Jim Thomas spent a great deal of time letting me earn my hours as a Towerman, which is a great way to learn the railroad's largest yard. There are two very large yards, big enough for two or even three men to operate. Going to take me a while to master something with about 90% track concentration on the benchwork!
Here's the overhead tower at Loray, a mid-sized yard. Power is often exchanged here. I hope to be able to be the Towerman here next run.
Each yard is REALLY busy during an operation session. I'm quite terrified to take on the dispatcher role!
There are fast clocks throughout the buildings running 4:1. It can take a train 40 minutes to go from one side of the layout to the next!
Here's the Big Laurel tower.
Passenger trains are all the rage and mail is a big cash earner for the road.
The layout runs on scheduled trains with a car card/way bill system. Some of the cards are as old as I am. Everything is dispatched from a JMRI system.
Handy yard and track schematics are everywhere. For such a big layout I had success operating my first time, though the trackage is not intuitive. Its so big!
There are tons of trains and jobs to take. Never a dull moment.