|This photo wasn't staged. This is what we got while switching the plant.|
However, don't be fooled by this minimalistic approach thinking our trains are small, cute and light.
|The RS18s work hard sorting out cars at Villeneuve before leaving for Clermont.|
In fact, it's the opposite. Over the last two recent operation sessions following the implementation of our new instructions based on real life train 522-523, no trains was under 20 cars long. In fact, running a 27 cars long train is, as a matter of fact, becoming standard. In term of HO scale on a medium sized basement layout, this is no small feat. And every car on that consist has a true destination and role to play.
Interestingly, Louis-Marie recalled he often saw 20-30 cars long train in his childhood, often pulled by two road switchers. This is exactly was we got without really trying to achieve it.
|Who said Clermont was a backwood location? Expect to be busy for at least 1 hour there.|
Operating the Murray Bay is not about mimicking a dying railway, but about serving a strong customers base. I never thought I would really achieve to make it real, but that was my most enduring ambition since my early days in model railroading, more than 25 years ago.
If I had to give and advice to anybody caught in the never-ending "not large enough layout" plot, I'd say put it at rest and do what you can with what you have. If you follow how prototypes do their job in building, operating and serving customers, you'll be more than pleasure by how realistic the result will be. No, small layouts aren't about heart-wrenching compromises, but rather a pragmatic way to really hit the mark flawlessly.
I'm also pleased to say the scale tracks at Villeneuve is now perfectly operating and adding interest while switching the cement plant.
Scenery is progressing steadily and I suspect doing ground cover is a matter of time now. Stay tuned!