The Springfield show was a blast and New England Free-mo does such a great job organizing the layout. My model railroading buddy Anton and I headed up Friday and spent some time railfanning at the Springfield station, catching some Amtrak trains and a CSX auto rack.
|The southbound Vermonter has backed into the station while another Amtrak train lays over before the evening rush.|
|The Vermonter leaves Springfield.|
|An overall look at the layout from one side. Hard to capture the whole layout in one shot though. There are two return loops at the end of the peninsulas, and one third peninsula serving as the branch line.|
|My Woodstown Junction module set attracts 2 generations of railroaders!|
On the home layout, I want to get Ops going this month, and I am also on the schedule for the Ops Callboard of the MER Fall convention in nearby Mt. Laurel. I have been busy preparing and staging freight cars, double checking waybills, testing locomotives and doing some speed matching, and most importantly developing a master schedule. This has been time consuming, but enjoyable. I have always had a plan in mind for operations, but pulling it together into a what I hope will be a workable and enjoyable schedule has been pretty fun. I have test run a few of the trains as well and posted some photos of that on a newly started thread on the railroad-line forum:
In getting ready, I had to make some decisions on what to finish now and what to leave be in order to get sessions started. A good example is the track in North Stratford. This area has never progressed past the benchwork stage, but I really wanted to include at least the MEC YT-1/TY-2 train as that interchanges with St. Johnsbury and affects cars in other trains. So what I decided was to just temporarily lay some flex track to hold an already staged TY-2.
|The MECs pair of RS11s will handle TY-2/YT-1 on the layout. Here is the train staged on temporary flex track, ready to head down to St. Johnsbury.|
|TY-2 at Crawfords, running around the train in order to head to St. J.|
This will at least be a starting point for the first session. We'll see how far we get and what does and does not work. Now to finish up a few more things, and put a date in the calendar to get trains rolling.
I still want to do some modeling though, so I have been doing a little weathering and flat finish on some of the locomotives that will be on duty. Here are a few getting their windows masked prior to the weathering. One of the newest additions is the B&M Bicentennial unit, #200. Pretty cool paint scheme. Probably didn't venture up the Conn River main line often, if at all, but I could't resist this loco!