Sunday, October 23, 2011

Running Session 23rd October

Yes today was a running session on Cassino.  To prove that some people actually turned up I have two panoramic photos below.  I expect some other bloggers to comment and post photos on their own blogs as there were lots of photos taken and plenty of laughing occuring. 
From my workbench area (aka North Coast Control) you can see a couple of the guys on the left and a few more to the very far right.  In the centre of the photo is one of the sceniced aresa of the layout and is where the naturalists go to have a swim - No water in the creek yet.  PK's yellow van is to the left. He's hiding behind a tree with his binoculars.  Pervert!  He is unattached so he can do that.

A bit to the right of the previous photo shows Fairy Hill Farm house with the red roof on the far right, with above that in the background - The Risk against the wall, and Border Loop on the central peninsula.

The guys turned up from about 12 noon today.  The BBQ was already in full swing and they enjoyed some BBQ sausages on a piece of bread with some onions, cheese and sauce.  They had something to wash the snags down and we went to the shed.  As usual the trains in the session ran late.  With I think even the first scheduled train of the session getting away late.  I cannot understand how this always occurs, and it gets worse the longer our session runs.  For this session, we had the usuals in attendance - PK, Brendan, Darren, Greg, Shelton and Peter, and we had Darryl - one of our fly-in - fly-out workers turn up for his first true running session.  Darryl has been to some shake down sessions quite some time ago, but this is the first real timetable session he has attended.  Darren was the first North Coast Controller while Shelton worked the yards.  I took over from Darren and Brendan took over from Shelton for the second half of the session. 

Some of the glitches were two wires comming off the headset circuit and that caused a number of headsets plug-in-points to either be able to hear from, but not talk from or vice-versa.  These were fixed at the first break.  We also has a staff machine to go off line also because of a loose wire.  That too was fixed.

We are still plagued by the occasional derailment, and uncoupling.  More effort will be spent addressing these issues before the next session in December.  We actually ran quite a few trains that we have not run before, so for that reason he had some successes.  However, I forgot to print out my wagon cards, so all the stopping trains didn't have any of these.  Doh!  I think we were down possibly two operators for the session and it showed.  

I will complete more scenicing before the next session and also clean up some of the junk I have laying around on the layout, as I have been advised that this is quite distracting to some people.  I have some training issues to address as well and these include:- 
- How to read the timetable
- How to check if an operator is on time, ahead of time or behind time
- What tracks are what at each location (particularly the yards)
- Where the crossing loop are
- Staff instrument working protocol - we still forget to take a staff, and to return them.

While this was the first session with the headsets, they worked very well.  Well done Brendan.  The issue we had is that a number of attendees forgot their Procabs and some don't have radio Procabs.  The unlucky ones have to plug in all the time.  With all the late running we had to make crosses at different locations to the timetable graph and it can cause lots of issues at Cassino and Old Cassino in particular, as we don't have enough tracks, or trains are not in the appropriate tracks.

He all hope for that perfect running session - maybe next time.

1 comment:

  1. CM, thanks for an entertaining afternoon. Sorry if I buggered up the timetable. I agree with your comment on 'training session' and 'layout familiarisation' as I am assuming that others not familiar with your layout (one or two visits a year!) get lost on where exactly the locations are. I did notice the wagon cards on the layout but not distributed. Another suggestion is possible including the loco number on the train timetable for quick reference and DCC loco setup.

    Photos on my blog within the next day or so.