My regular formal operating sessions adhere to a schedule agreement among Portland metro area operating layouts wherein I usually occupy the first Saturday of the month. Most of the layouts involved draw key crew members from the same pool of operators, so the schedule agreement is important. My “First Saturday” schedule means I lose several months to holidays like the Fourth of July or the upcoming Labor Day weekend. Indeed, this Fall has so many conflicts on the First Saturdays that I will only schedule one more formal operating session before the end of the year.
In spite of my slot in the formal operating rotation, other operating session opportunities arise. I built and continue to build my layout for operations, so I am open to alternative groups. Such was the case in mid-August, when a group of other model railroad operators from the vibrant N-scale community around Portland came out to run my railroad. Five of my regular operators joined in to fill key operating positions (Dispatcher, Eugene Yardmaster, Santa Clara Tower and a pair of helpers). This turned out to be an ideal mix. Eleven visitors and my five regulars ran the railroad through a full operating session. The road crews were single man, but we used a more casual dispatching style so the lack of a conductor was not a burden. There were a lot of happy faces at the end of the session, not least of which was mine!
I took only a few photos, seen below. We were having too much fun!
Kent W. and Jerry G. work the first Springfield local. Regular crewmember Chuck C. works as the Eugene Yardmaster while David W. works the Eugene City Switcher.
Bob. S. (on the ladder) is getting set to come out of Crescent Lake with the 01-WCEUE. This is the first empty lumber train coming up from the Los Angeles (West Colton Yard) area. Below, Curtis K. and Tony S. confer about their train out of Eugene.
Scott B. and Randy S. work the Oakridge Turn.
The operation was a success in spite of happening on one of the hottest days this year in Western Oregon. Special thanks go to my regulars, John B, Chuck, C, Dick K, Pete J, and Bill M. who supported this additional operating session. They provided their experience to keep the railroad running. The visiting group were good operators who were able to pick up the basic operating scheme and run with it. I look forward to hosting more such groups.