Last weekend members of the Virgina-Maryland (VM) Operators Group visited New Jersey for the 2021 North East Interchange. The VM group are layout owners in the Washington Capital area that operate on each other's railroads in a round-robin fashion. Around Thanksgiving of each year the VM group and a similar group from New Jersey get together to operate our layouts. The location alternates each year. This year we travelled north to New Jersey. Last year was cancelled due to COVID. Next year the New Jersey folks will come south. According to Jerry Dziedzic our two groups have been doing this interchange since 2014. I think I have attended all of them.
|Paul working on Dave's layout|
The first was David Ramos's New York Harbor Railroad. Dave has a website for his railroad. I did the St James Terminal Yard Master job. I volunteered this job as it has a special meaning to me. My grandfather had a bakery in Manhattan about 3 blocks from this terminal. It is possible that he received freight from this terminal to use in his baked products. My helper was John Held, who recently retired from Conrail after 42 years of service. He was a fun partner.
That night we had a group dinner a nice restaurant with an excellent buffet.
|Tony Licesse stands near the turntable at Alleghany.|
Yes the aisle is a tight squeeze for many of us chunky
On Sunday morning we ran Tony Koester's Nickel Plate Railroad. Tony's railroad is nearly fully sceniced, a remarkable achievement given the amount of time he has been working on it. I volunteered for a road job. I got train 41 with 30 cars and a single NKP Berkshire locomotive. The railroad is operated under time table and train order so you have to know the schedule. The job was made easier as Tony quickly alerted me to the oncoming trains. Nonetheless, I did make an error at one point but it turned out to be moot as the oncoming train was running very late. It took me three real time hours to get the train across the road and accomplish the switching I had to do.
|A view down one of the aisles on Tony's double deck railroad|
Our ride home was uneventful. It was a fun trip with great fellowship and model railroads. I am looking forward to hosting our New Jersey friends in 2022.
|Scarecrow on Tony's layout|
|Dave Ramos about to attack the dispatcher. Dave Barraza|