October 2015 operating session …

Time does indeed march on … the October and ninth operating session for the year on the Border District having just been completed. I am pleased that the goal of regular, monthly operating sessions – set late last year (I’m not one for “New Year’s resolutions”) – has continued to be achieved. I am grateful to my family for allowing this continued indulgence and intrusion on our “weekends”, and also to those friends that continue to give up their time to assist me in realising the dream that is realistic and prototypical regular operation.

(This should be, and soon will be, a picture … they speak a thousand words and break up my ramblings!)

The October session again saw a “gang of four” in attendance …. Craig, Shelton, Brendan and myself. A number of apologies were received ahead of the session … including from the two most “regular” of regular operators. It is testament to both the strength and ability of the operators present that, while the regulars were most certainly missed, the session was another successful and enjoyable one. The number of “issues” were minimal and very low level – the most common (though not that numerous) occurring through dubious momentum settings on a couple of locos. Thanks muchly, men … a thoroughly enjoyable afternoon!

The biggest change from the September session, and one for which feedback and input was sought, was a major restructure and rebuild to the staging area (Edenhope for trains to/from Victorian destinations and Kybybolite for trains to/from South Australian locations). In essence, two through storage roads were removed, which allowed the previous eight fairly short stub ended roads to become ten much longer stub ended storage roads.

(This will also be a picture that will “reveal all” for the above paragraph)

There were some thoughts and planning towards adding a sub level of staging to the Border District, primarily to separate the VR and SAR staging into two distinct areas and ensure less handling of trains on and off the layout between sessions. However, the actual physical height separation between the existing layout and this proposed sub level just wasn’t enough. Hence, common sense prevailed and the “solution” that most likely would have caused more trouble and tears than it was intended to solve was quickly kyboshed. The “refurbishment” to staging, while still a significant task, was must simpler in the long run. The biggest success from this change in the most recent session – no need for operators to have to “make up” or “break up” trains in staging as a result of short sidings. Feedback received regarding the changes was positive.

To be continued …


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