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by Webmaster on February 27th, 2008
A couple of Saturdays ago, the operating session was at Dividing Creek and the three-way turnout at West Rutland was causing a problem. The points were not making proper contact. So, a couple of days later, I took a look at it and while trying to make the fix, I managed to melt the ties and points into a solid lump. Very clever of me, especially being a Master Model Railroader and all. Now what am I going to do? RailRun is coming and I have one more Tuesday op session in February. Swinging into action, I called Ace Cutter and asked if he would swap Tuesday to give me some breathing room. My next step was to search the internet for a replacement. What luck, Caboose Hobbies in Denver had a Walthers (Shinohara) Code 83 three-way turnout in stock. After placing the order, I felt able to relax–all would be well.  Not so fast! After a couple of days, I received an email from Caboose Hobbies–it was all a mistake, they really did not have the turnout in stock and they would be backordered. I checked Walthers own website and they indicated that the three-way would be available in July!!. Not good. I called around to what I laughingly call my local hobby shops–no Walthers Code 83 three-way turnouts. I haven’t quite panicked, but close.

I made the decision to replace the elusive three-way with two Atlas #6 turnouts, a right and a left. So I went to Tyngsboro’s Hobby Emporium. With the Atlases in hand, I ran into Ian (LNU). You know Ian, the guy who works magic with HO and N trucks. Just for fun I asked if the shop had the Walthers Code 83 three-way. After Ian stopped laughing, he told me to wait a sec while he made a call. He let me know that AA Hobbies in Warwick, RI had not one of the three-ways but 5! Can you believe my good fortune?  While my long-suffering bride checked out the nearby Trader Joe’s, sat in our car and call John Reid at AA. I ordered 3 of the three-ways and John indicated they would be shipped that very afternoon and I should have them in couple of days. Huzzah, all would be well for the next Tuesday session and RainRun. Monday the 18th was a holiday and no mail delivery. Tuesday came–no turnouts. OH NO! I emailed AA and found that Bob got to the shop too late on Friday to send my order, and his car broke down Saturday and my order was not shipped until Sunday.  Well, Wednesday the 20th, my three worth-their-weight-in-gold code 83 three-way turnouts arrived. But wait, there’s more and the story gets better.

I installed the new three-way at West Rutland, fully expecting to reattach the turnout controls the next day. My right foot felt sore all Wednesday and on Thursday, I could barely walk, never mind crawl under the layout to install turnout controls. At the doctor on Friday, he told me I had gout. No doubt from all my high living. Anyway, medication and two or three days later, my foot is well on the mend. The controls will be installed in plenty of time for RailRun.

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