|Downhill ore train on Doug Tagsold's Colorado and Southern Railroad|
I just returned from a fantastic long weekend of operating railroads at Great Lakes Getaway 2019. I left Alexandria on Tuesday and picked up Steve King in Fayetteville, PA on the way. I got to see Steve's new double deck N scale layout. I also dropped off a coal dock model that I had built for Steve. This model was one of the N scale Handley coal docks I offered for sale over 10 years ago. Steve bought one and asked me to build it for him several years ago. I finally had a chance to deliver it to him! Some things can't be rushed.
We arrived in Dundee, Michigan in time on Tuesday night to have dinner with several other model railroaders in town for the Great Lakes Getaway.
On Wednesday, a group of us operated on Doug Tagsold's new Colorado and Southern narrow gauge railroad. To model this narrow railroad in an economical way, Doug used HO equipment modified to 1/72nd scale. This created a narrow gauge railroad that runs great, looks great, has long runs and was relatively inexpensive to build as he was able to reuse much of his existing HO scale track and structures. The railroad uses Time Table and Train Order with waybills and switchlists. Because the trains are short, the switching is fun and manageable. But, oh those long runs between towns. I can't recall another railroad that I have operated that has such long runs between towns. It adds so much realism to the TT&TO operations.
|Several Alkem Scale Models kits on display at|
Mike Burgett's layout
|John demonstrates his automated staging yard|
|Bruce Carpenter's new layout|
On Saturday we headed to Saline Michigan to operate on the Wabash Operations Road Show layout. From their website,
"The Operations Road Show is an ongoing project to build and operate a large portable HO scale layout to demonstrate and teach prototypical timetable and train order operation in a friendly, low-pressure environment. We have taken it to the NMRA National Conventions in Toronto in 2003, Cincinnati in 2005, Hartford in 2009, Grand Rapids in 2012, Cleveland in 2014, Indianapolis in 2016, Kansas City in 2019, and brought out guests to the layout from the Great Lakes Express convention in Detroit in 2007. The 2019 trip to the NMRA National Convention in Kansas City was the last road trip we have planned for the layout, though we continue to hold sessions at our home base, near Ann Arbor, Michigan."Steve and I teamed up to run two trains. A quick Monon interchange job, and a long way freight. The railroad is TT&TO based, but also has a complex blocking system for freight switching. I suspect it would take several op sessions to really get the hang of it.
Later that afternoon, we went back to Doug's Colorado and Southern for another session. This time I ran an ore extra. After making a serious error in reading the timetable, I decided to play it safe. On my return trip to the mines, I occupied a short siding on the up hill climb as I had three trains meeting me. After one double saw-by, and two single saw by's I was on my way back to the mine. What a hoot!
After seeing three double deck railroads with clean, uncluttered presentations, I am thinking about ways I could add a partial double deck to my railroad. The long runs on Doug's layout really demonstrate how they enhance realism. My layout design thinking cap is on.
|I like the clean uncluttered look of Doug's double deck construction. Travers Stravac approves too. |
|Mike's layout also has a neat, uncluttered professional look to its construction|