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Local Switching Operations Steve Prevette PNR Vice President Burnt Hills and Big Flats RR

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Presentation on theme: "Local Switching Operations Steve Prevette PNR Vice President Burnt Hills and Big Flats RR"— Presentation transcript:

1 Local Switching Operations Steve Prevette PNR Vice President Burnt Hills and Big Flats RR

2 Scope How to do switching on a model railroad Common configurations of sidings Considerations for track planning Considerations for planning operating sessions

3 The Challenge Operations should be FUN! Too simple can be boring Too complex can be a headache Need to consider what is right for you, and for your operators Realism (following prototype practices) can add to the fun

4 Why do we set out cars? Passenger trains can load and unload without setting out or picking up cars. Cases of freight cars loading and unloading on the main are rare in the prototype. Toy trains have accessories for loading and unloading cattle, pipes, logs, milk cans while in the train.

5 Loading and Unloading Fortunately for model railroads (and unfortunately for the prototype), loading and unloading of most cars takes time. We can then have “fun” shifting and switching cars around, a cost the prototype would just as soon do without.

6 A simple siding Mainline Turnout Siding

7 A simple siding

8 Switching a simple siding “Trailing Point” Mainline Turnout Siding The yellow boxcar is to be delivered to the siding for unloading

9 Switching a simple siding Mainline Turnout Siding Pull engine and car to be delivered ahead of turnout Leave rest of train on mainline

10 Switching a simple siding Mainline Turnout Set the turnout for the siding, and back car into siding

11 Switching a simple siding Mainline Turnout Uncouple car, pull engine forward and set turnout back for the main

12 Switching a simple siding Mainline Turnout Couple up to the rest of the train, and proceed to next assignment.

13 Switching a simple siding Mainline Turnout

14 What happens if the train is going the other direction? Mainline Turnout Siding The yellow boxcar is to be delivered to the siding for unloading ? This is “Facing Point”

15 Options Double end the siding Add a run around track Only switch this siding when the train is going the proper direction (left to right) Push the car ahead of the locomotive from a previous location

16 A double ended siding Mainline Turnout Siding Turnout

17 Double ended siding Can be switched from either direction May be too easy Can’t be used for other purposes (such as holding a train for a meet) without moving spotted cars Takes twice as many turnouts, more length, siding must roughly parallel main

18 Adding a runaround The runaround can serve multiple sidings The runaround may also be used as a passing siding if there are no industries on it If the main must be used as part of the runaround, switching time may be impacted due to need to get clearance from dispatcher.

19 With a runaround Mainline Siding The yellow boxcar is to be delivered to the siding for unloading Runaround

20 With a runaround Mainline Siding Pull train into runaround Runaround

21 With a runaround Mainline Siding Uncouple from train, move engine forward onto main Runaround

22 With a runaround Mainline Siding Back engine around train on main Runaround

23 With a runaround Mainline Siding Back engine around train on main Runaround

24 With a runaround Mainline Siding Move forward and couple onto back of train Runaround

25 With a runaround Mainline Siding Pull train with car to be delivered back onto the main Runaround

26 With a runaround Mainline Siding Push train towards siding Runaround

27 With a runaround Mainline Siding Push cars onto siding, and uncouple car to be delivered Runaround

28 With a runaround Mainline Siding Pull train with car to be delivered back onto the main Runaround

29 With a runaround Mainline Siding Push remainder of train back onto runaround and uncouple Runaround

30 With a runaround Mainline Siding Engine runs around remainder of train Runaround

31 With a runaround Mainline Siding Engine runs around remainder of train Runaround

32 With a runaround Mainline Siding Engine runs around remainder of train Runaround

33 With a runaround Mainline Siding Engine couples to remainder of train, and departs Runaround

34 With a runaround Mainline Siding Engine couples to remainder of train, and departs Runaround

35 More than one car per siding Multiple industries per siding? –May make the industry to small (the building is smaller than the boxcar it is loading) –Does add challenge for switching One big industry per siding? –May look more realistic, especially if against a backdrop –May have multiple “spots”

36 More than one car per siding Multiple spots for loading cars

37 Operations Thoughts Through trains are the money makers for the railroad and have priority (I’ve seen that backwards on some op sessions) The local can get stuck for a long time as a parade of mainline trains go through town It is no fun for the local crew to sit around endlessly waiting for a switching opportunity, only to clear up again five minutes later

38 Helping out the Local Crew Add a separate runaround from the passing siding Add a “lap siding” Have one or both “tails” of the runaround off of the main

39 Runaround separate from Passing Siding Passing Siding Main Run around

40 Lap Siding Mainline A short runaround within a long passing siding shortens switching times and adds flexibility Runaround

41 Lap Siding Mainline Two long trains may also meet Runaround

42 Lap Siding Mainline Note – a long passing siding with a crossover is also a lap siding Runaround

43 The Switchback Mainline Siding The length of this tail must be at least one engine plus one car long clear from the turnout

44 The Switchback Mainline Siding #2 The Yellow Car is to be delivered to Siding #2 These cars are to remain here when done

45 The Switchback Mainline Siding #2 First, these cars must be moved out of the way

46 The Switchback Mainline Siding #2

47 The Switchback Mainline Siding #2

48 The Switchback Mainline Siding #2 Shove the two gray cars forward and leave on mainline

49 The Switchback Mainline Siding #2 Shove the two gray cars forward and leave on mainline

50 The Switchback Mainline Siding #2 Backup, uncouple rest of train

51 The Switchback Mainline Siding #2 Pull car to be delivered into tail track Tail Track

52 The Switchback Mainline Siding #2 Tight Fit!

53 The Switchback Mainline Siding #2 Push car into siding

54 The Switchback Mainline Siding #2 Uncouple, return to tail

55 The Switchback Mainline Siding #2 Return to Main

56 The Switchback Mainline Siding #2 Now to return the gray cars

57 The Switchback Mainline Siding #2 Now to return the gray cars

58 The Switchback Mainline Siding #2 Pull back the gray cars

59 The Switchback Mainline Siding #2 Now to return the gray cars

60 The Switchback Mainline Siding #2 Almost Done!

61 The Switchback Mainline Siding #2 Go back, get rest of train

62 The Switchback Mainline Siding #2 Go back, get rest of train

63 The Switchback Mainline Siding #2 Done, and ready to leave town

64 The Switchback Mainline Siding #2

65 Problem! Mainline Siding #2 The Yellow Car is to be delivered to Siding #2 If we had to pick up the blue car, we’d be in trouble

66 Solution 1 Mainline Siding #2 We’d either need a longer tail track

67 Solution 1 Mainline Siding #2 Longer tail track

68 Solution 2 Mainline Siding #2 Or another siding to remove the blue car to before setting out the yellow car

69 Switchback Advantages A switchback can work well for a set of industry flats on the backdrop

70 Sidney Switchback

71 Room for engine and two 40 foot cars Two D&H Staging Tracks under buildings

72 Caution A switchback or two can be fun – but a little bit goes a long ways If every town is a switching puzzle, it can get tedious Switching a large number of cars to a simple track layout can still be fun!

73

74

75 The Timesaver Was timed rather than counting moves Five cars and one switch engine Engine moved at fixed speed, controlled with a center off toggle Two cars were started connected to the switcher which needed to be delivered, and two cars were designated as pick ups

76 Comments on the Timesaver It makes for a nice, small layout if you only have a desktop worth of space Some folks build them into larger layouts, but you’d really never see the prototype do something like that The track pattern could be used as a reasonable town on a layout if the runaround is extended to a train length

77 Switching Puzzle Thoughts If you are going to have a “puzzle” town, do give the local room to work, completely off the mainline Consider the lap siding, or a separate runaround for busy towns Consider putting “puzzle” town at the end of a branch

78 Big Flats – only six spots, but keeps crews busy

79 General Electric E-L Interchange Delaware Breaker McCormick’s Coal Lead Runaround Mainline

80 Switching on both Main and Passing Siding This town will be tough to switch, especially if lots of through traffic to clear up for.

81 An Easier Alternative Sidings on mainline side near one end of town and are in the same direction. Can do some switching completely from the passing siding

82 Burnt Hills Team

83 Strategies for the Operator Upon arrival in town, segregate setouts into trailing and facing point setouts Try to minimize the number of runarounds performed – setout and pickup the trailing points first. Run around the facing point setouts Finish setouts and pickups Run around pickups and organize train to leave town

84 Op Session Considerations – Large Layout Limit number of cars for industrial switching to ½ the capacity of the sidings Schedule open time for locals to do switching. At busy towns add additional capacity for car sorting, runarounds and leads separate from the main

85 Op Session Considerations – Small Layout With smaller crew sizes and less main line, you may want some difficult switching in order to prolong the time a train runs The Timesaver is a traditional puzzle, but is geared towards short tracks and small industries A single large industry may be more realistic and offer more switching opportunities.

86 Op Session Considerations – Chokepoint Towns Have a train in each direction service the town, only doing trailing point setouts Station a switching crew and have through trains setout and pickup cuts of cars Minimize interference from other trains Only have a minimum number of cars designated for pickup

87 Conclusion Operations can be fun! Some forethought in track planning can keep it fun. Sometimes simpler is better, not every town has to be a switching puzzle Visit operating sessions to get ideas Keep practicing


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