At the throttle

Train Blog

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 […]
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 […]