021

ow that was depressing. It’s my birthday. My wife is in the hospital for observation for her dicky heart. I need something to take my mind off everything. It’s ops night! Great! Nobody showed. Honest, our other pre-Thanskgiving events were always well-attended. Everyone stayed late because it was a holiday tomorrow. But this time some people had to work, some people were traveling, and some people took the cheap way out and had passed away. We had six guys running the layout on their own. So no dispatcher and not a lot of chatter. We ran two freight trains, a […]
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 […]