Among the most disappointing losses of organized activities in the COVID era was to learn that the DC-NJ 'November Interchange' in 2020 had been postponed indefinitely. That weekend, which has been around for more than 7 years now, became a focus of every fall for me and for the 'wisdom keepers' on the Onondaga Cutoff.
After that hiatus, it is exciting to report that Interchange returned in 2021, arriving in New Jersey to make up for the lost year. About 22 'boomers' made the trip to operate on any three of 7 available layouts of which the Onondaga Cutoff was one. The OC hosted 11 guests, who were shown the ropes by 6 of the regulars.
Here we have noted model railroad author and operator Steve King, one of the founders of the 'ProRail' organization in the 1980's, on a visit to the Onondaga Cutoff once again. He's the hogger on today's NYS&W interchange move SY-1, a Syracuse-based job that will take freight from Conrail interchnage down to Binghamton, NY.
Meanwhile, one of the most enthusiastic and consistent supporters of the 'OC' is Wayland Moore, a kindred soul from Virginia who has made fast friends with all of us on the OC. Rich Wisneski as always is a great mentor and guide for the guys as they get their feet on the ground, and wheels rolling.
One of the great parts of Interchange is that a group of guys that haven't seen the railroad much get to work it, and there is a learning curve. But. with operators of this caliber, they come on quickly - and by the halfway point the session is rolling. Here's Bob Rodriguez of The Nickel City Line hamming it up while Jack and Don work with Jerry Dziedzic to move trains across the main line.
Another thing about Interchange is the support of all the families to allow it to happen, especially a lot to ask in a COVID recovery year. Kristen and the kids all dressed the part and were wonderful hosts and helpers, and the session really went off without a major hitch.
Thanksgiving is here, and I am especially grateful for you as a reader of the blog and for the hobby, for my family and career and good fortune. I wish you and your family a healthy and happy thanksgiving!