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This section describes how the operating sessions are conducted.
This page was last updated on February 28th, 2012.
Table of Contents
Start of the Session
When the layout is ready to start operations, a Briefing will be called for all members present. Briefings take place on both Saturday and Sunday before start of Operations. Any members not present should see the Traffic Superintendent for instructions and read Posted notes.
Topics generally covered are:
Types of Freight trains.
Types of Passenger trains.
Length of trains.
Fiddle Yards available, their use and how to exit and enter.
Any special Main Line Instructions.
Any special Branch line instructions.
Known trouble spots to watch for.
General reminder of Operating Procedures.
other Club business that needs to be
attended to on the weekend
Before taking a train out on the layout you must have:
A red Operating Pass (good for one trip only) from the Traffic Superintendent when he is on duty.
A radio when a dispatcher (RTC) is on duty.
An apron to hold Car Cards and uncoupling tool.
A map of the layout
The Locomotive Card, Train Card for the train you are taking out, and the Car Cards (with Waybills) for your train.
A throttle with a good battery
A Probationary Member must have an Engineer accompany him.
A Guest must have an Engineer accompany him.
a) When deciding what train to run check the Ready Board and/or with the Traffic Superintendent for trains available to leave the Yard and consult the Yard Master as to your choice . Then confirm with the Traffic Superintendent.
b) Obtain RED PASS from Traffic Superintendent that matches the train you wish to run.
c) If a Red Pass is not available at this time for the train you wish, then you will be placed on a waiting list for this train type or you may change your request and obtain a pass for a different train. Inform the Yard-Master of any changes.
d) When you have your Red Pass select a locomotive from the Engine Yard or if you are using your own place it on the tracks in the Engine Yard.
e) Select your locomotive on your throttle and ensure that you have control and it is functioning properly. (See Throttle Instructions for selecting your locomotive).
f) When you are ready, inform the Yard-Master that you are ready to pick up your train and he will give you directions and clearance for moving about the yard. Be patient he is a busy operator and is assembling trains for everybody and the way may not be clear for you to move right away.
g) Once your train is assembled and before you leave the Yard ensure that you have the Locomotive Card, Car Cards for all cars on your train and Train Card. Go to Running Guidelines.
Train movements within the Yard are under the authority of the
Engines must be placed on the tracks in the Engine Yard unless
originating from a Fiddle Yard as described below in 5.
c) You must take the next available train at the discretion of the Yard-Master and Traffic Superintendent.
d) You must take all Paperwork with you for your train when leaving the Yard
e) You must have clearance from the Yard-Master to depart before contacting the Dispatcher (when on duty).
f) You must have clearance from the Dispatcher (when on duty) before entering or crossing the Main Lines.
g) When entering or leaving the yard the switches off the yard leads to the main line must be returned to the normal position just like any main line switch.
5. Running your own train
a) If you want to run a train using your own equipment, obtain a Red Pass from the Traffic Superintendent that matches the train you wish to run (Through Freight or Passenger).
b) Locate the Train Card for your type of train at the yard.
your locomotive and rolling stock in the Fiddle Yard, not the Coach
Yard or the
d) Use only one Fiddle Yard track. Verify that your train is not longer then the limits set during the weekend briefing.
Dispatcher is in charge of the entire layout Main Line. It is
follow his directions for all train movements.
b) You may not leave the Main Yard until you have clearance from both the Yard-Master and the Dispatcher.
may not depart from any Branch line or Fiddle Yard without clearance
the Dispatcher only when you are ready to move (Loco selected, train
paperwork done and Yard Master approval if required).
e) When on double-track Main Line, always follow the "right-hand running rule", unless otherwise instructed by the dispatcher.
foot per second equals 60.69 Miles per Hour (MPH).
following tables show the MAX speed limit for various types of trains
situations. Specific local speed limits and or Slow Orders take
minimum following distance is 4 feet behind the last car of train ahead.
Maximum Permissible Speed for Train Type
Figure 2 Maximum Permissible Speed for Train Type
a) All Main Line Double Track operations are Right-hand running unless you receive specific instructions to the contrary.
b) The Main Line is controlled by the Dispatcher (when on duty) and Operators must obey his instructions. Failure to do so may incur fines or penalties.
c) The Dispatcher will give clearances to certain points and you must stop at or before this point so you are not fouling any Crossovers, Branch line Turnouts or Sidings.
d) On the Main Line all Turnouts to Branches and Sidings are to be left closed after use (failure to reset turnout may incur a fine or penalty).
e) On the Main Line after transitioning from Single Track to Double Track or vice versa – Leave the Turnout as is after train has passed.
should only be one Local operating on a Branch line at a time.
there are simultaneous Passenger Operations in the Branch, then the
of the Passenger train and the Local will communicate between
c) Turnouts may be left in any position but it is good practice to close them when finished.
a) To switch any siding on the Main Line you require the permission of the Dispatcher.
Main Line is too busy at this time you may not be able to make your
and will have to return the car to the Yard.
Line switching should be done as a Trailing
possible all cars not required for the Siding should be parked off the
e) Complete the movement in as few moves as possible.
f) If your Locomotive and car/s will fit into the siding and not foul the Main Line then allow any waiting trains to pass then complete your moves. Co-ordinate this with the Dispatcher.
NOT lay Car Cards on the modules.
is the responsibility of the train crew to leave the Car
the car being delivered in the Car Card Box for that location.
is the responsibility of the train crew to take the Car
the car being picked up from the Car Card Box for the location that the
you arrive at a location, read and execute the instructions on the
the specific instructions written on an Instruction Card in the Car
This also includes Through Freight Trains.
should keep the Car Cards of the cars that you are picking up separate
those that you are dropping off. Use one apron pocket for inbound cards
for outbound cards. Keeping cards separate will save confusion
f) Failure to return correct Car Cards at the end of your run may incur fines.
conscientious. Other operators also must communicate with the
talk to a minimum.
starting out with a new train, call the dispatcher (when ready to move
before) and provide the Train Number. “RTC this is train 143”.
the Dispatcher calls you back reply with your Loco Number, type of
current location, direction of travel (east or west) and next
asked for your direction of travel, simply state East or West and refer
Track Plan. Normally when facing the front of a conventional module
East is the
right hand direction and West is the left-hand direction.
short sentences. Indicate train number, and
asked, indicate next destination. Do not explain entire desired route.
the dispatcher's job. If multiple stops are required (passenger or
indicate the next stop only. Once at that stop, then indicate the next
when ready to leave and so on.
h) If the dispatcher wants more information he will request it.
permission from Yard-Master to enter the Yard.
back to Dispatcher when clear of Main Line and sign off.
Van/Caboose to storage track.
Locomotive to Engine tracks. Turn off lights, sound, all functions and
speed to zero. Dispatch Locomotive.
the Yard-Master all of the Paper Work. Failure to return Car Cards,
Card or Train Card may incur fines or penalty.
g) Return the Red Pass to the Traffic Superintendent. Failure to return Red Pass may incur fines or penalty.
off Throttle and Radio and return them to
is recommended that you drive in, rather than back in, unless there are
specific reasons for backing in.
back to Dispatcher when clear of Main Line and sign off.
off lights, sound, all functions and set speed to zero. Dispatch
the Red Pass to the Traffic Superintendent. Failure to return Red Pass
incur fines or penalty.
off Throttle and Radio and return them to Club Table.
f) Remove cars and locomotive from Fiddle Yard tracks in a timely manner.
From time to time, you will encounter problems during a set-up. The key is not to get frustrated and not to make up your own solutions to the problem. The Traffic Superintendent, the Road Foreman and the Chief of Operations are the people to co-ordinate the solution(s) to any problems identified.
If the problem affects the Operations also inform the Dispatcher/RTC.