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    • July 4, 2019 6:30 AM EDT
    • A few years ago a red tailed hawk took up residence in the dead tree in my neighbor's yard. That summer the tree rat (squirrel) population all but vanished from our neighborhood. The next year the hawk had relocated. The tree rats came back in force. I even watched one of them tree rats cross my bridge, and bat a train out of his way. After all, I put the bridge there so HE could cross my pond, how dare there be a train in his way?

    • July 3, 2019 7:49 AM EDT
    • John Bouck said:

      I keep a feral cat on the payroll just for tree rat patrol. Never seen him/her catch one, but he/she sure puts them on notice!

      We used to have lots of house cats that roamed the neighborhood and would occasionally sneak into our back yard, but not any more.   The fox population seems to be on the increase, so maybe folks decided to keep their cats inside?   Squirrels seem as numerous as always...

    • July 2, 2019 10:30 AM EDT
    • I keep a feral cat on the payroll just for tree rat patrol. Never seen him/her catch one, but he/she sure puts them on notice!

    • July 2, 2019 5:43 AM EDT
    • Bruce Chandler said:
      Sean McGillicuddy said:

      Some times a second set of eyes help , and to have two workers, can get a lot more done.. instead of " I'll get to that later " … 

      How true - and it really helped!   Well, sort of... it didn't help the operations, as just a "simple" repair took a lot longer than I would have thought.   And, some repairs required some orders for replacement parts.  We didn't quite make it through just one train, where we normally run the two daily trains...

      For some reason, the squirrels have decided that my TenMille Ground Throws make excellent snacks.   I don't get it...

      Those tree rats decided that the Hardiboard deck of my one bridge was the perfect place to sharpen their teeth. Eventually the deck was narrowed so much that it no longer supported the entire width of the track. As cute as critters are, they are just as destructive.

    • July 1, 2019 5:45 PM EDT
    • Bruce Chandler said:
        We didn't quite make it through just one train, where we normally run the two daily trains...

      Then Bruce got hungry and we headed off to get some lunch...........

       

    • July 1, 2019 4:02 PM EDT
    • Sean McGillicuddy said:

      Some times a second set of eyes help , and to have two workers, can get a lot more done.. instead of " I'll get to that later " … 

      How true - and it really helped!   Well, sort of... it didn't help the operations, as just a "simple" repair took a lot longer than I would have thought.   And, some repairs required some orders for replacement parts.  We didn't quite make it through just one train, where we normally run the two daily trains...

      For some reason, the squirrels have decided that my TenMille Ground Throws make excellent snacks.   I don't get it...

    • July 1, 2019 12:17 PM EDT
    • Some times a second set of eyes help , and to have two workers, can get a lot more done.. instead of " I'll get to that later " … 

    • June 30, 2019 6:00 PM EDT
    • Sometimes stuff happens even when we have grand plans! It's all part of the railroad game.

    • June 26, 2019 10:34 PM EDT
    • Ken Brunt said:

      Thanks for the invite Bruce. 

      Unfortunately I ran into the same crap heading home.

      But it was fun working on another RR for a change. 

      Anytime you want to run again just ask. 

      Sorry to hear about the traffic, but sure did enjoy your visit!  Next time I vote for cooler weather.

       

    • June 26, 2019 7:10 PM EDT
    • Thanks for the invite Bruce. 

      Unfortunately I ran into the same crap heading home.

      But it was fun working on another RR for a change. 

      Anytime you want to run again just ask. 

    • June 26, 2019 3:22 PM EDT
    •    Oh, oh, all that track maintenance...just like a real 1:1 railroad!

       

        

       

    • June 26, 2019 3:12 PM EDT
    • Wow.   It's been a LONG time since I hosted any sort of operations session.    Ken came down today, but I do believe that it will be harder to get him back.   He ran into our usual "traffic" in the area - an accident on the beltway prevented him from getting to my house at a reasonable hour.

      Of course, it DID give me time to set everything out...

      Early Wednesday morning and it's already HOT and HUMID, but the cars are set out, ready to depart from Green Springs Yard.

       

      I only plan to run one train today, but there IS a second ready to go on the staging track...

      To be honest, it's not really my "typical" ops session.   It's been a long time, so I told Ken that maybe it would be a fix and run type of session...Run a train for a bit, but fix problems as we discover them....

       

      Well, it didn't take long for a problem to appear!   The train was derailing in the yard...and we eventually discovered that a joiner was broken....except on closer examination, the RAIL had also broken.   So, time to replace the track!  Well, one thing led to another - it had broken on a curve...we COULD have replaced a section of track and had multiple sections in that spot, but I remembered I had a 6 foot section of rail in the garage....except it was from Bob's old layout and he had replaced it because the ties had NOT held up to the UV and were all faded and brittle.   BUT, I had purchased a BOX of new tie sections....   Yeah, so we replaced the ties and eventually got a much larger section replaced...but the ops sort of went downhill from there...

      Couplers were BAD, track was bad...

      But we kept going!

      And we discovered that squirrels LOVE to EAT the TenMille ground throws...making them rather ineffective for changing the train direction

      AND the heat and humidity just didn't encourage working outside today.

      But, I think a LOT was done, but only in the sense that there's a LOT more to do!

      But, it was great seeing Ken again so all is good!   I just hope he can come down again - but maybe in the fall when it's a LOT cooler and I have done a LOT more work.

       

       

       

    • June 17, 2019 9:06 AM EDT
    • My crew will work once in a while...

    • June 16, 2019 10:35 AM EDT
    • Some of my Motley Crue heading out to service a water tower. "Joe and Tony"

       

    • June 16, 2019 6:59 AM EDT
    •     And this guy's been on a coffee break for about a week...

       

      John, that must be some darn good coffee.

    • June 15, 2019 6:10 PM EDT
    •     It appears to me that the first stop might have been the bar and Thomas had a few too many.

       

         Send him to your human resources/employee assistance department.

       

       

    • June 15, 2019 5:57 PM EDT
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      The track gang passing Washington St station stop to the excitement of the local residents.

       

       

       

       

       

       

       

       

      Back in the day ...headed out and preparing for the install of the new double track bridge

    • June 15, 2019 3:13 PM EDT
    •    My guys like to talk a lot...paid by the hour.

       

        

       

       

          And this guy's been on a coffee break for about a week...

       

         

       

       

    • June 15, 2019 11:49 AM EDT
    •  

      IMG_2737

       

      Here is mine, back when I had an operational layout.  They got the neighbors tree that fell cleared off the tracks.  I need to get them to work on the new layout...

    • June 17, 2019 9:02 AM EDT
    • The gardens have filled in nicely...Jane...