November 19, 2017

NJ-DC Interchange 2017

Trains 3 and 4 meet at Brooke.
Bill and Henry pass Brooke
This year it was the Washington DC area layout owners turn to host the annual NJ-DC interchange. It is an annual event that has developed over the past few years where layout owners from each region host the layout owners from the other region.  We had a whole weekend full of events and op sessions planned for our northern visitors. Alas, I was not fully recovered from my cold, so I only participated by hosting an op session on Sunday morning.

My gallant crew of boomers included Henry Freeman, Bill Raymond, Tom Piccirillo, Andy Busgard and Jim Schweitzer.  Since the op session had to start in the morning to give the visitors time to drive home, we ran the morning session on Aquia Landing. This was the first time we ran the morning session.

Andy and Tom switch Falmouth
Henry and Bill ran Trains 3 and 6, while Andy and Tom ran Trains 4  and 5 back. The initial trains got off to a slightly late start, but they were able to make their meets on time. After a brief learning curve on the couplers and Stanton throttles, both crews did a great job and the trains ran extremely well.  Whew!

The commissary provided their usual great snacks, this time dark, double chocolate Ghiradelli brownies, coffee and tea. Thank's Alicia.

Jim has the right whiskers for operating on Aquia, but he took
PoLA for most of the session.
Meanwhile, Jim Schweitzer ran PoLA as a solo operator. He is an experienced operator so I knew he could handle it. I used the revised switchlist that listed hold cars as well as pick-ups and set-outs. I also added an extra task by requiring the out-bound cars to be classified according to destination railroad, UP and BNSF in this case. Jim liked the railroad and remarked that it was a lot of work for 5 sidings. He also felt that he could have used a 2-man crew as the job has a lot work for one person. At the end of the session, Jim ran the General's special from Falmouth to Aquia. It was actually easy as there were no scheduled trains on the road when he ran

Prior to their arrival I added two more box cars and a new conductor's car to the Aquia layout. So now all scheduled trains have a conductor's car to run in their train.

Jerry and Jim
On Saturday Paul Dolkos, Tony Koester, Perry Squire, Jerry Albertie and Jim Leighty visited my house after operating on Paul's Baltimore Harbor.  They got to tour the layout, but did not operate.

Later on Sunday Mike Willegal and his wife, Christie, stopped by to see the layout on their way to South Carolina for Thanksgiving. Mike is planning an HO version of City Point.

All in all a great weekend. Sadly, I was not the only one that got sick on the Detroit trip. Several of the NJ guys also contracted colds, but they toughed it out to operate this weekend.
Christie and Mike

1 comment:

  1. Bernard,
    I thank you for the privilege that you gave us to opeate your layout.
    As a model railraoder, rail fan and with a strong interest in the Civil War history.
    it was great!
    You meet my signature line --
    Knowledge has no value --
    Unless shared with others.
    Again, Thank You
    Andy Brusgard