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The Yard and Yard Operations
This page was last updated on October 23rd, 2012.
2. Physical Layout gf the Yard
2.1 Numbering of yard Tracks
2.2 Pullback Tracks
2.3 Other Tracks
3. Movements within the Yard
3.1 Movements under yardmaster's Authority
3.2 Entry to and Exit from the Yard
4. Yard Track Usage
5. Car Card System
|6. Making up Trains
Blocking of Trains
7. Trains leaving the Yard
7.2 Leaving the Yard
8. Trains Entering the Yard
Appendix A - Sample Enginer and Yard Operations cards
This document describes the layout and operation of the main yard together with the roles and responsibilities of the Yardmaster
Module_Sheets/Ottawa_EastDescription.html and Module_Sheets/Ottawa_WestDescription.html
while pictures are at
Module_Photo_Pages/ModuleOttawaEast.html and Module_Photo_Pages/ModuleOttawaWest.html
Note - the diagrams are oriented differently and Ottawa West needs to be updated.
Normally these modules are set up together to make a double ended yard. However, in some cases the modules are set up separately to form two stub-ended yards.
The yard tracks (1-7) are numbered outwards from the main line. For ready reference these are identified by plastic tabs placed in between the rails at each end and in the center.
Ottawa East also has two intermodal and container terminal tracks which are accessed through track 7.
Ottawa West contains several tracks for storing locomotives waiting for work.
Both ends of the yard have a "pocket" track which is connected to track 7 and the pull-back track. This is a useful track to put working yard locomotives when they need to keep out of the way of entering or leaving trains.
When the Maenclochog Engine Terminal is attached next to either end of the Yard, light engine movements between the yard and the terminal on the third track will move under the authority of the Yardmaster.than scale15 mph being prepared to stop short of other movements or incorrectly set switches.
The most effective way to operate the yard is to use switching assignments, East End and West End, under the supervision of the Yardmaster. If there is a shortage of staff, the yard can be worked by the Yardmaster at one end with an Assistant at the other end.
Trains running on the main lines may enter the yard only upon the authority of the Yardmaster and must use the track indicated by him or her. The Yardmaster will normally advise the incoming train of any possible conflicting movements but in any case, section 3.1 applies. Trains entering the yard must put back not only the main line switch but also the crossover switch on the pull-back track.
Ottawa West looking west
The Yardmaster must ensure that the outgoing engineer has the appropriate red Operating Pass and must obtain the agreement of the Traffic Superintendent before releasing any train from the yard. The engineer should be asked to ensure that the outgoing train has the correct train and car cards.
Trains leaving the yard may do so upon receiving permission from both the RTC, when applicable, and the Yardmaster. The main line switch must be returned to normal as must the crossover switch on the pull-back track.
- track 1 is used for incoming trains
- track 2 at the discretion of the Yardmaster
- tracks 3 and 4 are used for unassigned cars
- tracks 5 and 6 is used for trains ready to depart
- track 7 should be kept clear as far as possible. It is used to move cars from one end of the yard to the other and to provide access to the Ottawa West locomotive tracks and the Ottawa East Intermodal Terminal.
Track usage may vary according to the traffic demands and will be determined by the Yardmaster. Members Page.
A block of cars representing an assembled train may be clipped together with binder clips with the correspondingEngineer card but the cards must be in the correct order and should be placed in the correct pocket. If there are two or more outgoing trains on the same track the block of train cards must be placed with the easternmost first with the subsequent train blocks placed behind.
The eighth card pocket may be used for unused Engineer and Yard Operations cards.
Local Train Design.
The first step is to decide which train to make up. It is good practice to have one train of each number made up and either out on the line or ready to depart. After that the Yardmaster may consider making up additional trains. Using Appendix A as an example let us assume that Local train L3A is already out on the layout and the Yardmaster wishes to make up a local L3B. The Engineer card for L3B indicates that 5 cars are required with codes VC, VD, VB, VH and VJ.
Note that code VD is shown twice on the Engineer card for train L3B. This indicates that a car with code VD from the yard must be spotted at "M" Foundry on track 4, a car with code VD must be moved from "M" Foundry track 4 to "M" Foundry track 5 and a car with code VB moved from "M" Foundry track 5 back to the yard.
The Yard Operations card for train L3 indicates that 4 boxcars and 1 open hopper will be required:
Boxcar (40')(VC), Boxcar (VD), Open Hopper (coal) (VB), Boxcar (50' or less) (VH) and Boxcar (50' or less) (VJ)
In a similar manner train L3A will require 2 boxcars (40'), 1 gondola, 1 open hopper (coal) and 1 boxcar (50' or less);
while train L3C will need 2 boxcars (40'), 2 open hoppers (coal) and 1 boxcar (50' or less).
The Yardmaster will then review the unassigned cars available, normally to be found on tracks 3 and 4 (see 4. Yard Track Usage). This is completely at the discretion of the Yardmaster and will depend upon how much assistance he has. He may choose cars from one track or it may be more convenient to choose cars at one end or the other for convenience of switching. the Yard switcher(s) will then pull out the cars chosen and the Car Code cars inserted in the appropriate Car Card pocket.
A place must be chosen for the made up train, normally on yard traxcks 5 and 6 (see 4. Yard Track Usage). Again this is at the Yardmaster's discretion. Normally two trains can be placed on the one departure track and occasionally three. Trains heading east from the yard should be placed at the east end of the track and those heading west at the west end. The Car Cards for the newly made up train, properly organized, should be clipped together with the appropriate Engineer card and placed in the appropriate Car Card pocket.
Only one local train of each type may be active on the layout at one time. This is to ensure that trains are not trying to switch the same point at the same time. There should be only one Engineer Card sleeve for each local train. This goes out with the train that is currently on the layout. In the example above, train L3A, which is on the layout, will have a transparent sleeve. The Engineer Card for train L3B will not have a sleeve and this will serve as a reminder to the Yardmaster that a train L3 is already on the layout and a second one may not be released until the first one returns.
It is best not to make up a train until all the cars of the specific car type are available.
It is possible to turn round an incoming train, providing that the paperwork is correct, and use it as an outbound without removing the Car Code cards. This should only be done if there is a need to send out such a train quickly and at least some of the cars should be exchanged for unassigned cars wherever possible.
- the Yardmaster must ensure that the Engineer has a red Operating Pass and that the Traffic Superintendent agrees that this particular train may enter the layout.
- the Yardmaster must ensure that the Engineer and Car Cards are correct for the train.
- the Yardmaster should ask the Engineer to check his car cards to confirm that they correspond to the cars in the consist and that the Car Codes correspond with the Engineer card .
- it is the responsibility of the Engineer to obtain permission from the RTC, where applicable, to leave the yard and enter the main line.
- it is good practice for the Yardmaster to remind the Engineer to return the pull-back switch to normal and to check that this has been done.
It is the Engineer's responsibility to advise the RTC, where applicable, that his train has entered the yard and is clear of the main line and to hand back his red Operating Pass to the Traffic Superintendent..
The Yardmaster should immediately check that the Car Cards coincide with the cars actually returned. The cars will then normally be moved to tracks 3 or 4 (or another depending upon the circumstances) and the Car Code cards removed. The cars are now unassigned and ready to be incorporated into new trains.
If the Yardmaster finds that the Car Cards appear correct but the Car Codes are incorrect it is preferable for the Yardmaster to attend to this problem himself as it suggests an incorrectly switched car. This is most easily rectified by checking the cars and Car Cards at the specific location against the Layout Population Sheet. The solution may lie in changing out the Car Code cards to ensure that the Car Cards coincide with the Layout Population Sheet.A template in .doc format, for working purposes, can be found on the Members Page