Just as I'd like to call my model railway a 'vast transportation empire concerned with the timely movement of goods in and out of 1970's Kingston' let's face it. We're playing trains. And just as I'd like to describe the layout's operations as a 'carefully choreographed movement of trains and cars serving shippers and connecting to a vast regional and national network' let's be real. We're playing trains. So while playing trains, shouldn't we be concerned with 'continually enhancing and revising operations to suit shippers, make train runs more efficient and drive down the operating ratio' let's just say we'd like to add more play-value.
Hanley Spur operations do not involve a coal mine or terminal grain elevator with long strings of cars. It's loose-car or single-car railroading. Put-and-takes, one in/one out. This can get a little mindless, even for someone who likes operations. An earlier operational wrinkle for the six spots at the CN freight shed was a "great new deal". Here are ten new ways I've added play value recently, with photos and descriptions following: