Some ideas for situation cards

Discussion in 'Model Rail Operations' started by CAS, Dec 13, 2007.

  1. CAS

    CAS Member

    I am thinking about creating situation cards for my loco's and rolling stock.
    I really don't know to many parts on the loco's and rolling stock. In which part is critical where it needs to be serviced right away, or it can wait util after the run, to be fixed.
    I have seen other post about situation cards like, car accident at crossing stop for 15 mins. But i thinking about these cards so i can send my loco's and rolling stock to get repaired, or have a different loco sent to that location to replace the down loco.
    I do know they have rip tracks. need to read up more on them.
    I was thinking about having a stack of cards like the community chest in Monoply, but picking a card or 2 during operation. Most of the cards will probably say, Enjoy a nice cold Bud, Have a nice day. Then i would have a card where the loco broke down. Follow emergency procedures.

    Just so i can throw a wrench into my operations.

    So can anyone throw some situations my way?

  2. scubadude

    scubadude Member

    STOP THE TRAIN! Dick Dastardly has just tied Penelope Pitstop to the tracks!! sign1
  3. MasonJar

    MasonJar It's not rocket surgery

    At we have a module called "Hot Box". It is a "simulation" of a trackside hot box detector that scans trains for overheated bearings that can fail and therefore cause derailments.

    The "Chance" cards are in a box, and as you roll by you must take a card that tells you which axel is the problem (you have to count the number specified on the card, starting from the front of the train, including the loco). If it ends up on a car, you must leave the car in question at the nearest siding. If it is the loco, you call for alternate power.

    The next train by picks up the car and adds it to its switching job (if appropriate) or returns it to the yard. This assumes a crew has been out in the meantime to fix things ;) If it was a loco, you can return "light" to the yard.

    I don't recall the details of your layout, but there are also operating restrictions you can put on certain places to make things more interesting. Like "slow" speed limits for bridges, or certain crossings. A couple of friends have placed limits on how their industries can be switched. One, a lumber yard, extends over the track. No locos are allowed under the overhang, so the siding must be switched using an idler. If you don't have an extra car that will reach, you can't switch it. Another industry does not allow locos on the coal yard trestle due to weight restrictions. While it is very tempting to use it in some switching scenarios, you can't...

    Others that come to mind:

    - steamers must go for water
    - broken coupler
    - car fails brake line test
    - car must be turned for whatever reason (e.g. must be unloaded in a certain way; could apply for example to automobile boxcars with end doors)
    - switch cabooses (if applicable - e.g. era in which conductors had their own caboose)

    Hope that helps.

  4. nachoman

    nachoman Guest

    I could swear I heard of an amtrak train once that was considerably late because the horn on the lead locomotive was broken, and required an escort escort engine from the home railroad to guide it down the line.

  5. 60103

    60103 Pooh Bah

    One of my favourites is the driver who "failed" his loco (DMU train?) because the windshield wiper was broken. Also cab heater not working. (Do you have that thread of complaints the enginemen made: "Dead bugs on windscreen" a: "Live bugs on order."
    I was operating one layout, picking a car up at the lumberyard, and got an urgent call from the dispatcher aka layout owner: "Stop taking that car! They haven't unloaded it yet!" Sure enough, the load was still on it.
    Put a picket line around your passenger station.
    Call out a cleaning train to take leaves off the rails.
  6. pgandw

    pgandw Active Member

    My favorite aviation maintenance quote (copilots generally wrote up things that didn't work right during a flight):

    "Copilots radio inop"
    "Replaced copilot, radio checks good."

    yours in having fun
  7. brakie

    brakie Active Member

    Here's some straight from my railroadin' days.

    Lead locomotive horn quit working..Switch to trailing unit in the locomotive consist.
    Locomotive quit operating.

    hot box 68 cars back..Stop and give time for the brakemen to inspect the car and fix the problem..If unable then proceed at reduce speed to next setout point-that could be a industrial siding and set the car out.

    Wait for a inbound yard track to open.

    Stop at flag..Train ahead is stopped.

    The list is endless but,the above is common.
  8. CAS

    CAS Member

    Thanks everyone for your reply's.

    They all sound good to me. I'm sure they will add some added fun to my sessions. And make my operating sesions a little longer.

    MasonJar, i will check out this link, .

    brakie, is there such a handout, or book for these situations in rl? Or a emergency manual?

    Never would have thought of this, just because a horn.

  9. MasonJar

    MasonJar It's not rocket surgery


    I don't think you'll find much specifically on the Hot Box module or how it operates at the web site.

    In reading over the responses, and you initial question again, I wonder - What is your objective? The responses seem to fall into one of two categories: delaying the train or giving the train extra work (or both, I guees ;)).

    If your intention is to simply add time to your operating session, you can do this a number of ways. Many of the situations don't require any extra movement, like waiting for another train, as per brakie's suggestion, or allowing time to pump up the train line. It is also for this reason that some peole like to run on a fast clock. The idea basically is "we've been running for a (fast) hour, we must have covered X distance". Some people go twice or thrre times around the layout (where possible) in order to simulate distance, and add time to the operating session.

    On the other hand, if you are looking for situations that add actual work (movements) of the loco, then the suggestions about hot boxes, locos not passing inspection (and therefore needing to be switched out), and so on are appropriate.

    Hope that helps.

  10. CAS

    CAS Member

    Probably delaying the train.
    I was thinking if a loco had broken down, that train would sit there until another loco arrived to continue the run. I don't know, if in a scenario like this. Do they have engineers just waiting for situations like this? So they don't have to wait for a engineer to, get the phone call (on call 24 hours), drive to the yard, and go to the disabled train. That would seem like alot of down time. Then maybe in the meantime i would have to run a different load of cars in the other direction, or do some switching. And then this train would be delayed due to the above problem. Don't know if things like this happens in RL.
    Because where i work, when a aircraft has a problem that it cannot takeoff. We will have to unload the freight, and reload a different aircraft for the delivery. So the aircraft has departed out late, customers don't get there next day delivery. It does take extra time. It only has happened a couple times so far, in the 7 months i been doing this kind of work.

  11. 60103

    60103 Pooh Bah

    CAS: We were coming home from Ottawa one wintry day. Our train moved just barely out of the station and stopped. And sat. I forget now if we were there two or four hours (it seemed like 4) until they hooked another loco on.
    Problem was that railroading in the capital of Canada is now the end of a couple of branch lines, and they don't maintain a stock of locomotives there. The nearest spare loco was either in Smiths Falls or Brockville. (MasonJar will correct me if I'm wrong).
  12. Triplex

    Triplex Active Member

    Some examples from Bruce Chubb's How To Operate Your Model Railroad:

    Turnout at north end of Mystic Lake passing track fails.

    Train #400 miss setouts at mine. (Ordering an operator to make an error!)

    Situation cards don't all have to be problems per se, though that's what we most often think of them as. They can be anything that alters the normal routine.

    Run engine light east over mountain line as soon as possible to equalize power. Return to engine terminal after two laps.

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