I got invited to a model railroad "operating session" on a multi-room HO layout. These guys take train operations seriously! Every train has a route, and every car has a destination and load.
There were about twelve of us with two acting as dispatchers, three as yardmasters, and the rest operating individual trains. I was given control of the North West Special headed by SP6320.
I managed to traverse my route without causing too much havoc, although I did end up in a bit of a traffic jam at one point. I stopped in Modoc to exchange some cars headed for Kalisbell. Luckily, the yardmasters took good care of me.
This picture doesn't do it justice, but every car on the layout was beautifully weathered.
The dispatchers took it easy on me as well, giving me the main line most of the way. In all, the session took about three hours. After working on my tiny switching puzzle layout, this was quite an eye opener. A switching puzzle on a much larger scale!