Monday, August 19, 2013

Closer than I thought

My friend, Mark Hill, was over yesterday. Hadn't seen him in almost a year, and I can't remember the last time he actually saw the layout. We spent a pleasant day catching up, trading war stories and running trains. Nothing structured, just the joy of watching long freights rolling along the main line.
                       Westbound Extra 1157A meets  Train #82 at Delhi.

As we went along, I realized that I'm actually closer to being able to run things with TT&TO than I had first thought.
Track is all in and mostly debugged. There's a few little things that pop up. Might take an hour to address.
I have a few cars that refuse to remain on the tracks. The reasons are not immediately obvious, no doubt another couple of hours will resolve those issues. If all else fails, there's no shortage of freight cars here.

The only "big job" left is to create a dispatchers work area. I've been giving the whole thing a lot of thought and I have decided that I want to give the dispatcher an aid for tracking the train locations. I'm thinking that a magnetic board with a track schematic and magnetic labels for the trains will be of great use for helping to visualize where all the trains are at any given time. There will be times when it will be quite hectic on the layout and a visual representation will go a long way to avoid cornfield meets.


Trevor said...

Not planting any cornfield will also solve that problem. You can have tobacco field meets instead.

Congrats on being so close! We'll get you over the hump. Then, as Marty McGuirk says, it's time for "Sea Trials"...

CVSNE said...

Sounds like you're ready to go - congrats!

As a rule, I'm not big on "dispatching" cheats like a magnetic board - the real guys didn't use them - they ran off a train sheet. But I can see the logic of using one, especially when it comes to getting folks up to speed.

Instead of spending time making up a magnet board I'd make up some cardboard tokens, put the various train numbers on them, and use a paper schematic sitting on the dispatcher's table.

But you'll never know what surprises lay in store until you try the layout out.... I'm still tweaking my op scheme based on our first two Sea Trial sessions.

To quote Captain Ron, "If something's gonna happen, it's gonna happen out there!!!"

Try it and then see what you really need or don't need.

David said...

I've been learning to dispatch TT&TO operations on a large n-scale layout. We have a large train sheet for DS usage. Ironically, I asked for a metalic board, got it, but never used it (in 4 subsequent sessions). As dispatcher I'm already recording OS's on the train sheet, recording order in the order book and checking the time table. The magnetic board is too much to do. Plus it is redundent to the train sheet (redundency is never good, as which one is the master?).

So I make up a dispatcher's sheet for Trevor to use! He'll do just fine.