Getting Invited (Back) to Op Sessions.
Often times model railroaders have trouble getting invited (or invited back) to an op session. Perhaps these tips can help...
10. Real railroaders run 12 hour shifts without taking a bath. Be prototypical and don't bathe before showing up.
9. You don't want to be gobbling down all the munchies provided by the host. Eat a heaping plate of beans before operating so you won't be hungry. If beans aren't available burritos are an acceptable substitute.
8. Let owner's think you can't make it to their session, then go ahead and show up anyway. Imagine their delight at having an extra operator. You can bring a friend or two along to delight them further!
7. When anything goes off the track be sure to let everyone know about the poor quality of the trackwork and rolling stock. Let the owner know how much smoother running and better sceniced other layouts you've seen are. This will give them an incentive to get things fixed!
6. Rulebooks are for sissies. If the railroad has one don't read it and show you can run trains without no stinkin' rules. Dispatchers are for sissies too, when running under CTC pass signals claiming you're color blind if anyone objects...
5. Place a quarter on the track in out-of-the-way location to test the layout's circuit breakers work. This is especially fun with DCC!
4. Carefully inspect the layout when you arrive and write a list of all the things that should be done. Later on button-hole the owner and read him the list. Suggest he should get started as soon as possible so the layout will be ready for the next session.
3. Never run a train slowly. The object of an op session is to get as many trains over the mainline as possible. Full throttle is the only way to accomplish this.
2. Insist on taking a crucial position such as yardmaster at your first op session on a new layout. Owners are impressed by your willingness to pitch-in. Be sure to collect as many cars in your yard as possible.
And the #1 way to get invited back
1. Run that brand new factory painted brass 4-8-4 into the side of another train at a turnout preferably at full throttle. "I need Ramming speed, Captain!"