Ops and Dinner with Ryan

 photo Ops-2014-11-21-01_zps2dd6a01d.jpg

I had an unexpected and pleasant evening, running trains and sharing good food and drink with Ryan Mendell.

I first “met” Ryan online – he has posted to the Model Railroad Hobbyist forums – including this great description of his goals in the hobby – and has offered thoughtful commentary on posts on my blog. Ryan also pens a blog about his beautiful, freelanced Algonquin Railway: Click on the image below to visit it:

 photo RyanMendell_zps32fa2f6c.jpg

Yesterday, I emailed him about something and when he replied, he said:

I’m actually in your neck of the woods right now and tonight is the one night I don’t have to run home. Would you like to meet up at your place and then grab a bite to eat?

As it happened, I also had the night off: My wife is out of town at a conference this weekend so I was on my own anyway, and I had no plans beyond, “Watch a movie” and “Twist tree armatures”. So Ryan’s timing could not have been better!

I gave Ryan the tour of the layout, and then we ran a freight extra to Port Rowan and return. This was the first operating session since I made the decision to go back to using the Kadee 808 coupler and it’s been a while since I’ve held an operating session that went so smoothly. Beyond a minor hiccup with the sector plate – I almost had it aligned properly – the layout performed really well.

If you’ve visited Ryan’s blog, you’ll know he has a modest (spare bedroom-sized) railway, so he and I face the same challenges when it comes to making a simple track plan engaging to operate. We talked a lot about the ways I do that on my Port Rowan branch, where I have just eight turnouts and “one train at a time” operation is the rule. I’m sure we’ll be having more discussions about operations in the future.

 photo Ops-2014-11-21-02_zpse8704323.jpg

After our session, we headed to (drumroll, please!) Harbord House for dinner, pints and a wide-ranging discussion. We were both surprised when we got up to leave, and it was 11:20 pm! That’s always a very good sign – that and the fact that we could’ve talked for another three hours, easily.

Ryan: Great to finally meet you – thanks for the suggestion. I’m looking forward to continuing our discussions while visiting your end of the city to see your layout and sampling your local. We’ll arrange something soon!

 photo Ops-2014-11-21-03_zpsde32ca28.jpg

2 thoughts on “Ops and Dinner with Ryan

  1. I am interested in Ryan’s backdrop. I believe it is derived from photographs, but how…? I have not managed to connect with his blog.



Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Please prove you're not a nasty spamming robot thingy * Time limit is exhausted. Please reload CAPTCHA.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.