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Operations on the B-and-M Eastern Route

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  • #31
    James, congrats on your first session! Now the real fun begins; tweaking your railroad to operations. So many things will surface that you didn't plan on or come across while running by yourself.

    You mentioned coming up with some sort of sheet that explains the various trains. Down here with our operating group, just about everyone uses a variation of a train card that we developed a few years ago. When someone signs up for a train, the dispatcher hands them their train card which contains just about all information they might need for them to operate that train.

    Below is an example of one from my railroad. This is a shot of the sheet in the dispatcher's book which replicates that card for the dispatcher's information. The card itself is double sided as indicated by the dotted lines. These can be as simple or as elaborate as you want them to be, but we have found them very useful for newbies and experienced operators alike.



    The top of the card shows information such as train, departure time, engine number, etc., and also shows a 'difficulty' color of either green (easy), yellow or red (a lot of switching).

    It also gives fairly detailed information for the engineer as to where to go and what he is to do at various stops along the way.

    Just some food for thought.
    Mark

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    • #32
      James, congrats on your first session! Now the real fun begins; tweaking your railroad to operations. So many things will surface that you didn't plan on or come across while running by yourself.

      You mentioned coming up with some sort of sheet that explains the various trains. Down here with our operating group, just about everyone uses a variation of a train card that we developed a few years ago. When someone signs up for a train, the dispatcher hands them their train card which contains just about all information they might need for them to operate that train.

      Below is an example of one from my railroad. This is a shot of the sheet in the dispatcher's book which replicates that card for the dispatcher's information. The card itself is double sided as indicated by the dotted lines. These can be as simple or as elaborate as you want them to be, but we have found them very useful for newbies and experienced operators alike.



      It also gives fairly detailed information for the engineer as to where to go and what he is to do at various stops along the way.

      Just some food for thought.
      Mark

      Comment


      • #33
        That's pretty fancy; looks like it's got forms? I was thinking of a similar form factor, but probably not double-sided, as my RR only has 4 passenger stations. About the same level of detail for operations, though.
        James

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        • #34
          I should have mentioned that I did this in Excel, which explains the light colored lines in the back ground. They don't print out. That is a screen shot so it captured those lines. As for the back side, that is optional. I only use the back side if its a long run with a lot of instructions, or a turn as in the example above.
          Mark

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          • #35
            Thanks, Mark. Would you mind sharing the Excel file with me? Most of what I do with spreadsheets is at a level where I could use VisiCalc; all numbers, no formatting.

            A 2nd op session is scheduled for May 10, probably with enough people to run passenger with at least one Towerman. In preparation:

            1. More freight cars: 4 built, one bought, 4 coming from my kit stash (but I won't get into the resin till Summer).

            2. Implement a marker for cars/waybills which aren't loaded/unloaded yet: initially, a purple paperclip.

            3. Places to hang timetables or binder clips of car cards by every control panel.

            4. Added DCC/sound to a Life-Like USRA 0-8-0, identified two candidates for another freight loco conversion.

            5. Fixed the DCC glitch: Prodigy Advance does things faster if it isn't polling cabs that aren't there. I had bought throttle #4 but forgot to re-set the limit from 3.

            6. A little trackwork fixing things MEC 622 (a rather rigid Genesis USRA Light Mikado) didn't like, plus one broken closure rail feeder.

            Not yet begun: make ETT #5 by adding a 2nd trick of the Bexley Switcher to ETT #4. And shelves by the yards. And installing the rest of my throttle holders.
            James

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            • #36
              No problem. I sent you a PM.
              Mark

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              • #37
                All the timetables etc. for tomorrow's operators are printed, highlighted and in page protectors. I have two more waybills to type and passenger trains to re-stage, but tomorrow morning is plenty of time for that. Pictures when it's happened.
                James

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                • #38
                  James,

                  As the theatre folk say, "Break a Leg!"

                  We're looking forward to the report and "film at eleven!"

                  Pete

                  in Michigan

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                  • #39
                    Good luck James! Take lots of photos and we will be looking forward to hearing how things went.
                    Mark

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                    • #40
                      On average, it worked. The bad:

                      The Prodigy Advance radio dongle can apparently handle being at the far end of the control buss with one throttle, but not with three. Alas, moving it back to the base station created a wireless dead spot in Newburyport, and I didn't have an extra long RJ-45 straight through cable. But they're cheap.

                      The NCE SW9SR decoder I installed in 1231 had a big problem with unexpected reversing/speed changes (probably mis-reading packets, I may have to buy that oscilloscope). But I had a spare engine, even an appropriate type.

                      Otherwise, the track, electrical & equipment stood up to 4 operators running a full 12 hours of freight. Not a lot of passengers got moved: a couple more operators and solving the DCC problems will fix that.



                      Everybody was glad this runaway was off the table rather than into the pit.



                      Ken and Rob teamed up on the 2nd Lynn Goat.



                      Mal bringing M-10 (the 'Narraganset') through Rowley.



                      M-10 was 22 cars, too long to clear in Bexley yard. But the 2nd Bexley Goat was on duty, so Mal did his set off from the main while Anonymous added the pick-up on the rear.

                      Something I didn't realize until the bull session after: Four of us attended MIT, the 5th is a railroad executive (unphotographed to avoid a ration of s**t from co-workers).
                      James

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                      • #41
                        Non-photogenic update: I installed and tested my GML Enterprises fast clock last night. It would have been a much simpler job if I'd dared to put the clocks on the chimney in the center of the layout, facing out. But I've never seen a chimney which didn't leak a little under the flashing when the wind was just wrong and the rain was pouring. This one certainly does. So I mounted them above the windows at the ends of the layout instead. And used 16 GA wire, hand-twisted, because I had it on hand.

                        I'm trying to organize an op session for the weekend of October 18, which is probably my last opportunity before Thanksgiving.
                        James

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                        • #42
                          My next op session is Sunday 10/19 in the afternoon, so I've been busy up in the attic. I installed sorting shelves at West Lynn, Bexley and Newburyport, plus cup holders at most of the switching locations. I added snubbers to my DCC buss a while back. I got all the passenger consists organized. I still have to finish freight re-staging and waybill turning, plus waybills for a number of new cars and then engine/rail cleaning.

                          I'm expecting a full house; If all goes well, I'll just be dispatcher/road foreman, though I plan to run the milk train, the one DC move the morning timetable requires. So there ought to be pictures.
                          James

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                          • #43
                            Sounds like Good Progress! Please do post photos!

                            Best wishes!

                            Pete

                            in Michigan

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                            • #44
                              It looks like you have your work cut out for you James. Good luck but enjoy. Let us know and see how things went.
                              Mark

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                              • #45
                                Looking forward to the report.

                                L&N nut

                                Jon

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