Car Cards and Waybills

Discussion in 'Getting Started' started by Jim T, Dec 21, 2003.

  1. Jim T

    Jim T Member

    Hi All,

    I've been over on the Car Cards group reading up trying to figure out this whole operating system thing. Plus reading up on Shamus's system. It made me wonder how many over here use some sort of car card-waybill system to move cars around. Seems like it would add a whole new dimension to model railroading.

    Cheers, Jim
  2. Tyson Rayles

    Tyson Rayles Active Member

    When I do ops I use the 4-cycle waybill system.
  3. Tad

    Tad Member

    I'm setting up my car cards now that I have gotten enough of my layout completed to start operations.

    Over at The Railroad Forum a few of us have just started an in depth discussion of model railroad operations.

    I use Dave Husman's Car Card Generator 3.41. The price is right, it's free. :cool:

    If you have MS Acess it is definitely worth checking out. Applications/

    Where I live in Idaho, I am sure that someone does model railroad operations, but I don't know them. Most folks that I know just want hook up long trains to 6 locomotives and watch them run around the layout. It's not much fun for me.

    I think that operations is a whole nother aspect of modeling. It is modeling railroading instead of just modeling railroad equipment.

    They both fascinate me.
  4. Doug Trouten

    Doug Trouten New Member


    Well even though I dont have a real layout (just a loop of track so that I can run a loco an some cars when I want too) I am starting to fill out a Car Card for each peice of rolling stock that I own. Unfortunatly since I dont have much room most my ops will be done on friends layouts or on NTrak Modules if I can get a local NTrak club going.

    If you are interested in getting into Car Cards and Waybills there are two places that i know of right now that you can get Car Cards and Waybills, Micro-Mark and Old Lien Graphics

    # 82916 Car-Routing System 100 carcards, 100 waybills, 100 Bad Order Slips, 25 Loco Cards, 4 Wooden Bill Boxes and some basic instructions on how to use the Cards and Bills $29.95.
    #82910 Pad of 100 Car Cards (buff color) $3.95
    #82911 Pad of 100 Waybills, 4 cycle (White Color) $3.95
    #89212 Pad of 25 Locomotive Cards (gray color) $1.95
    #89213 Pad of 100 Bad Order Slips (pink color) $2.95
    #89214 Three-Compartment Bill Boxes (package of 2) $9.95

    Old Line Graphics
    Effective 01-01-2003

    Item 1: CARCARDS (Buff for Freight equipment) per pad of 50 $2.00 ea.
    Item 2: CARCARDS (Green for Passenger equip.) per pad of 50 $2.00 ea.
    Item 3: CARCARDS (Red for MofW equipment) per pad of 50 $2.00 ea.
    Item 4: WAYBILLS per pad of 50 $2.00 ea.
    Item 5: SPECIAL WAYBILL/EMPTY CAR ORDER per pad of 50 $2.00 ea.
    Item 6: MESSAGE PAD per pad of 50 $1.25 ea.
    Item 7: TRAIN ORDER PAD per pad of 50 $1.25 ea.
    Item 8: UNIT TRAIN PAD per pad of 50 $1.25 ea.
    Item 9: MINE BLOCK PAD per pad of 50 $1.25 ea.
    Item 10: BAD ORDER PAD per pad of 50 $1.25 ea.

    Shipping per order: (No matter how large) $6.00
    Shipping outside the contiguous United States ADD an additional $3.00
    Maryland residents must include 5% sales tax.

    The BASIC SET, priced at $22.00, contains the following:
    2 each Carcard Pads (Buff for Freight equipment)
    3 each Waybill Pads
    1 each Special Waybill Pad
    1 each Message Pad, Train Order Pad, Unit Train Pad, Mine Block Pad,
    and Bad Order pad
    Shipping is included in the price of the Basic Set

    Delays may be caused due to reprinting out of stock items. Orders will be shipped as soon as possible.
    If you provide an E-Mail address, you will be notified as to date shipped or cause of delay.

    Please, make checks payable to: “Old Line Graphics.”
    Mail to:
    Old Line Graphics
    1604 Woodwell Road
    Silver Spring, MD 20906-2048

    Phone: 301-460-9193

    The Micro-Mark Car Routing System is fully compatable with the Old Line Graphics car cards and Waybills (ie the cards and bills are the same size for both of them). One Word of note on Old Line Graphics, it is run as a side business and orders may take a couple weeks to be shipped out.
  5. brakie

    brakie Active Member

    Jim,I have used the waybill/car card method of operation since Doug Smith's article on waybills/car cards came out in the 60s.I can not even think of planing a layout without operations as the main goal of my layout.:D
  6. Tyson Rayles

    Tyson Rayles Active Member

    Doug you know you can make the car cards and any other paperwork you need for free on your computer, I've been doing it for years, saves a small fortune! :thumb:
  7. Doug Trouten

    Doug Trouten New Member


    Yeah I know but I already go through a ton of ink as it is between printing stuff from my prototype research, the paliminary info for the NTrak Club i am trying to start, Flyers to post at the local hobby shops for the NTrak Club, ect... I actually dont mind paying for the waybills and car cards. Instead of constantly ordering them from Micro-Mark or Old Line Graphics I may just go to one of the local printers and see how much it would cost for them to print up a pad of the cards and waybills. If the price is reasonable I may just have them print me up a ton for both myself and my friends to use.
  8. GNRail

    GNRail Member

    This is obviously a part of the hobby I know nothing about since I read all the posts and don't quite understand?

    Is there a simple primer on line regarding operations. The modular club I belong to spends most of its time trying to get the two maon lines running,

  9. ezdays

    ezdays Out AZ way

    I go along with Garry, where does one go to learn this stuff? I haven't been in the hobby that long, and have problems keeping the cars on the track, never mind trying to schedule them. :rolleyes: There are a lot of other aspects of railroading that I don't understand as yet either, one that comes to mind is: what constitutes a mainline as opposed to a branchline? :oops:

    I'm sure I don't have to know all these things to have fun, but it would be nice to at least know something beyond laying track and running trains on it. I've downloaded "glosseries of terms" used in RR but for the most part they are either vague or just not helpful. Kinda as bad as when you click on the "help" button in Windoze.:p :confused: :p :confused:

  10. Tyson Rayles

    Tyson Rayles Active Member

    Don and Garry Model Railroader puts out a book called "Realistic Model Railroad Operation" by Tony Koester. It covers pretty much everything you need to know, even has a quick start guide. If you have back issues of MR around 94 or 95, March or April I think Tony did some in depth articles on the waybills and car cards. It doesn't go into as much depth as the book but it's a good starting point. Don if the Plywood Central's mainline runs from Flint, Mich. to Dallas, Texas. But at Nowhere, Mo. a track cuts off and runs for 12.4 miles and dead-ends at Broken Knuckles, Mo. The track from Nowhere to Broken Knuckles is a branchline cause it branches off the mainline! ;) :) :wave:
  11. Doug Trouten

    Doug Trouten New Member

    GNRail- Operations is the simulation of an operating railroad on your layout. You might have bulkheads pick up a shipment of wood for delivery to the local lumber yard or the hoppers pick up coal for delivery to the power plant.

    I am sure that the others here can describe operatiosn to you better then I could, since I have only actually done operatiosn once and that was like 6 months ago.

    For some more info on Ops you can go to and these two groups are where i am slowly learning about Ops.

    For TT&TO info you can visit
  12. Jim T

    Jim T Member

    Thanks to all for their input. Lots of good info. I've also been over on the Railroad forum checking out their Operations section that Tad listed. Gary and Don, I've found a couple of sites that are really helpful. One is the Operations SIG that has a good primer: The other is a NMRA site that has downloadable blank car cards and waybills that can then be printed out on cardstock:[/url]

    Cheers, Jim
  13. GNRail

    GNRail Member

    Thanks for the info. Everytime I read a posting I find more questions to ask.

  14. 60103

    60103 Pooh Bah

    Operations is fun, but you really need to plan it into your layout to start with. It also helps if you have industries that match with your car types.
    There are 3 types of operating systems that I've seen -- label on car, car cards, and train list.
    Label on car means that you put a device on the car to hold a small label (or a painted thumb tack). The system is that each industry or town has a colour. The car goes to the first colour, say, long on side 1, which might be Massy Harris, picks up a load of tractors, then goes to the short colour on side 1 which is Tyson's Farm Equipment. Label is turned over and the car visits two more sidings.
    Car cards vary, but do the same sort of thing without modifying the cars.
    Train lists are usually computer generated. You get a list showing all your stops and the cars to be picked up and dropped at each location.
    And just wait until you find that you're trying to load a pair of tractors into a tank car!
  15. brakie

    brakie Active Member

    Operations can be as simple as a switch list or wheel report.It can be full blown with time tables,waybills,fast clock and running trains by a pre-set schedule the choice is yours.
    As long as your layout has industries you can enter into the world of operations by using car cards/waybills,a switch list or a wheel report to switch those industries..You see now by using a waybill that AD&N boxcar now contains a load of lumber going to the lumber company to be unloaded and picked up at a later date.
    You see now this car is "Loaded" with "lumber" in our minds.It adds play value when we run our trains like the prototype.
    But you say Larry I do that anyhow without using waybills.This is true but the waybill adds realism to the act by telling us that there is indeed lumber going to Carter Lumber instead of air(ok,ok,so I got that from Tony Koester.:D ).You see now we fool our minds into thinking the car is actually loaded and has a prototypical reason for being on our layout and adds "tonnage"to our train consists again adding play value..
    Try this..Use a simple switch list or wheel report and see if you cars seem to be heavier in your minds eye when they are "loaded" then when you just run a local without a switch list,wheel report or waybill..You will be surprise..
    I have had follow club members over for a night of operation on my old layout and they felt that it seem more realistic and the train consist appeared heavy.One guy got so caught up in waybills that he asked me if 1 1750hp GP9 would be enough to pull all that tonnage.:eek: :thumb:
  16. 60103

    60103 Pooh Bah

    I was going to mention the cartoon whose caption was (like), "The red car goes to the red industry, the yellow car goes to the yellow industry, and the blue car goes to the blue industry."
  17. Ralph

    Ralph's for fun!

    I'm sort of doing what Brakie mentioned...operation w/o the paper work right now. I have a three track interchange yard that is the source of traffic on my layout (wish I'd thought more about operations in the planning so I'd have a larger hidden staging yard). Cars set in that yard include gondolas appropriate for the rolling mill at Kings Port Steel, box cars for LaRoche Manufacturing, covered hoppers for Cargill, open and covered hoppers for Hudson Cement, etc. In my mind I tell myself that the first three cars go to Cargill, the next are for....etc. I can see how switch lists waybills, etc. might create more fun and realism. One of the things I'd need to do to prepare for this sort of operation would be to renumber several frieght cars. I have a number of PC 50 ft. box cars that I've collected over the years from flea markets that all have the same reporting marks!!!! :D

    Interesting topic with lot of helpful ideas. I took a look at that link too. Thanks!
  18. Tad

    Tad Member

  19. rcwatkins

    rcwatkins Member

    I haven't been in MRRing that long & still have never heard of car cards. :confused:
  20. Ralph

    Ralph's for fun!

    There is an interesting short article about using switch lists and running trains in a prototypical manner in the back of the most recent MR "Great Model Railroads" magazine. Makes operations seem pretty simple to start....
    PS..Got the magazine as a stocking stuffer from my wife...isn't she great! :)

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