So, I hosted a couple sessions for the local Chicagoland RPM meet in Oct, but due to poor weather, distance, and maybe some mix-ups in signup, had no takers. But some local guys came by to help host, and we ended up having a great time.
An early goal of the layout was to enable night lighting, and perhaps even operating at night. With the addition of a few penlights, we actually did operate - nearly 1.5 hrs - and had a blast. It's hard to photograph in the dark, but here's some photos.
Watching the trains climb through the dark, lonely mountains, and working to switch towns by penlight and locomotive lights was something different, and a fun change of pace.
A few shots working Dolores.
The Dolores flour mill had a pickup on this trip. There are lights on this structure, but it's just temporarily placed, so no lights yet.
A railroad shed looms out of the darkness in the beam of a locomotive headlight, as a freight leaves Hesperus, late in the night.
Engine facility work in Durango, and engines are moved thru the coaling station and in / out of the roundhouse tracks.
Working the Ridgway yard at night. Here, the backup light on the locomotive actually helped in reading the gon's car #.
The yard office in Ridgway appears briefly out of the darkness as a loco steams past.
Vance Junction, as a train pulls past this section house.
A meet happens at Hesperus.
Greg working Rico on the right, Gary working Durango on the left.
A mixed local in Durango, prepped and ready to power and departure - headed to Telluride.