Monday, 22 December 2014

Ops from Big Pink

Last night spelled the end of an era on Derwin's layout.  With the new addition scheduled to open in the new year, Sunday night's session marked the end of the Ashtown and Shellville trains, both of which arrive and depart from the main yard.  In the future, these trains will be replaced by an "East 1" and "West 1", which then return as "West 2" and "East 2", respectfully.  I am not sure I fully understand how the new layout will work off of the old layout yet, but time will tell.

Last night's operating session went quite smoothly, which was aided by the fact that we had an unusually small crew, meaning that everyone operated for both sessions - something we hadn't had to do in quite some time.  Now seems like a fitting time to take a look back at the operating sessions we have all grown accustomed to, and all the fun we've had through them.

These first couple of shots show why we needed the extension.  Since I joined the group three winters ago, we have nearly doubled in size.  In fact, there was talk of an extension even before I joined the just took that long for it to happen unfortunately.  In looking at this photo, we are still missing half a dozen of our current members.

The layout owner is pictured in front of part of his rather large diesel collection.

A look from the yard up towards Shellville.

Something the matter?

Chris's domain aka the yard.  Pretty empty at this point but I have no doubt it would have filled up in no time - it always does.

Chris begins to assemble the Ashtown Job.

All smiles in the yard.  Things must have ran smoothly on this occasion.

Somebody's scheming something up

"I didn't do it, I swear"

This two shots gives a good look at the size of the room.

The extension itself sits in a pretty sizeable chunk of real estate itself.  The lead to the new section ties in right where Scott (maroon shirt, back left of room) in the above photo is standing.  It runs under the display case along the back wall (no, we couldn't convince him to move the case) and through the doorway to the right.  I don't have any real recent shots of the whole room with all of the track in place, but these should suffice.

Most of the track is connected here and hasn't changed much.  As of last night, there were temporary stand in buildings complete with named sidings as well as a bunch of new cars

Lots of potatoes on the move during this preliminary run on the new section.

Last but not least, here are some photos from throughout the last while, which I took doing what I do best, railfanning while operating a moving consist.

Unfortunately, I don't have a photo of this car on the layout, but this was built by yours truly for Derwin as a joke earlier this year.  Turns out he absolutely can't stand the song "Up on Cripple Creek" from The Band's "Music from Big Pink" album and several of us like to give him a hard time for it.  He wasn't going to run it but now that he has all this extra track he doesn't have a choice.


  1. Great photos, Taylor! It almost felt like being there.. I hope the extension can relieve some of the crowding. Looks like a beautiful layout.

  2. Thanks, Steve. If you're ever back this way, you should join us for an operating session. Scott and Derwin are always keen to have visitors.

    I think the extension will alleviate some of the crowding, but I won't know until I actually see it run.

  3. Great post, Taylor. How many model railroaders does it take....

    How big is the layout room, and layout, roughly?

    Chris' domain is the yard? A yard ape? If I was there, I'd do the same thing. I'd rather work a yard for 5 mins than run the mainline for 1 hour!

    Thanks for sharing, and Merry Christmas!

    1. Thanks Eric. Chris usually runs the yard on Derwin's layout, whereas him and I each run a yard on Scott's layout. We all pick a job based on the order we arrive, however, Scott's layout can comfortably accommodate something like 14 operators so we all tend to pick the same jobs every week. In a way this is nice, as you get very good at working a particular area.

      Derwin's layout can only handle six operators at once unless we double up crews so I often opt to sit out as it is a lot of fun to watch as you can view it standing in one place. Chris found this out for the first time a couple of weeks ago.

      I am not sure what will happen for the first little while once the extension gets up and going on Derwin's layout. I suspect that everyone will want to try the new section, but once we get into a routine, I have a feeling that I might be doing one yard and Chris the other. We don't let Chris out of the yard very often and I don't get out much either, but for different reasons.

      I'll have to get back to you on the dimensions.

  4. Thanks, Taylor! A good layout height for spectators, too!
    Would also love to see a track plan.