Prototype paperwork or no?

 
Topic moved from News by bevans on 23 Apr 2019 17:00
  bevans Site Admin

Location: Melbourne, Australia
Here's a question.  

Do many clubs run a timetable for their weekly club meets?  At Essendon we never ran a timetable of consists but wondered if this was something we should have introduced for the weekly meets on a Wednesday.

Prototype paperwork or no?

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  DJPeters Assistant Commissioner

A timetable and a wagon card system make an operating session more the operation of a real train than just simply running them. The card system I have used at quite a few layouts is the ABLO card car system where every piece of rollingstock has its own card and wagons etc have, random contents and destination cards so when you get to a station you have to set out the wagon at the right place. It is a lot of work to set up both though on a model railway but it makes it more enjoyable than just running a train around the mainline a couple of times. It works similar to the system used back in old days of a train shunting at every station as it plodded along. Not every train needs to be like it though as some can still be run as more like an express goods trains on the maintrack and the other shunting trains have to keep the mainline clear at all times if possible. It becomes a bit of a game to see if you can shunt a station without fouling up other trains running on it and it takes a while to get the hang of it. Once a wagon is delivered then it gets held at that station in the hold box there and finally it moves into the out box and the contents card is turned over and gives you either another load or a empty wagon with a destination.

At each station there is a in, hold, out box and every operator that gets to that station moves the cards from the in box to hold, from the hold box to the out box. The hold box simulates the loading or unloading of the wagon. It is simple once set up and operating though. The current operator or train driver places their card in in the in box that they have and every thing else then moves one box to right of it, when cards get to the out box they can be taken by the next train that goes to the destination marked on the contents card.

You need a fast clock or clocks as well, and for a timetable a lot use a real timetable for a set day or something from the prototypes timetables. One rule though you are not allowed to speed between stations if you are late you work late. So if you are a half hour late according to your timetable you simply stay half an hour late.

You could also provide a train controller somewhere away from the layout to control the movements as well, that can be fun.
  petan Chief Commissioner

Location: Waiting to see a zebra using a zebra crossing!
That leads into the owner researching likely industries at that town, which in turn leads to the individual wagon's card having a likely originating station which can be a presumed location out beyond the fiddle yard, if the originating industry is not actually modeled on the layout. In turn you list a town that the wagon is later dispatched to, and it too can be a town not actually on the layout. In that way the wagon card shows the wagon originating with a prepared load from a fiddle yard and has another card (perhaps the reverse side of the first card) which sends the wagon on a train to another fiddle yard. All this leads to increased accuracy so it appears to be real life which can add to the enjoyment. It can also lead to frustrations as the industry research will determine the frequency of the traffic, eg perishable items have an urgency determined by how long the cargo can survive without refrigeration, unless you have refrigerated wagons which means the train timetable must cater for that.
  dthead Site Admin

Location: Melbourne, Australia
Here's a question.  

Do many clubs run a timetable for their weekly club meets?  At Essendon we never ran a timetable of consists but wondered if this was something we should have introduced for the weekly meets on a Wednesday.

Prototype paperwork or no?
bevans
To have a extensive operations, if you rely of member's bringing trains you may tent to just try timetable operation rather than shunting - identifying  ownership of what item, or trying to wrote a timetable and card system to cover anything a member could bring - a HUGE task.

card system work better on layouts where the rollingstock is not removed, ie privately owned layouts. Also the degree you want to simukate is therefor up to the rule #1 - it's your railway.

Rather than a timetable, making it a inflexible scedule may be good, train "A" shunts at station 1 and HAS to wait for Train "B" to pass ( even if there is nothing to do for  "A" and operators has to wait. they all run in sequence. Time is of no concern.  Great for newcommers who might take 3 times the time to do a shunt than a experiance hand - with a timetable that could throw the entire line into disarray.

Whatever, giving these things a go is fun, and  if someone does not like it  - make it an occasional session or a new one for the week.

Having a two person crrew is interesting, one drives, the other handles all the cards, radio, and determines what to do. paperwork can be a little or as much as the owner dreams up.

A lot to consider

David
  petan Chief Commissioner

Location: Waiting to see a zebra using a zebra crossing!
That leads into the owner researching likely industries at that town, which in turn leads to the individual wagon's card having a likely originating station which can be a presumed location out beyond the fiddle yard, if the originating industry is not actually modeled on the layout. In turn you list a town that the wagon is later dispatched to, and it too can be a town not actually on the layout. In that way the wagon card shows the wagon originating with a prepared load from a fiddle yard and has another card (perhaps the reverse side of the first card) which sends the wagon on a train to another fiddle yard. All this leads to increased accuracy so it appears to be real life which can add to the enjoyment. It can also lead to frustrations as the industry research will determine the frequency of the traffic, eg perishable items have an urgency determined by how long the cargo can survive without refrigeration, unless you have refrigerated wagons which means the train timetable must cater for that.
petan
My above suggestion also leads to the matching of an industry and the specific wagon type for that industry for the era you are modelling. Then there is the question of modelling the infrastructure of the rail siding for that industry, especially the industry specific loading / unloading apparatus.
  petan Chief Commissioner

Location: Waiting to see a zebra using a zebra crossing!
That leads into the owner researching likely industries at that town, which in turn leads to the individual wagon's card having a likely originating station which can be a presumed location out beyond the fiddle yard, if the originating industry is not actually modeled on the layout. In turn you list a town that the wagon is later dispatched to, and it too can be a town not actually on the layout. In that way the wagon card shows the wagon originating with a prepared load from a fiddle yard and has another card (perhaps the reverse side of the first card) which sends the wagon on a train to another fiddle yard. All this leads to increased accuracy so it appears to be real life which can add to the enjoyment. It can also lead to frustrations as the industry research will determine the frequency of the traffic, eg perishable items have an urgency determined by how long the cargo can survive without refrigeration, unless you have refrigerated wagons which means the train timetable must cater for that.
My above suggestion also leads to the matching of an industry and the specific wagon type for that industry for the era you are modelling. Then there is the question of modelling the infrastructure of the rail siding for that industry, especially the industry specific loading / unloading apparatus.
petan
I am pretty sure there have been numerous previous threads on this timetable topic going back over several years on Railpage in particular, so maybe best if new Railpage members did a search of Railpage to discover the collection model rail timetable wisdom of many members who have now gone to the big roundhouse in the sky, so to speak. It will also save us retyping the same material in multiple threads.... again. I do recall posting what I typed above in previous threads on this Railpage website.
  SA_trains Deputy Commissioner

Location: ACT
As David Head has suggested, implementing operations on a club layout, is probably pretty tough as the operations rely on knowing what piece of rolling stock is where.

That said, interlacing various trains operating over a route(s) is good fun, especially if you have different priority trains. For example, an express passenger service would have a higher priority than the local goods, which would be higher than a way and works train. Probably requires some form of safe-working and a "Fat Controller" (Central train control). Keeping to a timetable, can be rather difficult surprisingly!

David Peters mentioned the ABLO system which is pretty well known. A very similar system can be generated out of JMRI. Again, you have to have each piece of rolling stock identifiable, and know where it is. You also input siding lengths, locations, routes, etc., Sounds like a lot of work, but you really only have to do it once. AND one major benefit, is that it then gives you an itemised list of your belongings which could be very useful for Insurance purposes.

Anyway, when ready for operations, JMRI can generate a train list along with what has to happen, where. You print off the task, and the operator carries it around and just does the train as a job. In an iterative fashion, picking up/dropping off empty/loads at the specified locations from departure to the final destination. Not unlike the real thing and is effectively an electronic version of the ABLO system only no sorting of cards. It is what I use and I have also used it in other layouts. Heaps of fun and a train may take as much as an hour to run the length of a layout doing a task. You can mix in express trains, Extras and slow local goods.... All is possible.

BUT, Unless a club has a heap of it's own rolling stock, it would be difficult to implement in a club scene.
  Captainchoochoo61 Locomotive Fireman

I have operated on a layout which had a fairly good collection of rollingstock, but also used outsider rollingstock. The benevolent dictator actually spent time generating a circular timetable and recorded the state of play at the end of each session. So when the next session was started the locos would be despatched as a string of locos and dropped at A B c etc and the wagons would circulate from there.  When you arrived with ( pre notified) stock they would be allocated to a particular train or location to integrate into the system.
A regular cleaning session took place where track, wagon wheels, locos were cleaned , and then the wrongly placed wagons would be reallocated to their correct position. Take those stone hoppers out of Adelaide station back to the quarry please?????

My plan for the future is to have six sidings in Mile End yard with six fulltrains ready to leave , and appropriate vans/wagons etc placed around the layout. Advances in printing and computer programs mean it will be easier to present cards and manifest lists in the future.

Red cards for defective rollingstock make fun too! faulty couplers, out of gauge wheels, speed restricted stock make it interesting.
  sol Assistant Commissioner

Location: Evanston Gardens SA
My method is described
http://www.nmra.org.au/Operations/Systems%20Of%20Operation.html

cursor down to Devan &  Summersett   and  click on the name.

Outside of my layout, I operate on others that use either JMRI Ops programme or car cards & waybills. One even follows the ABLO idea.
  dthead Site Admin

Location: Melbourne, Australia
if a club has  proceedures that everyone follow re marking their wagons, shunting woul be not so bad. On Eltham Model Railway Club's initial exhibition layout  "Murranbilla" we shunted without worry as we all knew what each other had on the layout. Some clubs would be ok in this way too.

But potnetially world wars coul eurupt if unmarked items are claimed !!!

Regards,
David Head
  Captainchoochoo61 Locomotive Fireman

All my rolling stock has my initials in gold marker pen on it. underneath.
I have also seen invisible markings that need a black light to reveal.
When taking my pre arranged rolling stock it was easy to use that list to find my rolling stock.
  viaprojects Train Controller

if a club has  proceedures that everyone follow re marking their wagons, shunting woul be not so bad. On Eltham Model Railway Club's initial exhibition layout  "Murranbilla" we shunted without worry as we all knew what each other had on the layout. Some clubs would be ok in this way too.

But potnetially world wars coul eurupt if unmarked items are claimed !!!

Regards,
David Head
dthead


+1 paperwork for ownership of items fine ... running cards for stock time tables is up to layout size and numbers .. also the amount of time required ..
  SAR523 Assistant Commissioner

Location: Chicago, IL
There’s been a lot of ink and bits spilt on the topic of operations Smile.

I’m someone who prefers a timetable (TT&TO) if the layout is big enough (5 stations seems to be about the effective minimum), but it’s definitely not for everyone. I enjoy working out if I can dodge out of the way of that oncoming passenger train.

The key is to have whoever is enforcing the rules to emphasis the fun. I’ve operated on plenty of layouts where the ‘joy’ of sitting on a siding somewhere for a long time is recreated in excruciating detail.

In terms of an operating scheme; the classic card card process has the problem of cars getting separated from their cards. It also doesn’t work well for people bringing indeterminate stock in and wanting to take it home at the end of the night; block trains are a better go there.

An alternative is a ‘demand’ card system. This differs in that the cards represent the demand of a specific spot/industry/whatever on the layout. Turned over they route the car back to a yard. Car cards don’t get separated from their car, and the demand tends to be generic, e.g. box car (whatever your railways system called them), flat car, gondola, oil etc.

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