Wednesday, January 31, 2007
Playing with trains
Today I built a train. I know what you are thinking. This sounds pretty dweebish. I will explain. On the layout there are industrial and commercial clients that need servicing. Mikes mine will need to be serviced. There is Trudy Farms, Gregg Steel, and Mijo Meats. There will be others but for now these 4 need servicing.
Today each industry needed a car "spotted" at its location. I used the SW7 to do all the work. You start with a "cut" of empty cars. I had a slew of them parked infront of the station. The mine needed a hopper car, the farm needed a cattle car, the meat company need a refridgeration car, and the steal company need a box car. The thing about a train is that unless you have passing sidings or switching yards it is hard to spot individual cars without running into cars.
It took about twenty minutes to figure out how to get the job done. The cattle car was three cars into the cut of cars. I took the uncoupled after the cattle car and took it along with two other cars to Trudy Farms. I dropped it off, or spotted it infront of the livestock pen. Then I took the other two cars back to town and ran all the way down to where the mine would be, dropped off the hopper car, then did the reversing loop back to Gregg Steal to spot the box car. Then I had to spot the refridgerated box car at the meat co. This was tricky. The fridge car was in the middle of the remaining train. I ended up taking the back car down the track, parking it and then taking the SW7 around the track layout then moved the other car into the yard siding. Then when back and got the fridge car. I had to back it quite a ways but finally got it infront of the meat co's freight door. Yeah!
I figured this would take most of the morning to do this in real life. So by the time the crew was done doing that they could have lunch then pick up the cars and built the train for the west bound freight. I basically did the job in reverse and ended up with a completed train. It is like a big puzzle. I see why passing sidings and spurs are sooooo important. Right now the layout has industries wihtout spurlines. This puts cars in the way. But things can be done to get around that.
I added a coupler finally, to the SW7 and it also needs one in the front. If it had a forward mounted coupler then switching would be way easier. Anyhow it was fun and very brain taxing.