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Car Cards & Switch Lists - Moving The Railroads Goods
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 Posted: Tue Dec 23rd, 2008 11:07 pm
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Sullivan
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Since we don't have an area set aside to discuss (or cuss) operations and as we seem to have a few folks interested in the many possibilities that might exist for moving equipment on their railroads, I've decided to post a link to a site that I found very helpful.

At present my layout is being built and since it's a simple mining operation there won't be much to be moved. But any concern having cars to be moved about can have a system for moving those cars.

Check this document out and see what you think.

http://www.opsig.org/pdf/CottPrimer.pdf

James

General Manager, Chisos Mining Tramway



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 Posted: Wed Dec 24th, 2008 02:25 am
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W C Greene
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James-there is a lot of info in that link, I downloaded it to my computer so I can read it at my leisure. Just from a cursory look, the info contained should interest any narrow gauge (or short line) modeler who wants more than just watching trains go by. The author has actually tailored this to a narrow gauge line and the movements are simple and easy to understand. Like you, I have a limited operational concept, loaded ore cars go to the smelter & come back to be spotted for reloading. However thrown into this day to day run is the Gila Tramway's daily run over Mogollon trackage to the Gila Cliff Dwellings, a daily water car movement to mines and town, bi weekly runs to the limestone quarry (for the smelter), the supt's morning run in his Model T to check on the trackwork, the normal movement of rolling stock in the yards, and the occasional movement of equipment to the mines and perishable shipments in the insulated boxcar. Whew, actually a lot of stuff going on. I am glad you posted this link, hopefully there will be interest in what I find to be a more satisfying way to run my layout. 

     Woodie-mayor of Mogollon, night manager at the Gila Hotel



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 Posted: Wed Dec 24th, 2008 01:58 pm
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Dave D
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I don't have time right now as I have to get on the road very soon, but I shall visit that link.

But, if there are those out there who are knowledgeable in operations, and would like a forum dedicated to that for discussion, I can set that up in the blink of an eye, no problem.



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 Posted: Wed Dec 24th, 2008 04:31 pm
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Sullivan
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Hotshot wrote: ...if there are those out there who are knowledgeable in operations, and would like a forum...

I have a feeling there are others that would like to learn more about ops and may NOT be very knowledgeable on the subject and a forum specific to that might be a good thing.

It was hinted we might have a chat session on that very subject and that was the reason I posted the link. There's a ton of really good info in that document and it'll take a bit for anyone to read and absorb it all. Good reading for those long winter evenings.

Also, narrow gauge operations and those of the big main line RR's are a bit different and the link document is aimed very specifically at narrow gauge and short line operations. 

James Sullivan

General Manager, Chisos Mining Tramway & Terlingua Mining District Rwy



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 Posted: Wed Jan 7th, 2009 07:32 pm
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mopman
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Simply put operation is the same for a shortline/narrow gauge railroad as it is for class 1 mainlines.  Your job is to haul freight/passengers from point A to point B.  The variety of industries served and the volume of traffic may be different, but the job is the same.  I think this thread (or forum if it takes off) will show the biggest difference is how we as model railroaders accomplish the job on our own layouts. Do we use 2-way or 4-way waybills with car cards to simulate car movements?   Maybe your layout is small enough to use a handwritten switch list.  Then again your layout might have enough traffic to justify a software program that generates a switch list from your computer.

Look at the operation on the Mogollon.  The primary job is to move ore from the mines to the smelter.  No paperwork needed.  Just pick up the loaded cars and spot an equal number of mtys at each mine on the way to the smelter.  Then drop the loads at the smelter and pick up the mtys to be respoted at the mines.  These mtys are then hauled back to the yard in Mogollon to become the next ore train.  As Woodie stated earlier, before any train rolls, the Superintendent has to run the line to make sure everything is operational.  Then you have the passenger train that takes the workers to the mines and the smelter for each shift.  Now if you add a couple of runs of the tourist train to the cliff dwellings each session, not to mention the water cars and other car movements, I can see at least 7 trains per op session being generated.  That's a fair amount of work for two or three operators not to mention the fun of running trains for 2-3 hours.

I'm looking forward to seeing how others on this forum handle operation (if at all) on their layouts.



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 Posted: Thu Jan 8th, 2009 05:37 pm
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ytter_man
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My operations are going to be simple as well, A to B and B to A. Since i'm a logging purist, it's all logs and probably 2 supply runs (water and men and such) out to the landing.

I'm undecided as to whether or not i'll have fictional landings farther up the line to generate traffic and make that one siding next to my one real modeled landing a bit more interesting.

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 Posted: Sat Jan 10th, 2009 01:58 am
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W C Greene
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Jim-just remember that not too long ago, I was still a "runner" not an operator. Bulding a layout like I have now has forced me into being an operator since I can't just sit & watch the train run without any "intervention". I guess point to point design will do that to ya'. Occasionally I still miss being a watcher, but have found being an engineer/brakeman/conductor is far more satisfying and makes me feel like my model railroad is indeed the "real thing".

Jake-your logging line has more operation to offer than just bringing logs to the mill. Consider water cars to the camps. Insulated boxcars to bring fresh veggies, etc. to the crews. Movement of donkeys and loaders to the new camps. Even just bringing a wood block car to the camps so they can cook supper. And like me, you may find the need for the foreman or super to travel the line daily to check the track. And...when a logger gets hurt, you will need speeder service to bring him to the doctor in town. And you thought you just hauled logs!

            Woodie



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 Posted: Sat Jan 10th, 2009 02:10 am
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ytter_man
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^A speeder would be a darn good addition to my line, and eventually i'll get around to building one, just need the right starter loco...

I've been looking at water supply cars, something with a wooden tank and not too long. A small train for this type of thing would definitely increase operating potential :)

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 Posted: Sun Jan 11th, 2009 04:29 pm
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mopman
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Now you are starting to get the idea.  It doesn't require any imagination...just look at the operations of any prototype that you model, be it logging, mining, or a mainline road like mine.  Even if you have a fictional railroad, you can draw upon the operational scenarios of a similar prototype.

OTOH, if you visit the Van Buren Sub during the Plano train show next weekend, you will find a train just going round and round since I have that capability.  It is just easier to turn a train loose and not have to worry about it while visitors roam around the layout.  You also have more time to answer questions and just gab in general.  And that just makes it a good time for all.



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 Posted: Fri Jan 16th, 2009 03:51 pm
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Sullivan
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All,

Since this topic seems to be slow picking up I wonder how many out there are truly interested in operating their railroads with any specific scheme in mind.

I realize there are those who just run trains around and around and there are those who do simply car shuffling tasks, i.e., drop off one car, pick up one car.

If you possibly want to do further reading on the subject and the post I placed about Barry Cott's system doesn't appeal to you there are other systems based on car cards and a variety of other methods used for switching. Check out the resources found under the link below. This will take you to the Resources area of the NMRA Operations SIG (special interest group).

See what you think.

http://www.opsig.org/resources.shtml

James



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