I ran a train and I liked it…

So one of my friends asked lately if I had run any trains on the layout, and I realized, much to my dismay, that I had not, I hadn’t so much as fired up the DCC in several months other than one of the rare visitors we have had come into the house during the pandemic who had never seen it, so I briefly fired it up just so they could see a train move.

I was having a stressy Friday at work yesterday, and decided mid afternoon that I needed to take my break and run a train to clear my mind, and it was great. Didn’t prep and paperwork or plan anything, just ran a train from CN staging across the layout, then one from CP staging. it didn’t run perfectly, not at all. I didn’t clean or vacuum the track before trying to run the trains, and I’ve been doing scenery, which means potentially dirty sports on the rails, but whatever, I needed to bang some cars about!

Quick video of a CPR Job heading back to Parkdale Yard

Just the simple act of running some trains, even with hiccups (which, yesterday at least didn’t phase me as i knew that would happen) with no prep before running lifted my spirits and made me feel better to get through the last couple of hours of my work day. I even managed to use the ops session as a chance to check a clearance and start thinking about the next phase of scenery and a future project. All in all, a good half hour that sprung out of being frustrated at work, which is a lot easier to escape from to your hobbies on the days I’m still working from home!

Scenes from a quick test run OPS session, and checking clearance for a fence and gates at a recently built structure.

8 thoughts on “I ran a train and I liked it…

  1. Your layout is turning into a stunning slice of downtown Toronto’s past, and you’re capturing interesting views through the camera lens that tell compelling stories. But running it is when the real magic happens – so keep doing that!
    With so much buried in pavement and between buildings, will track cleaning be difficult? Have you applied graphite to the rails?

    • Track cleaning can be a challenge, but that’s why buildings at layout edge stay removable. I have put graphite on rails, but then it gets washed away or messed up by wetting areas for scenery and such and applying glue, and cleaning rails after that, so i did re apply and my session got more reliable. True regular running and reliability will come though as scenery interruptions become less and I get it properly cleaned. Honestly, with our cats hair, it really needs a vacuum before every session to collect the nearly invisible yet im I present floof!


  2. Very satisfying to watch your clip. Nice scenery, great sound, cools locomotive. I think many of us rarely run our trains, always have too much under construction to clear a path and get some run time. It really is a stress reliever though, therapy 😉

    • I spent so long wanting to have a place to run trains, now I do and I don’t!!! Need to make a point of a more regular run of trains back and forth to build reliability and really start thinking about operations for when friends visit!


  3. Have you looked at trying to wire a camera car for track level train perspective shots? Not sure if you could get small and light enough to be practical but it would give a cool perspective of the layout.

    • Hi Matt: I have a Relay XD camera that nicely fits on a flat car. So that’s an option for Stephen or anyone looking to shoot track-POV video.

    • I haven’t, but as Trevor notes, there are lots of options out there to do that. I know my scenery works when viewed from the aisle, I’d be scared to see how bad the gaps are when you view it as if you were a person on the street!

      One of the Toronto area clubs (I want to say Scarborough Model Railroaders) on their show layout always ran a car that had a camera hidden in it so people could watch the view through the layout on a monitor while they ran the train.


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