Family Christmas “Operations” Prep

This coming weekend we are having our first Family Christmas since 2019, where my parents are coming down to Toronto for a few days. With this in mind, having been out hunting for operational gremlins recently, I wanted to run some trains after work today. When my parents are down, I won’t be doing serious operations to any kind of set switch list, but I want the trains to run well for my parents, my mom in particular has always just enjoyed seeing my trains run, and the happiness them doing so gives me. After all the bad of the past couple of years, I am really looking forward to some happy time with loved ones for a couple of days.

Thanks to my earlier searching for gremlins, I was able to quickly sort a couple tonight. In the area where I recently re-did the scenery, it was pretty clear I closed a couple of gaps around switch frogs with glue or something. Tonight, a quick saw through the gaps, and a re-application of some graphite to the rails to help with connectivity, and the locomotives started running right through the switch that seemed to be a problem on the other end of the layout. Proof of concept that you can learn something when you are doing things! Instead of messing around, I went for what looked to be an obvious problem, and sure enough, it seemed to fix it. Clearing the gaps around the frogs, and the problem was basically resolved. There are still a few spots where I had some stutters on the layout, but I have two more nights after work to run trains in these areas and look for causes and solutions. Most of the problems are in spots where the tracks are passing through the street. I think, these come back to my road paving and I need to do another round of clearing out the gaps to make sure good contact with the rails is happening.

So, with that, some videos of running trains in different parts of the layout tonight, trains running successfully, including my somewhat finicky Raipdo Trains SW1200RS running both ways through the first switch that has caused me so much grief recently. I am, particularly enthused by the first video below, it really is a window into the layout, where all there is is the layout. Yes, I see plenty of things that need work, but oh man, it really makes me happy at how real it looks getting my phone into the scene to take videos!

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