I am sooooooooo confused.

Discussion in 'Model Rail Operations' started by Nomad, May 7, 2007.

  1. Nomad

    Nomad Active Member

    Hey, everyone:wave:I have been operating my layout and trying to figure out the car card and way bill thing, and I am beginning to think having a yard and a interchange is a waste of track. I mean, all my cars come from the interchange and go back there. The only time I use the yard is when I bring cars from the interchange and sort them for blocking. And I could do the blocking at the interchange. Is that right or am I doing something wrong with the way bills?

  2. steamhead

    steamhead Active Member

    Hi...Do you have "alternate" destinations..?? Like a warehouse here, a freight depot there, a coal tower down the line...You get the idea. If not, you can make up imaginary destinations at both your interchange and the yard. For instance you could make something like "Warren's Cold Storage, Interchange, track two". You do a few of these, and you'll see how things start to get interesting...
  3. rogerw

    rogerw Active Member

    umm shows how much I know. I thought is was i'll go this way and you that way bill. Around one time and then we switch ok. :mrgreen::mrgreen::mrgreen::mrgreen:
  4. Ralph

    Ralph Remember...it's for fun!

    Hi Loren,

    Can you tell us a little more about how you're operating? What kind of traffic (in numbers of cars) do you pull off and leave at the interchange? It sounds like your cars at the interchange all become local trains once they are blocked, is that right? Maybe a switch list would be enough to keep things organized?
  5. Nomad

    Nomad Active Member

    Gus, I have 9 industries on my layout, but 99% recieve only. For instance a cattle pen. But I do switch by moving a empty from one industry to another that needs an empty.
    Ralph, I can only run a five car train at one time, that's the longest run around track I have. And yes, my trains are run as locals once I leave the interchange. Actually, I think the problem is that I bring the cars out of the interchange,drop them off, pick up empty's, and go back to the interchange.
    Takes maybe half an hour, then I start over and pick up the cars I just dropped off. Seems like I am going in a circle. I am happy with the car cards & way bills I am using, maybe I need a way to increase the switching action. Not really sure.

  6. Nomad

    Nomad Active Member

    I guess I am also wondering if I even need a yard. Just have an engine service area and use the rest of the area for industry.

  7. Gary S.

    Gary S. Senior Member

    Loren, it seems that the way you are operating is exactly how I operate mine. So I don't have a yard in the middle anywhere. Just the two interchanges, one on each end. It seems to work for me. Essentially I am running locals to the industries and then back to the interchanges.

    You already know this, but my layout is a shortline point-to-point like this:

    Interchange A -------------Industries-------------Interchange B

    I start a train at "A" with cars bound for the industries. I set out those cars and pick up only cars headed to "B". Once I get to "B" I drop those cars off at the B Interchange, pick up cars headed to the industries and start heading back. I drop off the cars at the industries and pick up the cars headed back to "A". To me, it is simple and feels "railroady", like I am really getting something accomplished. Now, I sometimes worry that such a simple "routine" may get boring over time, but hopefully my waybill/car card system with swapping out cars each session will kep it fun for a long time to come.

    With your yard, here are my thoughts. You need a track leaving out of the yard to "off the layout" destinations. YOu have cars coming from each end of the layout arriving in the yard. Then you have some cars going to your industries, others headed off the layout. This is where you could block some cars for the different destinations, build up a train headed off the layout, and build a local freight. Something like that.

    I may be rambling, just some thoughts that may help. I need to go back to your Nomad Valley thread and look at your plan again.

  8. Gary S.

    Gary S. Senior Member

    Okay, this was pretty much your final layout, right?


    What I am thinking is that you have some cars originate at the interchange on the left side, and some originate at the righthand side yard. So they Nomad Valley actually interchanges with 2 Class 1 railroads. Pretend the class 1's connect to the stub ends of the yards. This may spice things up a bit, as cars that you pick up from the industries now have 2 different places they may go. And cars moving into your layout come from two different locations.

    One could be the Union Pacific Interchange, the other could be the Burlington Northern, or whatever suits your fancy and rolling stock. To be more realistic, sort your cars accordingly, road names traveling via the BN would arrive from/go to the BN yard, etc.

    Man, I hope this makes sense. I may be way off base in my thinking of what you need.

    Another possibility would be that your shortline has a bunch of rollingstock with the NVRR name. The empties get stored in the yard until they are needed by your industries? Of course, this gives you a reason to buy tons of undecorated cars and paint/decal/weather them.
  9. Nomad

    Nomad Active Member

    Gray, I am begining to realize that I am stumped on how to operate this railroad. Honestly, operations is something I have never considered before. This is a whole new ball game for me. Back in my younger years(way back !) I just cherry picked to switch.
    Your thoughts at least give me a push in the right direction. Did you divide your car inventory in half snd say you belong to this interchange and you belong to that interchange? Or what did you do? And how do you setup your cars cards/ waybills for this?

  10. MasonJar

    MasonJar It's not rocket surgery

    Can you provide a labelled diagram of the layout? And can you do a schematic - that is, not a track plan, but how the track is laid out in the real world - the order of the things on your layout. E.g. interchange - yard - industry 1 - industry 2, etc...

    What are the destination(s) off layout? i.e. - where does the interchange come from and go back to?

    Some ideas that come to mind:

    You can use your yard by having the interchange traffic blocked only for your branch. Then a switcher will have to go out, drag the consist over to the yard and block it for the local turn or whatever delivers the cars to the local industries.

    Part of the yard can also be to store cars for the industries, as it may not be convenient (for example) for the Class 1 interchanging road to bring only 1 LPG car every other day. They may want to bring a string of them, and leave it to the local to spot one and retrieve one from the customer every day the rest of the week (example only...!).

    If I recall correctly, there is the potential for some inter-industry switching too, including icing reefers for a meat packers?

    There is always activity at the engine servicing area as well, even if you are running just diesels ;). That will not show up in the car card/way bill scheme, but can be done none-the-less. In the case of steam, there is a lot to do just to the engien, but then the coaling tower needs a hopper load of coal, and the ash pit gondola has to be taken away when full, a box car full of lubricants has to be spotted, etc, etc.

    Or maybe a "chance card" deck with certain tasks/problems/challenges to be completed. For example, at some Welcome to the HOTRAK website set-upw, we have a "hotbox detector" that requires you to draw a card. If a car is effected, you must stop your job, and spot the bad ordered car on the nearest siding for later retreival by another train.

    That's all I can think of for now, but if you can provide the info I asked about at the top of this message, perhaps we can figure out some more specific operations.

  11. Triplex

    Triplex Active Member

    With that small amount of traffic, a full classification yard doesn't seem necessary. As you noted, you can switch at the locations - sorting cars by destination is easy when you have so few.

    But let's get back to what you said:
    There are certainly towns in real life where the railroad only ships loads in. However, if you feel that creates too simple a routine, maybe you should consider replacing or repurposing an industry to create more or different traffic.
  12. Nomad

    Nomad Active Member

    Andrew, it will take some time. Post as soon as I can.

  13. Nomad

    Nomad Active Member

    That is one of the ideas I am considering. I would like to have more industry to industry switching, But my layout seems to small for it to be realalisitic.

  14. MasonJar

    MasonJar It's not rocket surgery

    Triplex has a good point about repurposing (or even just renaming) an industry to change its traffic patterns. Or another possibility is to change they way they ship/receive stuff.

    E.g. OLD - a box factory. Receives lumber on flats and kegs of nails in boxcars. Ships completed wooden boxes out by truck.

    - flats of lumber
    - box cars of nails

    - empty flats
    - empty box cars

    NEW - a furniture factory. Receives wood in box cars. Nails in box cars, Varnish in small tankers, and rolls of fabric in other box cars. Ships waste in gons, furniture in box cars

    - tanker of varnish (track 2)
    - fabric in box cars (track 1 - door 2)
    - wood in lumber box cars (track 1 - door 1)
    - nails in box cars (track 1 - door 1)
    - empty gons (track 2)

    - empty tanker
    - furniture in box cars (track 1 - door 2)
    - empty lumber box cars (by order - return empty to home road)
    - wood scraps in gon (to paper plant via interchange)

    So now the switcher has to return in between bringing cars simply to shuffle the cars around -for example when one boxcar gets full of furniture. Maybe the road takes the car over to the yard for storage until there are at least two full boxcars to take to the interchange.

    Hope that helps.

  15. Nomad

    Nomad Active Member

  16. Nomad

    Nomad Active Member

    I am also considering replacing the stockyard/slaughterhouse. Any ideas?
    The tracks can be refigured.
    And Andrew, as always you are a big help !
  17. MasonJar

    MasonJar It's not rocket surgery

    Your interchange yard (staging) on the left is also an "industry" or destination to which local industries can ship, and it can "ship" to them via the yard.

    So if you treat the layout as if it was linear, this is one possible scenario. West is always to the left as you look at the benchwork, and east is right.

    JOB 1: The Interchange run. From the yard, proceed WEST to the interchange with any outbound cars. When returning from the interchange, you must always proceed EAST to the yard. FOr example, the furniture factory and cold storage cannot be serviced directly from the interchange.

    JOB 2: Sort cars, service the ice house, stock yard, and slaughter house.

    JOB 3: "The Mixed Bag" - a local turn (a train that goes out and back to serve local industries). Proceed WEST from the yard with train. Switch the Freight Depot and Team track. Reassemble train, run around, and return EAST to the yard.

    JOB 4: "The Splinter" - similar to the above, but switches the Lumber Yard and Furniture factory.

    JOB 5: "The Grocery Bag" - another local that serves the Cold Storage and Co-op.

    In these scenarios, you don't really use the continuous running loop, although if you want to simulate distance, you can require that the train go once, twice, or whatever around the loop. (Of course, you can always use it for the therapeutic benefit of waching trains go round and round ;))

    You might consider adding another track to a few of the industries - e.g an indoor track at the Cold Storage, or an additional track at the furniture factory.

    In addition, adding some rules about how fast you can go, or order of cars, or order for switching can add time and enjoyment...! For example, if you have a lumber yard that goes over the tracks, you must use an idler car as the locos are not allowed under the overhang.

    I hope that helps. We can discuss renaming/repurposing some of the industries if this does not generate the wanted level of traffic.


    Attached Files:

  18. Nomad

    Nomad Active Member

    Andrew, that is great ! You have been a big help again. A lot better then just setting out cars and picking them up again like I was.

    Now, anybody have any thoughts on how I would use carcards/waybills to implement this plan?

  19. Triplex

    Triplex Active Member

    Several of your industries could easily ship. A freight depot can ship and receive, probably mostly LCL freight in boxcars. The team track can ship or receive practically anything. The stockyard can ship, as can the furniture factory. The icing platform would take loads in and out - that is, it would ice the loaded reefers of through freights.
  20. Nomad

    Nomad Active Member

    Triplex, that answered a question I was wondering about. I was not sure if a team track would ship or not. Thank you.


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