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Getting Started in Operations Presented by Bob Weinheimer MMR National Model Railroad Association Mid Central Region Convention April 2012.

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Presentation on theme: "Getting Started in Operations Presented by Bob Weinheimer MMR National Model Railroad Association Mid Central Region Convention April 2012."— Presentation transcript:

1 Getting Started in Operations Presented by Bob Weinheimer MMR National Model Railroad Association Mid Central Region Convention April 2012

2 What Do I Mean by Operations?
This is MY view, others may see things differently! Operations means running the trains using rules, adapted as needed for model purposes, in much the same way done on the prototype Specific trains run at a specific time based on a logical reason

3 What Do I Mean by Operations?
Cars, both freight and passenger, are moved between shipper and consignee with some sort of logical system A credible fleet of cars is used reflecting the needs of shippers and logical connecting railroads All this can happen on a freelanced or prototype based layout

4 Topics for Discussion Layout setting Era Rolling stock Train schedules
Car forwarding Train dispatching Staffing

5 The Global Picture Few railroads operate without connections to other railroads Where does you layout fit on a map of prototype railroads in the part of the world you are modeling? Which railroads connect to your railroad?

6 The Global Picture Connections allow places for cars to go, something like a large industry Connections allow the possibility of jointly operated trains that feature connecting line power Connections allow logical places for foreign line cars to come from or go to On a freelance layout, do not be afraid to rewrite railroad history as needed to make operations work better

7 The Global Picture To Cheyenne To Julesburg La Salle Jim Rollwage’s
Denver Pacific Modeled portion Denver to La Salle Denver Kansas Pacific, Rock Island

8 The Global Picture Union Pacific by Jim Rollwage
Denver Pacific line north from Denver to transcontinental main line Modeled portion Denver to La Salle, CO Beyond the basement connections to eastward main line at Julesburg, CO, westward main line at Cheyenne, WY, eastward via Kansas Pacific and Rock Island from Denver

9 The Global Picture Pittsburgh CR, B&O, N&W, P&LE Bridgeville Real N&W
Wheeling, WV Washington PS Wheeling Branch Freelance N&W Waynesburg, PA

10 The Global Picture Pennsylvania Southern Pittsburgh to Chattanooga
Modeled portion Pittsburgh to PA/WV state line On layout, connects with CR, N&W, P&LE, B&O, and Montour Beyond layout, connects with C&O, N&W, B&O, G&G, CRR, L&N, SOU, possibly others

11 The Global Picture “Beyond the Basement” Staging yards
A source for trains A destination for trains Can be open or hidden, sceniced or not, stub ended, double ended, or loops.

12 The Global Picture Photo by Jim Rollwage

13 Setting What will your layout look like?
Depends on layout location and concept PS runs from urban Pittsburgh to rural area with heavy industry on the north end fading to mines and much less industry to the south Denver Pacific is high western plains, few trees, lots of agriculture

14 Era What year is it on your layout?
Era can dictate of rolling stock choices Era can dictate scenic elements such as track arrangement and structure selection Era can dictate which industries may be appropriate Era can help determine what dispatching system is used

15 Rolling Stock Once an era is established, try to avoid anachronisms such as truss rod boxcars running with double stack cars 1980 as an example Lots of Incentive Per Diem, Railbox cars Conrail cars in paint transition GP-50s have arrived, no SD-50s No SBD, CSX, NS

16 Rolling Stock Fleet composition Many home road cars
Fewer cars from direct connections Even fewer cars from secondary connections Possible exceptions for unit trains Appropriate car types to meet industry needs

17 Rolling Stock – Car Types
Identify your car types. Most car forwarding systems use some method for describing car types. AAR Mechanical Designations Convenient two to four letter codes for describing cars. Easily adapted to model railroads since most model cars already have the code on it.

18 Common AAR Mechanical Designations
XM – General boxcar XL – Boxcar equipped with special loading devices XP – Boxcar designated to haul a certain commodity HM – Two bay hoppers HT – Hoppers with three or more bays GB – Gondola with fixed sides and ends GT – High side gondola RP – Reefer RB and RBL – Insulated boxcars LO – Covered hoppers LP – Pulpwood cars FM – General flatcars FC – Flatcars equipped to handle containers or trailers FA – Auto-racks FB – Bulk head flatcars

19 Train Schedules Highly dependent on era and location
Prototype passenger train schedules can be used as a guide Freight trains can be scheduled or run as needed PS schedule was developed using mathematical models for car flow Denver Pacific uses UP timetables

20 Train Schedules

21 Train Procedure Manual
Descriptive list of each train and its functions. Helps in developing the operating scheme. Helps others who visit your railroad know which trains perform which tasks.

22 Train Procedure Manual

23 Car Forwarding Many systems, all with their adherents
Car card and waybill Car tabs Printed or handwritten switchlist Commercial software

24 Car Forwarding – Car Cards and Waybills
Well documented in the MR press. Most common method used is Don McFall’s 4 cycle waybill system. Easy to set up as it does not require any special equipment.

25 Car Forwarding – Switchlists

26 Car Forwarding – Switchlists

27 Car Forwarding – Software
Commercial Products Ship It! ProTrak RailOp Open Source Products (free) JMRI Folks can be very partial to their favorites Some see problems with all of these

28 Dispatching Systems Mother, may I?
Very informal, limited paperwork, simple Timetable and Train Order (TTTO) Prototypical May be intimidating to new operators Steep learning curve for some Track Warrants/Direct Train Control Prototypical, easier than TTTO

29 Dispatching Systems Centralized Traffic Control
Requires signals and detection equipment Can be expensive to implement Allows high traffic levels Combinations of all the above

30 Dispatching Systems PS uses track warrant system
Denver Pacific uses TTTO

31 Staffing Dispatcher Authorizes train movements by writing orders, or warrants or by setting CTC signals Yardmaster Classifies inbound cars, builds trains Train Crew Operate road trains, switch industries as needed

32 Learn More Observe the prototype Visually from a safe location
Radio traffic via scanner or internet Visit operating layouts, more than one if possible What did you like about each? What did you dislike about each? Decide what makes sense for you

33 Summary Fit your layout into the real world Define the layout era
Develop a credible setting Write a train schedule Choose a dispatching system Develop a car forwarding system Observe layouts and the prototype Do all of this then operate and you will earn the Chief Dispatcher certificate

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