Wednesday, November 27, 2019

Proof of Concept!

My first "official" ops session is in the bag!

Hunter Hughson and Robin Talukdar dropped by this afternoon and they ran the layout. I had them run a reefer extra out of staging, to Clovis where they switched out the loaded reefers and replaced them with empties. A bit of a challenge as space is tight in Clovis and if you don't plan your moves well, you'll be in the weeds before you know it.

Now the whole process took them almost 3 hours to execute, but they are new to the layout. I've done the same job in 2 hours, but I have slight advantage of being able to look at the track arrangement on a regular basis.

Neither Hunter nor Robin had seen the layout before in it's totality, but I was delighted at their reactions as I gave them the tour. Once they were familiar with the basic plan, I gave them the train to run and let them loose.

I think that rather than try and describe their reactions I'll just share a few quotes from the session with you.

Hunter- "This is really cool, really neat!"

2 minutes later, upon reviewing his assignment,
"This is going to be a f***ing pain in the ass!"

Within 1/2 an hour
"This is freaking neat!"

Robin, acting as engineer, was neglectful on occasion about whistling for the level crossings in Clovis, which earned him an admonishment from Hunter.
"Maybe some whistle, Mr Murder?"

I suspect that they both enjoyed the afternoon. I know I'm super pleased that the layout operates as planned and will easily keep a number of operators busy for a few hours. Now I just have to refine a little more paperwork and get a few more cars built and regular sessions can now be planned.

Friday, November 22, 2019

I've been looking forward to this

It's taken over a year, but this finally arrived in today's mail
It’s the new Crystal River Products laser cut stock pen kit. I’m so excited I already acquired 3 kits.

The delay was because the Crystal River product line was purchased by Randell Johnson, and he is in the process of resurrecting and improving the product line.

Randell and I have been in contact with each other for over a year. He and a partner were working through the CAD drawings and learning the nuances of laser cutting. Based upon the photos I'd seen, I was quite prepared to be patient.

I had been directed to this kit by Trevor (The Enabler), as a really good-looking, well executed stock pen kit. And now that the kits have been delivered, I'm happy to say, at first glance, I'm not disappointed.

The laser cut parts are crisp and clean, a base is included which will make construction much easier. There's a 13 page instruction sheet, which appears to be very thorough.

I'm very much looking forward to building this little gem, and actually it's not that little. 6" x 11" will make for a respectable looking stock pen. The other 2 will be modified to fit into the allotted space in Friant, once I build the first one stock.

Step one... gotta head to Michaels for some finishing products.

This is gonna be fun!!!