Tuesday, February 25, 2020


It's what can happen when my honey decides to go visit one of her friends for more than 4 days... INVITE THE CREW! In addition to DC and Andy, a very good friend and contributor was able to visit as well, LeBron Matthews. One day we will feature his remarkable modeling as he too models the W&A, referenced as the south branch. LeBron is from Columbus Georgia.

This crew was here on Wednesday working on different projects as well as to help prep for the Thursday night ops session. DC continues to scenic the new section. More on this section and DC's work in a future post.

 LeBron scenicing Atlanta; grass was more likely in many areas around the tracks and yard than I considered. Where there is no traffic most likely there'd be grasses. Needless to say, the added greenery has a few effects. 1) it pulls the elements of Atlanta together, the green is the connector to the structures. 2) it fills out the area of Atlanta; makes it "pop" as some like to say.
3) the color adds a pleasing invitation to the eye.

Andy took on his first structure, a Woodlands Scenics casting of the Tack Shed. The door off the hinge was his intention!
Six other fellas came by for the session. Adding LeBron and Paul, we grouped them into four 2-man crews, one engineer and one brakeman. In addition to operating the loco, the engineer handled the way bill/schedule. Brakeman had responsibility for coupling, switching. Here Lebron, engineer, along with his brakeman Paul, maneuver the Dr. Thompson consist into Big Shanty. DC and I were trouble shooters.

Engineers and Brakemen
Left to right, LeBron, DC, Ray, Paul, Bill, TR, Dave, Hilmar, Ed and Andy. Paul, Ed and Hilmar are from our local RR club, Garden State Central. Paul is building an HO scale W&A layout, focusing on the Battle of Mission Ridge. Ray has a MASSIVE HO multi-level layout, Norfolk and Western. Bill and Dave contribute to his layout and all three are members of the Model RR Club. Andy is our resident photographer and videographer. He excels at tree making ,and during this visit apprenticed with LeBron on scenic work.
Lessons learned or reinforced
1) Prior to ops session, have a friend review the schedule/way bills. We found out, 30 minutes prior to people arriving, the schedules included the same cars! During staging this was most apparent as one person set up a consist, went off to do another, only to return and find the cars he set gone!  
2) Always invite guests to offer feedback. Most often they will not offer input to avoid offending. This also shows them that your intention is to improve the efficiency and fun. 
3) Just because a person has done the brakeman job a few times does NOT mean they know how to engineer a locomotive! Although we are familiar with shorts, we had an excessive number this time. Speaking with one engineer at the end, I realized this engineer did not know that he could not run a loco into an adjacent turnout if the rails were not aligned to the track he was exiting! Good news is that this one breakdown indicated that we did not have a massive, layout wide, short issue to untangle.
4) Coupled with number 3, invite operators who are familiar operating on your layout. Then be sure to partner the most familiar with newest guests.
5) The realization that metal wheels can cause a short when the stub rails are either too close or wheel sets are too loose and hitting both rails simultaneously.

No comments:

Post a Comment