Chris Abbott and I spent a most enjoyable afternoon together yesterday, running a few trains, discussing my recent work on trees, plans for gathering all of my various workshop tools and materials in one place, my experiments with couplers, and more.
We ran four trains. In addition to the M233 and M238 (seen in the photos with this post), we also took the new doodlebug and a freight extra for a spin. With the exception of turning the mixed train, there was no switching to do – we were returning a couple of staged trains from Port Rowan to Simcoe and points north. But the switching with the mixed train went smoothly – validating my decision to return to using the Kadee 808 couplers.
I was particularly interested in how trains would look rolling through St. Williams, where I’ve temporarily planted a number of tree armatures in the foreground. And I’m pleased. Trains will look even better when these armatures are coated with bark mixture and topped with leafy canopies.
In adding trees, I like to start with the bare armatures and leave them in place for a bit, while I conduct some operating sessions. This is useful for confirming that the trees will not get in the way of coupling, uncoupling and other tasks.
I make a point of testing the reach-in access for both left-handed and right-handed people. I don’t need to actually do the work with the off-hand – just make sure I can get my arm in and out of a scene without clocking a tree with an elbow. I know I will do a lot of testing with the foreground trees near the middle of the double-ended siding in St. Williams. They’re low, compact trees – but I want to make sure they don’t interfere with dropping and lifting cars in the siding.
Chris and I started the afternoon with a trip to Harbord House for a serving of bacon, cheese and ale dip, stuffed chicken breast, and pints – followed by a stop at Things Japanese and Bakka-Phoenix Books – all located within a few doors of each other. I have a great neighbourhood.
Chris stayed for dinner, too: A Thai beef curry done in a red sauce and finished with snow peas and clementines. It was nice to have a very relaxing afternoon, with plenty of time to do things – railway-related and otherwise.
A great time, as always, Chris – thanks for coming over!