Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Aborted Operation Session

I often get very discouraged about my layout as I seem to come up against a wall - more psychological than physical.  Everytime I work on the layout I feel like I am not getting as much done as I need to.  Everything takes longer than I think it will, and if something can go wrong it does.

I did get in five more Tortoises.  I still have two more candidates.  I took
some breaks and wrote instructions for the yardmaster, assistant yardmaster, a couple of fixed switcher jobs and train briefs for locals, passenger, and freight trains.  The freight still need some work.

Several times I have hoped to have an operating session.  I have invited the local club members on numerous Tuesday nights over the past year*.  

Almost every time I try to get the railroad running and find more problems including shorts, loose rail, locomotive problems.  I will not bore you with a retelling of each and every attempt but here is what transpired one of the evenings.

I still was not ready when eight members showed up when the 7PM hour arrived but I explained the throttles and handed out three.  All were just locomotives - no cars.  One member took two Kato F40PH Amtrak units (one with sound) and managed a complete circuit of the layout.  That is about 330 feet and includes both levels and the helix up and down.  Another member took a GP35 across most of the upper level and down the helix and over some of the lower level to the Santa Barbara yard.  Another member took two tunnel motors from the east leg of the wye at Surf went away from the main and then back on the west leg entering the main.  He traveled west to Tangair where he pulled in the siding to allow the GP35 by and then came out to follow him back past the wye at Surf and down the helix.  We were having some issues in the helix so he reversed on the main and went over the complete upper level and then back to the helix where he went down to the first level and into the Santa Barbara yard.  All three engineers found issues with the trackwork and marked it with red tape so I have my work cut out for me.  We were operating for about an hour.  While all this sounds good, I am not sure I can count it as an operating session.

Here are some photos:
Paul, Jim, Art, John, and David.
David is the engineer on the two tunnel motors on the right.

Bob, Michael, and Joe in a deep discussion. 

And a short video:
video
          John even sings as the GP35 crosses the Santa Ynez River bridge.

*November 5, April 8,  July 8, and September 9


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