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jbvb
Fireman

Premium Member


Posted - 03/28/2015 :  07:53:26 AM  Show Profile  Visit jbvb's Homepage  Reply with Quote
Your weighbills are similar, but not identical to those generated by a spreadsheet Mal Laughlin and Joe Onorato worked out for use by the North Shore club in Wakefield, MA. Those also use color coding, but they're set up to be printed on two sides of a sheet of cardstock. If you anticipate you might not get a full crew every time, it might be worth working up a Saturday or Sunday sequence as well.


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MarkF
Engineer

Premium Member


Posted - 03/28/2015 :  09:23:49 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Mike, I like your idea of color coding waybills to make things easier for the yard master. I only wished I had done that before printing out all my waybills!

Mark

Country: USA | Posts: 13072 Go to Top of Page

MikeMc
Engine Wiper



Posted - 03/30/2015 :  10:59:51 AM  Show Profile  Visit MikeMc's Homepage  Reply with Quote
Mark, Depending on how many colors you might need, you could look at using a highlighter to color code something on the waybill. That was what I originally started to do, but then realized I could just add it to the printing and save time!

Mike Mc.



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sjconrail
Engine Wiper



Posted - 03/30/2015 :  11:02:53 AM  Show Profile  Visit sjconrail's Homepage  Reply with Quote
In addition to the color, you could also put numbers on the waybills for each industry. This would make blocking the trains easier for the yardmasters and operators,

Phil


- Phil
Conrail's Delmarva Secondary in N Scale

Edited by - sjconrail on 03/30/2015 11:03:13 AM

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BandO Boy
Engine Wiper



Posted - 04/02/2015 :  2:18:41 PM  Show Profile  Visit BandO Boy's Homepage  Reply with Quote
Mike - I'm looking at doing some type of staging similar to what you did... any regrets, changes or do-overs for you regarding its design, access, etc. ... like you, I'd love to have an 'inner' aisle for access, but that's a space killer... thanks in advance for any thoughts.

Best regards -
Jim Fawcett
Scotch Plains, NJ

http://oldmainline.blogspot.com

Country: USA | Posts: 153 Go to Top of Page

MikeMc
Engine Wiper



Posted - 04/27/2015 :  12:16:46 PM  Show Profile  Visit MikeMc's Homepage  Reply with Quote
Jim,

So far no real issues. I do not have a need for active staging work like some layouts, so it is truly just a place for trains to start and end. I do not need to get in there and fiddle with trains.

Most issues I have had have been from forgetting to throw a turnout, or a car acting up going over a turnout. Those happen to be the easiest places to access so that has been OK.

An alternative I thought about after the fact would have been to have the staging descend and go under the visible portion of the layout, leaving an access area where I could pop up. Although that would put me closer to the tracks, they might still be hard to reach farther in under the visible layout on the other side of the backdrop. It also would have complicated matters with having a double ended staging yard, and I also did not want any grade into or out of staging to help prevent issues.

Right now I have good access with a step stool reaching over the visible layout, track and backdrop, and I can get to all areas, except the one end at Crawford Notch. This is accessed via popping up underneath and reaching in at the yard ladder. It is quite roomy back there and I can reach a few feet down the staging tracks.

Things could be different with operating sessions though. We'll have to see, but having good access should remedy most issues that might occur.

One thing I should have done was put on/off toggles for the tracks so that I could cut the power to locos, to kill the sound. This has been detailed in some articles I read, after I did all the wiring on the staging though. Oh well. But that can be a retrofit project by cutting gaps and rerouting the feeders. Not going to be as easy as if I had wired it that way to start though, but do-able. Just a number of other more high priority things to get to first!

Mike McNamara
Delran, NJ



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MarkF
Engineer

Premium Member


Posted - 04/28/2015 :  10:51:35 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
We learn as we go Mike! And trust me, once you get operating, a dozen other ideas and issues will surface that you didn't anticipate. But that's part of the fun, or at least that's what they tell me.

Mark

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nhguy
Fireman



Posted - 04/28/2015 :  2:17:09 PM  Show Profile  Visit nhguy's Homepage  Send nhguy a Yahoo! Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by MarkF

We learn as we go Mike! And trust me, once you get operating, a dozen other ideas and issues will surface that you didn't anticipate. But that's part of the fun, or at least that's what they tell me.



I agree 100%. Your paperwork will change along with your operating scheme and track arrangements in some cases. Bill


Bill Shanaman
New Haven RR
Hartford Division
in Colorado.

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BandO Boy
Engine Wiper



Posted - 04/28/2015 :  5:26:54 PM  Show Profile  Visit BandO Boy's Homepage  Reply with Quote
Thanks for the thoughtful, detailed answer Mike... appreciate it.

Best regards -
Jim Fawcett
Scotch Plains, NJ

http://oldmainline.blogspot.com

Country: USA | Posts: 153 Go to Top of Page

Steam Nut
Fireman



Posted - 04/28/2015 :  10:29:01 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Two words on staging from me, Go Vertical!


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MarkF
Engineer

Premium Member


Posted - 04/29/2015 :  10:29:55 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
You know Bruce, vertical would have worked perfectly in Mike's situation!

Mark

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MikeMc
Engine Wiper



Posted - 04/29/2015 :  3:49:17 PM  Show Profile  Visit MikeMc's Homepage  Reply with Quote
You're right Mark, a vertical staging yard would have allowed for the rear aisle and it could be hidden behind a backdrop. However I would need it to be pretty long though to hold the MEC YR/RY trains and the CP 904/917 trains. And it would have exits on both ends. I'm sure Bruce could figure it out though!! He probably already has contingency plans for just this thing when the right layout pops up. It would have been pretty cool, but I am not going to think about retro-fitting that in now!

Mike Mc.
Delran, NJ



Country: USA | Posts: 229 Go to Top of Page

MarkF
Engineer

Premium Member


Posted - 04/29/2015 :  9:06:04 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Mike, if it's one thing I've learned over the years of knowing Bruce, don't ever doubt him. If it needs to be done, he can pull it off!

Mark

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Steam Nut
Fireman



Posted - 04/29/2015 :  10:34:34 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Would you like a copy of the plans, There done! LOL!!!!!


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MikeMc
Engine Wiper



Posted - 05/21/2015 :  4:08:40 PM  Show Profile  Visit MikeMc's Homepage  Reply with Quote
Hope you guys don't mind the long posts... :-)

One cool thing about visiting and operating on other layouts is the chance to see something and sometimes try something that you would not have otherwise thought about for your own layout. I had the pleasure of operating on Phil Monat's Delaware & Susquehanna layout up in NY a few years ago and drew an assignment as a yard engineer (Drill as it was called). A lot of times we will call these jobs yardmasters, but on Phil's layout, that was really a separate job from the yard drill jobs.

http://www.opsig.org/convention/hartford_layouts/monat.shtml

Phil has a large yard that employs 2 yard engineers and a yardmaster. The yard engineer is what you would think. You are assigned a yard switcher and need to make up and break down trains, and also switch some local industries.

A cool aspect of Phil's layout is that with 2 yard engines, it is not strictly the case of each engineer working separate ends of the yard. There are times when the engines are side by side, and also working in unison to get something done more efficiently. A lot of credit goes to Phil's excellent trackplan for the yard and the approach trackage.

http://islandops.org/layouts/DS/MonatMap.html


With that going on and avoiding inbound and outbound trains, you get quite involved in the simple aspect of running your locomotive and getting things done. What you do not do however is handle car cards. So how do you know what work needs to be done?

That is where the yardmaster comes in. He handles the car cards and the train schedule and directs the yard drill operators on what they need to do. For example, if you have a train to break down, he might say "2 for track 3, then 1 for track 7". When that is done you'll get more instructions. Reporting marks really do not matter to me, the engineer/switchman. He is handling that at his desk, sorting and planning. I just need to know how many and where they go. The yardmaster is in his "tower" communicating with me, as well as the other yard drill.

It really worked well for a lot of reasons. First of all, having never operated on the layout, it would have been a stressful job to handle all of the switching AND juggle car cards, a train schedule and a throttle - AND be on the look out for the other yard engine and have to communicate with road crews.

Sometimes I think we overburden certain jobs and it makes it tougher to get a lot of enjoyment out of the operations night. A lot depends on the layout, the operating scheme, etc., but it is something to consider. For me, I got a lot of enjoyment just taking direction and operating the locomotive. There was plenty to do and think about but not too much that it became overly stressful or shut down operations while others waited for me.

It was also really cool to have others involved in the yard operations. We worked as a team and got things done while also having a good time talking to each other.

The concept is similar to having a 2 man crew on locals I suppose, an engineer and a conductor. But I had never experienced this division of duties in a yard situation. At most, I have operated a yard with another operator and we each handled all the aspects of certain parts of the yard individually.

Which brings me around to my layout. When I built my St. Johnsbury yard I envisioned it as an operating position for one person, the yardmaster, who would handle everything. But after that operating session I am now fully convinced the yard will operate better with 2 people. One person will run the locomotive, while the other will handle the car cards and plan ahead. I think it will make for a more enjoyable time for both. And if they want to trade off halfway through the session, that is fine.

But it is not like the yardmaster position will be without operational duties. First of all there will be times where assistance is needed in handling other locomotives. One train, the southbound CP 917, will have some power to drop off for a later northbound CP 937. The second throttle and operator will come in handy to help get the power off the train and into the yard.

One other duty will be to assist the yard engineer in throwing switches. I built this yard with Tortoise switch machines and instead of building the traditional control panel, I hooked them up to DCC decoders that can be operated with the Digitrax DT402 throttle. So the yardmaster will also serve as the brakeman. So both operators will have a throttle, but each will have a different set of duties.

As an operational tool, I just put together this yard schematic with switch numbers indicated. It will be interesting to get feedback from others operating St. J on how it feels to throw switches using this method. If necessary I can alter switch numbers and modify the schematic based on their input. We'll see how it goes.



Mike McNamara
Delran, NJ



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