Early ops session reports

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(A recent ops session on my own layout. I’m seeing more and more reports of early ops sessions on the blogs I read: It’s a great time to follow what others are doing, and learning!)

For me, one of the joys of reading the blogs of others is reading about how their model railways progress from a collection of raw materials into operating layouts.

Unlike layout tours in magazines, where we often read about how a layout is supposed to operate, the early stage operating reports give us a real picture of what actually happens as the layout builder brings his/her vision to life.

Recently, my RSS feed reader has been full of such reports. For example:

Marty McGuirk held the 5th operating session on his Central Vermont Railway on Saturday – his most successful session yet, he reports.

Chris Adams held an ops session last Friday on his New Haven Railroad and has shared a couple of posts generated as a result of that – the first on handling Bad Order cars, the second on rebuilding an interlocking tower.

Last Thursday, Eric Hansmann was putting his B&O Wheeling Freight Terminal through its first formal operating session.

(Also last Thursday, my friend Pierre Oliver hosted the second full operating session on his Wabash Railroad. And here’s my report on the session, in case you missed it.)

Early sessions are not always pretty – but the reports always informative and I gather some great ideas from reading them.

(I also find it interesting, and enjoyable, that I’m seeing more blog entries that include notes of the social side of the ops session – usually involving a meal at a favourite local restaurant. As I’ve noted on this blog previously, I’m a big believer in dinner reports, which help present the model railway hobby as the social activity that it is. Those of us who build and operate layouts know that unlike many other hobbies, ours is a group effort.)

Enjoy if you visit any of these links – and kudos to my online friends who have shared their stories for all of us!

8 thoughts on “Early ops session reports

    • Thanks David – there’s nothing like linen in the summer. And while you can’t see it, I’m wearing little silver steam engine cufflinks.

  1. Re: dinner reports

    Hi Trevor,

    Admittedly, I found your mention of meals and beverages to be a bit unusual, but after thinking about it, I drew the same conclusion you’ve come to. I’m realizing that much of what makes your blog interesting to read is your sharing of the social aspects and friendships that we enjoy as a result of our hobby. I’ve even taken to mentioning similar activities with friends on occasion in my own writings.

    It is a great way to end a work or operating session.


  2. Thanks for the shout-out Trevor! (heh – my stats have certainly been up for the past couple of days ;^) I’ll echo what others have said about your mentioning dinners, etc. One of the things I’ve found most enjoyable – and surprisingly so, since I didn’t plan things this way – is the post-session social hour, gabfest, debriefing. And this past session, we actually had a dinner break in-between two “days” of operating. The only downside – we have to be careful that the socializing doesn’t totally overshadow the operating!

    • My pleasure, Chris – I really enjoy your blog and thing many of my readers would too.
      I know that if we have our lunch/dinner before an operating session I have to watch my intake of adult beverages. One pint is good. Two pints, and I can’t uncouple cars. 🙂

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