Hoping that the new operating scheme’s success last week was not a fluke, we decided to do it all over again on August 3rd, just to be sure, with VanRail only one month away.
If I may say so, I think it was one of the best operating sessions we have ever had on the layout. Lots of cars were in motion, even with 10 extra cars on the layout than before, but with no real tie-ups or confusion. The Grand Forks yard did what it was supposed to do, namely be a place to organize cars when a train is in town, and not be a big storage bucket all of the time. There was even space for two trains to meet and pass, because the siding was not clogged with cars.
The road trains seemed to work well with two person crews, and it did not seem like the second person was underutilized, as there was often complex switching needed to get the job done. John was able to make it back for the second shift, and he and Colin continued on and ran the second half of the day’s trains, again with it all seeming to work well. A number of notes were taken throughout the day, and a couple of things need to be fixed and/or finished, but I would say it is in pretty good shape for VanRail, as far as the train sequence and the amount of switching work to be done.
A big Thank You to everyone for helping me get to this point. I was confident, but a bit concerned about hosting for VanRail a few months ago when the new Curlew section was still in pieces, but it all came together very well, and I am pleased.