I don't know anything, but...

Discussion in 'Model Rail Operations' started by MasonJar, Feb 6, 2004.

  1. MasonJar

    MasonJar It's not rocket surgery

    Well, I am a newbie to the whole idea of operations, but I'd like to report that I am off to my first operating session tonight! I will hopefully have a report and some pics for you on Monday.

    The layout we will be operating is featured in Great Model Railroads 2004. Its the circa late-50s Boston & Maine belonging to Mike Hamer. For some pictures, click here:

    http://www.ovar.ca/Mike Hamer/Hamer.htm

    I am looking forward to learning more about how to run a railroad like the real thing...

  2. Ty Rayles

    Ty Rayles Member

    That railroad has been in the mags at least twice!!! You lucky guy, that is one more really nice layout! Looking forward to the pics and the report. :)
  3. MasonJar

    MasonJar It's not rocket surgery

    A report

    Well, it was an interesting evening. Mike operates with "train orders" (any mistakes in terminology are mine, not his ;)). So we spent a lot of time making up trains to run in one area, taking them to another area, and then taking them apart. Great fun! In all it is possible to have three crews of two each operating - two in "the pit" in the centre of the layout, and one crew actually in the doorway to the room, working the visible part of the surround staging.

    I worked three trains - making up a freight bound for North Dover, the North Dover "mill run" to Conley Lumber, and a switching job in North Dover itself.

    For locations, refer to the map of Mike's layout by clicking here.

    Please note that these pictures are not from Friday night (I forgot the camera), but from a previous visit.

  4. MasonJar

    MasonJar It's not rocket surgery

    Crossing the bridge over the New England River.

    Attached Files:

  5. MasonJar

    MasonJar It's not rocket surgery

    The other side of the same bridge. The train goes into a wooded cut at this point. It is very effective at making the layout seem larger, as Mike has taken pains to disguise transition areas and corners on the layout.

    Attached Files:

  6. MasonJar

    MasonJar It's not rocket surgery

    After that corner, the train crosses over Mitchell Creek. The siding is for Conley Lumber, which we will see in a minute.
  7. MasonJar

    MasonJar It's not rocket surgery

    Oops, here is the picture...

    Attached Files:

  8. MasonJar

    MasonJar It's not rocket surgery

    A closer look at Conley Lumber. The interesting operational challenge here is the "idler" flat that must remain at all times. Locos are not permitted to cross under the building - a hold over from steam loco days, I guess ;).

    Attached Files:

  9. MasonJar

    MasonJar It's not rocket surgery

    An overview of the Conley Lumber "corner" of the layout.

    Attached Files:

  10. MasonJar

    MasonJar It's not rocket surgery

    The train crosses a diamond with the Maine Central, and then crosses the Salmon River.

    Attached Files:

  11. MasonJar

    MasonJar It's not rocket surgery

    You then cross the main road, with "Mainland Elementary school" in the background.

    Attached Files:

  12. MasonJar

    MasonJar It's not rocket surgery

    From here on, you're in North Dover, the main city on Mike's layout. There is a three track yard, and numerous industries to switch.

    The Canadians may appreciate the industry just to the right of centre - GST Demolition... :D

    Attached Files:

  13. MasonJar

    MasonJar It's not rocket surgery

    Finally, you pull into the station...

    It was quite the visit, and an incredible layout. Mike is a super nice guy who is always willing to let you run the trains, or giev you a hand with some information or advice.

    Thanks Mike! I hope you all enjoyed the photos as much as I enjoyed my operating session... :)


    Attached Files:

  14. jon-monon

    jon-monon Active Member

    Great pictures, Andtrew! :thumb: :thumb: :thumb: I'm sure that was a real joy!

    Thanks for sharing!
  15. Ralph

    Ralph Remember...it's for fun!

    How cool to hear from some one who had a chance to operate a layout I'd just seen featured in GMR! Its nicely done and I recall that its unique for the around the wall staging. How'd that work out? Thanks for the photo tour!
  16. Tileguy

    Tileguy Member

    Musta been a great time.
    What i woulda given to have been a mouse in the drivers seat :D
    Thanks for sharing!!
    Perhaps you should give some tips on how to get invited to a first class operating session ;)
  17. MasonJar

    MasonJar It's not rocket surgery


    The "round-the-walls" staging works really well. When you are finished with a train (depart from North Dover) it goes back into staging and is ready to be an "inbound" at some future point. There is no need to turn the loco, or run around the train. Overall, you do not miss the space it "takes away" from the layout. Since the layout is not right against the wall on three sides, it also gives the impression that the layout is bigger than it is. For the most part, there are no hills, etc, that stop abruptly against a wall (the city itself does end against the back wall). Since Mike has scenicked the track visible from the doorway, he runs this as another yard at the south end of the branch. Overall, an amazing layout!

    Tileguy - you just have to be in the right place at the right time. I was just lucky... :D

  18. philip

    philip Guest

    Very nice photography.....super layout. Now I'm motivated !
  19. rcwatkins

    rcwatkins Member

    Those are some great pics of a good lookin' layout! :D
  20. Tyson Rayles

    Tyson Rayles Active Member

    I was out of state when you posted these, looks like you had a great time! Thanks for posting, I've always thought that was one neat little layout!

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