Doug prepares the switchlists, while Chark watches. Chark gets kidded for his “doctor’s” handwriting, so it’s a good thing that Doug is doing this!


    Chark studies the track diagram in order to get familiar with the layout while Doug gets the paperwork in order. First time operators on the Patch get a feel for it fairly quickly, but it helps to know the territory.

Twelfth Session 9/3/10

    I was finally able to have two friends over who had not seen the Patch in person, let alone operate it. Doug Elder and Chark Lyon work for the same company and sometimes we think they’re inseparable! Doug is planning to build a layout, he’s just not sure which of the hundreds of railroads are the most appealing. Actually, he has it narrowed down to a couple. I hope the Patch provided some inspiration to go and build one.

    Chark Lyon has a neat MKT layout (the “red” version) and it’s a lot of fun to operate. It’s small, but he can host 7 to 8 people and keep them busy for a good three hours. I like it.

    Doug smiles while watching and listening to the ALCo 539 turbocharged burble-and-whine. The “high tops,” as they were called, worked all over industrial LA. They could take the tight curves and had good pull, making them a favorite of switch crews.

    Ernie the Trainmaster seems more concerned about activity under the table than he is with the switch crew. He keeps a watchful eye on the crew and the cookies.

    Looking down the Seventh Street Alley from Nate Starkman, Chark reaches in to uncouple a car. Working the Patch typically takes 2-3 hours, or about 8 hours on a 3:1 fast clock.