On November 14th I took the British Oak/ Crigglestone Screens layout to the Granite City Train show in St. Cloud MN. It was two years since the layout had last been there, and when I pulled the layout out of storage I was pleasantly surprised with the condition that it was in. I touched up a few pieces here and there, but for the most part everything was fine. The only real issue, as it was last time was bits of the "coal" bouncing out of the hoppers and onto the track causing derailments. I added some side curtains to the hopper chute in the hope that this would cut that down. It did. But not as much as I'd hoped. There must be another way around this. It might mean a total reconstruction of the loading facility. The structure was going to be rebuilt anyway. We'll have to see.
Still, it was very reassuring to have the layout operate nigh on perfectly for the length of the show. It does vindicate my decision to build the APA box layout.
There was something that happened that made this day a very special one indeed.
I was operating the layout and a young kid said to me.
"Do you mind if I ask you an unusual question?"
"Sure" I think...
"Do you recognize me?"
"No." Should I? I wondered.
"Remember the Princeton Train Show in 2009?"
I wasn't quite sure where he was going with this.
It clicked. I remembered Jeremiah. He had paid a lot of attention to my Wingett's recycling layout back then. He was cognizant of what was going on with the operations. I think I even let him operate the trains. I even blogged about it back then.
I was so pleased to meet him again. He proudly showed me pictures of a project he was working on. Using a caboose as a basis for a snowplow. I was very touched that this boy had remembered everything from back then and I like to think I'd done something to inspire him to carry on in the hobby.