We operated a good assortment of trains, in sequential order:
- Down-bound pick-up goods train which started the session by setting out at Narrabri and descending to the lower level for staging;
- Narrabri shunter, which spotted and pulled wagons at Narrabri West and Narrabri's goods sidings, grain silos, and assembled the branch-line goods train for later departure (kept Lance busy most of the time);
- Down-bound North-West Mail #7, setting out a parcel van at Narrabri (spotted at the Goods Siding by the shunter engine);
- Up-bound Northern Tablelands Express #22 (with 620/720 set standing in for DEB set);
- Extra-grain move off branch from Wee Waa, for the sub-terminal at Narrabri;
- Grain train from Moree up-bound for port at Newcastle;
- Grain train pulled from the sub-terminal at Narrabri, bound for the port at Newcastle;
- Down-bound empty grain from Newcastle, bound for reloading at Narrabri sub-terminal;
- Branchline goods train departing for Wee Waa;
- Down-bound Northern Tablelands Express #21;
- Up-bound North-West Mail #8, picking up parcel van at Narrabri;
- Up-bound Moree-Werris Creek pick-up goods, picking up southbound traffic at Narrabri West.
That's a good number of trains to run in two or three hours. Trains operated between upper-level staging and a passing loop/trailing mainline on the lower level, and a stub-end single track as the branch to Wee Waa. Lance operated the shunting engine, and declared it a good job to operate. All of this was done quite informally, with no paperwork, etc. It was just a way to start to shake out the bugs on the railroad. . .and there were a few:
- I had to rush to get the railroad set up to run, so I hadn't cleaned all the track as well as I should have;
- A couple of points gave the two-axle wagons fits; I'll have to go back and re-check these on the standards gauge;
- One of the 47 class was a bit touchy through some of the trackage, likely a tight-gauge problem on a wheel-set;
- I'll need to make adjustments on a couple of the blue-tooth switch-point controllers, as they were a bit "loose" in fully throwing the points over.
On the whole, it wasn't a bad first session. It gave me an extra kick of motivation to get projects and items I'd been procrastinating on doing finished, and validated (to me at least) that this will be an interesting layout to operate. And that wasn't even with the additonal operating potential of the lower level (a pair of crossing loops, grain silos, goods sidings, etc.) figured into the equation.
I don't know when the first "official" running night will be--with paperwork and all that good stuff to guide the operators in their endeavours--but it shouldn't be too far down the road now.