Ops with Thorsten, Pierre and Chris

On Sunday, I hosted an operating session for a few friends – including one who crossed an ocean to take part.

Okay, Thorsten Petschallies was in southern Ontario from Germany for several reasons – but getting together with Pierre Oliver, Chris Abbott and myself was on the list. I met Thorsten through Pierre a few years ago, and it’s always great to see him.

Since Torsten had come such a long way, we ran two operating sessions back to back. (This also gave all of us a chance to compare the performance of Sergent couplers versus Kadee couplers – part of my on-going tests of the Sergent EC64 as I decide whether to convert my rolling stock.)

The first trip out, Chris put on the conductor’s hat for mixed train M233 / M238, while Thorsten took the engineer’s seat and I handled the Sergent couplers. I loaded up the mixed with LCL and Express so we did all the paperwork and switching involved with those items in addition to handling carload freight.

For the second run, we switched a Kadee-equipped freight extra, with Thorsten as conductor and Pierre at the throttle.

Everybody had a good time and the layout ran very well, although I had a couple of minor derailments. I made a note of the equipment involved and the location where the derailments occurred, and will investigate further.

We were all pleasantly surprised that the Sergent couplers performed better than the Kadees during Sunday’s operating session. We even switched a couple of cars onto the elevated coal delivery track in Port Rowan – the least accessible spur on the layout – and the Sergent couplers performed flawlessly there. I did find a couple of sticky couplers, which I cleared up this morning by adding some graphite and working the knuckles a bit more to polish the moving surfaces. So far, so good.

A consequence of playing host is that I was too busy explaining the layout to my guests to take photos. Fortunately, Chris brought his smart phone and snapped a couple, which he has shared on his blog. Click on the image below – from left to right, me, Thorsten and Pierre – to read more about Sunday’s fun, from Chris’ perspective…
 photo Ops-20140622_zpsd76fcf20.jpg

Thanks for visiting, guys – I’m looking forward to the next time!

6 thoughts on “Ops with Thorsten, Pierre and Chris

  1. Hey, it was great! I almost lost some weight running back and forth along the train to change the switch stand alignment. Good thing I fed myself well during the dinner break.

    • Thanks for shooting photos, Chris – and I enjoyed the report on your blog.

      Next time we get together we can talk more about the mixed train duties and get your phone set up with TouchCab.


  2. Thanks for the play by play on the couplers. You are a couple weeks ahead of me on trying them out. It is getting me motivated to install them on some test cars. Looks like this week they will get out of the packages.

    • Hi Tom:

      My pleasure – I’m glad the posts are useful and that they’re motivating you to do your own tests. I think it’s really the best way to decide whether the Sergent couplers are right for one’s layout.

      I have assembled six packages worth and have another four packages to build. I think I’ll build them this week and equip a few more test subjects, including a 2-6-0.


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