Friday, January 22, 2016
OK so you may or may not know that I have not operated the layout in two years. The last session was I think February 6 of 2014! Without going into boring details, I'm back!
Since this past Thanksgiving I've been working on the railroad, specifically the JMRI operating system. I have spent a considerable amount of time refining how this railroad operates with JMRI and fortunately with the help of one of the designers, Dan. His assistance has been invaluable!
And during this time I have done three shakedown sessions to make sure that things work properly. Yes there are still gremlins, but there is not much that I can do about that until they pop up and I can squash them. That's just part of model railroading.
In addition to working on the operating system, I have had to repair a number of turnouts and replace one more so far. Additionally a few electrical connections have decided to come apart for some strange reason, and I have fixed those.
The next step is to have another shakedown/qualification session on February 6. During this time I will have several of the operators come over and we will run the layout so that they can get used to the new operating system as well as get more familiar with the railroad.
All of this is leading to a more formal operating session on February 20. Even still, during that session I am going to have operators train and rotate on the various jobs on the railroad. I would like everyone to learn and know as much as possible about operating the railroad. I think that makes it more fun for everyone. And it certainly makes it less stressful for me having to train everybody every single time.
Some other things I'll be working on before the operating session is making sure all the track is clean, and that's usually not a problem because the room is very sealed. I also want to get a number of other locomotive speed-matched so that things run a little better together. I have also cleaned up certain "work spaces" to clear up some of the clutter. And I still need to add about 300 cars to the layout! That's a bigger challenge because they all need to be weighed, have the proper trucks and couplers installed, and have metal wheels and resistors applied to the cars. That is a big project.
Oh I'm sure there's other projects I want to accomplish before the operating session but I'll save that for another post. Enjoy the photos below.