Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Operating Night

Over the past year or so we (me and my son) have been occasionally operating trains as part of a Southern New Jersey round-robin group.   One of the layouts we operate on is Dave Skinner's KADE.  Dave, a master model railroader, has a superbly detailed layout that is essentially complete.  Dave's is a credit to the hobby as he is very hospitable, always willing to take the time to explain something, and is active in encouraging others in the hobby.  
There was a rare wednesday night operating session scheduled this week.  Jimmy was tied up with school work, but since I don't have any homework I was able to go.  The railroad normally takes around 3-4 hours to operate, but some trains were eliminated tonight and the last of us left around 11pm.  Dave uses the car forwarding system of operations.  It was not a system that I was ever very interested in, but it has been growing on me quite a bit.  What I especially like about it is that it randomizes things very well -  repeat moves from one session to another don't happen and cars recycle at different rates so no switching is ever really the same.  The only deviation from this system is with coal hoppers - these are moved in blocks sometimes and also use a simplified color code system.   I'm not sure this system would work for the movements on our layout, as they are by their industrial nature, somewhat cyclical.  It is something I will be investigating more.   The picture is a small portion of Dave's layout that I took from my phone this evening.  

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