Operating the Grand Trunk Southern

 

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Saturday, I had the opportunity to visit the N scale layout of John Johnson (CARM founder and Canadian editor – pictured above) in Hamilton, ON. This was the much anticipated operating session on his Grand Trunk Southern layout and followed his excellent presentation last October on layout operations. The Grand Trunk Southern is a two level freelanced layout set in Central Pennsylvania in 1969. The layout is DCC powered with Digitrax and features early diesel power.

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I was especially excited as this was only the second time that I had been invited to an operating session, and the first time that I had used car cards and waybills. My job was to run a local that switched the industries in Nathansville. Powered by two beautiful Rapido GMD-1s, I spent an enjoyable hour shunting cars between the interchange track, the builders supply, the propane dealership etc. and building the train to Clarion.

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So some thoughts about my first ‘real’ OPs session…

Model railroad operations is work. Real, hard work. But man is it fun work! After an hour of thinking about how to achieve the tasks at hand, and constantly checking to make turn that the turnouts were properly aligned, I was ready to take a break. This gave me an appreciation for the real work done by the real railroads.

John was a gracious host and especially patient with a newbie like myself. I was very appreciative of his insights around operations and for his help in planning operations on my QGRY.

Thank you John for a wonderful Saturday afternoon!

 

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