At the throttle

Train Blog

April 14, 2018

ShowLog – Deland – 4/14/2018

his show was the best of times, and the worst of times. Originally I only had three people besides myself scheduled for set-up. That’s a pretty tall order. But something like seven or so showed. It was like a Hallmark Christmas Special. “Why, it’s Christmas and angry Uncle Pete came, bearing gifts and goodwill. Hooray!” On the other hand, by about 2pm, we only had two trains running (with an occasional third nosing out). Bob Klauck hung in there with me, passing each other in our slow circuits, over and over. So thanks, Bob, for running above and beyond. And […]
April 8, 2018

OpsLog – WAZU RR – 4/8/3018

yers. According to our host Doc Andy, it’s a little nowhere place whose only reason for existence is to get Portland-Seattle rail traffic by each other. But I like it. People with kids (tired people, with no money and sleep) will tell you that having kids is a way for you to gain posthumous fame. My one answer to that is “Name your four grandparents.” I guess that matters to some, that you are remembered and made a difference. Well, for me, it’s Ayers. See, on the WAZU RR, it was jammed right next to another town. It wasn’t rare […]
April 7, 2018

OpsLog – 4/7/2018 – L&N

Lightning boomed outside the windows. Hunched in their seats, the two men struggled to keep a mulit-engine explosion from happening. They fought with their controls, the switches on their consoles unresponsive, even haywire, their radios filled with static, the voices on the other end indistinctive against the ether. Sweat plopped onto their crumpled working diagrams. Suddenly came a total power failure, the screens black, the drone of the distant engines winding down. Then the host entered the room. “I shut off power to fix a broken turnout. Lunchtime.”                   Yeah, it was […]
March 31, 2018

OpsLog – FEC – 3/31/2018

ilot friend of mine told me about getting vertigo once. He was flying formation with another jet, looked down his wingtip at the other, saw his running lights and the lights of the city rotating beneath him as they orbited the field. And suddenly he lost it. He just rolled out (on instruments) and flew for a minute or two to center himself on his bank-n-turn, just getting everything squared away. Same thing happened to me on Ken Farnham’s Florida East Coast today. I had the panel, dozens of lights and switches telling me a story, of indicators glowing and […]
March 28, 2018

OpsLog – LM&O – 3/28/2018

s the forward trucks of 247 West rattled over the points of Bound Brook throat, I figured this was shaping up to be a strange run. I’d only just scrambled aboard ten minutes before – she was already four hours late (her original crew had been pulled for a coal run earlier). And strangely, 271 (not due out for two more hours) was running ahead. They were already nosing into Calypso Yard some distance ahead of me – heard it over the horn. The problem was, all our pickups were on a shared yard track, meaning they’d have to dig […]
February 28, 2018

OpsLog – LM&O – 2/28/2018

razy night at the club. Not only were we a bit short-handed but we had VIPs, namely the superintendents for the FEC of who I’ve blogged about on this very train blog, Ken and Bev Farnham. Figured it would be a good session – Cody on the panel (a firm hand) and Frank in the yard (rock solid). I rolled the Zanesville Turn out (or tried to – the DS pushed a long-range warrant against me so I idled in the yard for a bit). But once I hit the rails, everything was fine. The switching was orderly but I […]
February 24, 2018

OpsLog – FEC – 2/24/2018

t was a bit of a struggle getting over to Ken’s Florida East Coast– we fought through a pointless battle on the Beachline (five miles of bumper2bumper and no cause for it) (there, Bruce, I mentioned that). And Ken’s was understaffed – five people dropped the night before leaving him a little short. I posted the club list – last moment stuff – didn’t get any takers. So, with Bev on the yard (one person doing the job for three), Ken on the panel, the shed  held only Me, Bruce, Andy, Monty and John. But we were the gold crew. […]
January 24, 2018

OpsLog – LM&O – 1/24/2018

o now I know what having a stroke is like. Usual session. Everyone came. We cleaned. Trains went on the rails. People signed up. In the back office I booted my computer and readied the fast clock. Odd, it booted up at 15:1. Normally the club runs at 10:1. That was a problem a few years back but I easily corrected it. And then it was hot, and then we were running. Just like a chess game. 202 went into the siding at Zanesville as it had for at least a hundred times. Silver Bullet 2 stormed by on the […]
January 14, 2018

ShowLog – Deland – 1/13&14/2018

irst show of the new year and the railroad was staffed and run at full capacity for the two day Deland show.               A good group showed up on Saturday morning for the miracle (with donuts) set up – one hour from truck tailgate to basement-sized railroad. And all day we were packed. Lots of visitors. Lots of favorable comments. Lots of kids running. Lots of money in the donation buckets. And lots of lots of trains on the railroad. Like a leaky hull, trains kept squirting out of the three yard exits. When […]
December 17, 2017

OpsLog – WAZU – 12/17/2017

an’t put much here. My left hand is in a splint and I can barely type. All I can say about Doc’s session on the Wazu is this – picture an ammunition train going head on with a train carrying gasoline in the narrow dangers of Goblin’s Gate. And that was pretty much our session on the Wazu.  Had a great time, Doc!