Tuesday, November 15, 2005

Third Operating Session!

Another friends-from-work operating session. Scott and Dave came back for another try, while Tim (another newbie) helped Scott with the San Jose cannery run. Tim learned the advantage of never asking questions you don't want answered:

Tim: "Hey, where do I put this boxcar at Plant 51? There's no door listed on the switch list!"

Robert: "Um... door 1."

Tim: "Door one? That means I need to undo all the work I just did!"

Tuesday, September 27, 2005

Second operating session!

Dave and Scott, two friends from work came by for operations. Dave's operated on the layout when it's been more unfinished, but Scott's never operated a model railroad before. Both did fine. Scott reminded me that my switches for controlling turnouts are way too hard to find without staring at the track diagrams.

(Update: Scott's comments matched a lot of other comments. I ended up taking out the schematic maps for the switches. Instead, I inset the switches in the fascia immediately below the track each controlled. See the before and after photos to see the difference.)

Thursday, July 28, 2005

First Operating Session!

This month, I ran my first serious operating session, with local (and very-well-known) operations gurus Byron and Seth present for the first run. Apart from a couple stalls and shorting switches, they had a great time. Woohoo! Much thanks to Apple's debugger summer intern who helped me prepare the layout the week before, and ran a couple trains during the operating session.

Friday, July 1, 2005

As of July, 2005: The layout's to the point where you can operate it without having to push locomotives every few minutes. In the last few weeks, I've been switching from manual Caboose ground throws to Tortoise switch machines to make it easier for others to operate the layout, and to avoid power problems at switches. I've also been doing a lot of cleanup work. The fascia's been painted and labelled, and a bit more scenery (such as the orchard between Campbell and Los Gatos) has been (temporarily) added.

Here's some photos of the layout, along with a close-up of one of the schematic track diagrams on the fascia.