THEY'RE STARTING TO FIGURE IT OUT. No posting the last few days account the Superintendent's presence at O Scale West in Santa Clara, California. This trip was possible owing to some accumulated mileage on a credit card. The carrier was ATA out of Chicago Midway Airport enroute Norman Mineta Airport (??!?) at San Jose, California.
Midway Airport is well worth a look if you're heading toward Chicago. It's the base for the mid-majors, and it has recently been redone with some Chicago-themed food courts (not the usual generic stuff you see at O'Hare.) You may have to walk halfway to Kankakee to board your plane. But what impressed me was ATA's handling of its gates. My westbound trip pushed back, and another plane nosed into the same gate before we had completed our main engine start in the apron area. Admittedly, Metra has been demonstrating this stunt for years, particularly on the Chicago and North Western or Burlington platforms in Chicago, but let's give the airlines credit for learning something. Eastbound, ATA loaded their stretch 737 out of two doors at San Jose. Again, this is something the railroads have understood since about 1840, but let's recognize progress. It almost makes the hour of maintenance delay owing to a dirty contact on an aileron trim control switch tolerable.
What about the train show? There might be some surprises at a future operating session in DeKalb.