(Extra 80 East passes tobacco kilns and fields in St. Williams, Ontario)
Last night, Matt Goodman joined me for dinner and an operating session on the Port Rowan branch. Matt is from Ohio but was in my area on business. My friend Chris Abbott mentioned he would be here so I got in touch with Matt and invited him over – and I’m really glad I did.
We had a great evening, talking about trains and layouts and other things as we ran a freight extra.
Matt was particularly interested in the turntable I built for Port Rowan – using an HO scale turntable kit from Custom Model Railroads as my starting point.
In general, I like prototype turntables but hate the models of them, which in my experience tend to look fine but perform poorly. This turntable is an exception: It has been flawless since I installed it back in June, 2012:
(The bridge mounts onto a rectangular key on the shaft and is removable, as this under construction photo shows)
(CMR’s display motor with 7000-to-1 gearing mounts onto its own box, suspended under the turntable base. There’s plenty of access to allow the drive shaft to be disconnected for serving. That said, I’ve never had to service this turntable – it’s been consistently delightful)
It’s been a while since I’ve written about the turntable, but all of the posts related to it (including this one) can be found in the Turntable Category.
We had no derailments (phew!) but I did continue to experience some trouble with the Sergent Couplers.
I haven’t given up on the Sergents – although I’m also glad I didn’t throw out my Kadees. I will order more Sergent EC64K couplers when they return to market – hopefully, soon – and do more testing before I make a final decision.
A major factor affecting coupler performance is that this summer I have not been running the layout as much as I should – and it shows: Last night’s coupler problems were almost entirely due to operator error on my part.
As an aside, I’ve started to give away copies of my Employee Time Table when people make their first visit to my railway:
These six-page documents don’t take long for me to assemble, and I think they make a nice reminder of the visit.
They also probably answer a number of questions that visitors might have about the layout’s operation – the kind of thing we think of an hour or two afterwards and wish we could ask.
Between talking, operating and dinner at Harbord House, Matt and I covered a lot of ground in a visit that lasted more than four hours. It was after midnight when he left and I know we could’ve continued to discuss many things. We’ll have to pick up that discussion next time he’s in town.
Great to meet you in person, Matt – come again!