Yet another ops scheme...easier this time!

Discussion in 'Model Rail Operations' started by Ralph, Jan 26, 2005.

  1. Ralph

    Ralph's for fun!

    After messing around (as described in a previous thread) with shuffling cards that represent my layout's industries and rolling dice to determine how many industries would be served, by how many cars, I've come up with something simpler.

    I made a list of every posible car movment for each of the businesses on the layout:
    (Ex. "Deliver ____ empty hoppers to Hedberg Aggregates",
    "Pick up ____ loaded hoppers from Hedberg Aggregates"
    "Pick up ____ loaded box cars at Sheridan Sheet Metal",
    "Deliver _____ covered hoppers to Cargill track 2", etc.).

    I came up with 34 possible ways cars might be set out, picked up, or otherwise moved to and from these industries and wrote them down, one to a card (regular 3 X 5 file cards).

    I then shuffle the cards and pick out as many as I want to make up a train of reasonable length for my road. I also decide by whim how many cars to send to or pick up from each industry.

    Based on the information on the cards I place cars at industries to be picked up and assemble a train of set-outs to go out and work. If I feel like it I can make out a switch list with car ID info to guide the job or I can simply hang onto the operations cards and use them for reference as I complete them one at a time.

    Another nice feature of this plan is that I can seperate cards for industries that are located close by each other and use them in a smaller deck to determine moves for a yard job or short distance turn.

  2. Tyson Rayles

    Tyson Rayles Active Member

    Your really getting into this ops thing Ralph, if you lived down here I wouldn't have torn down the NM!
  3. Tad

    Tad Member

    Sounds like a pretty good scheme, Ralph.
  4. Ralph

    Ralph's for fun!

    I would have liked that! :thumb:
  5. brakie

    brakie Active Member

    Ralph,Sounds like a very interesting idea.. :thumb: Keep us posted on how this plan works out..
  6. Tileguy

    Tileguy Member

    Sounds like youve got a good solo operating scheme at hand Ralph.
    Are you going to the Scale Modelers Meet in February???
  7. Ralph

    Ralph's for fun!

    When and where is it?
  8. Tileguy

    Tileguy Member

    I think its in Rosemount next weekend.It was in either december or january's MR schedule of events.( I cant make it this year crap crap crap!!! )
    You can contact Greg at the Hobby Hub for additional information.
    Dan and I went last year.It was alot of fun and there were some very good seminars.
    I believe its 10.00 entrance fee this year(worth every penny ) :)
  9. SD90

    SD90 Active Member

    Looks good Ralph! That should keep everything in order!
  10. JAyers

    JAyers Member


    what I think you have done here is modeled the calls made by and to agents for car deliveries and pickups. That's the problem with the waybill/carcard system is that the car dictates where it goes and what's done with it. Which is just opposite of the truth. The receiver or deliverer dictates what each car does.

    In factories they have what they call "operations", but it's how material flows through a factory to be made into something. They have different types of systems to keep things flowing smoothly. One type of system is a "push" system and another is a "pull". The push system means that as soon as a piece is finished on one part of the line, it's "pushed" to the next station, where they can back up. "Pull" means that an item does not go to a station until it needs it, has a free machine, toolist, etc... Carcards are a "Push" system and what Ralph has described is a "Pull" system. I like the idea of pulling instead of pushing and have thought about it some myself. I imagine you could add in several special cards for interchanges, for breakdowns, etc... You could even have conditional cards, such as

    "Deliver boxcar to Wholesome Grain, unless two boxcars currently occupy WG siding, then pick one/both up."

    Ralph I hope you can give us an update soon on how this is working. I don't have an operating layout up yet, but would be trying your method right now if I did.

  11. Ralph

    Ralph's for fun!

    Hi John,
    Thanks for the interesting analysis of push and pull operation schemes. It makes sense to me! I'm still liking my current system. It easily lets me create trains based on "customer need" and seems to make for fairly realistic operations set up. I haven't run across any glitches yet but I have realized that sometimes I may draw carsds that will tell me to both drop off and pick up cars from the same industry. No problem there...happens in real life. I also might draw cards for combinations of industries that might have spurs running in different directions so some are facing and some are trailing. If so I make the train a "turn" so it is able to drop cars off on the way back as facing spurs now become trailing spurs in the opposite direction. I haven't added much in the way of condition cards but I do like the idea.
  12. spitfire

    spitfire Active Member

    Ralph, I finally have the main level of my layout operational, and I'm in the process of setting up a cards and waybill system. As you know, one of the shippers is Kingsport Steel and I need to figure out some plausible routing. Once the cars cross the border it's a no-brainer, but what route would they take to get there? The border crossing would typically be at Windsor/Detroit or Sarnia/Port Huron.

    Thanks in advance!

  13. Ralph

    Ralph's for fun!

    That's great Val! I'm wondering about the border crossing though...did you locate it near Detroit because I'm in St. Paul? I've placed Kings Port and my layout in Upstate NY as its a vague (very vague) model of Kingston, NY along the Hudson River.

    Checking some maps in my books about the Penn Central I propose this route from Toronto. I'm not sure of the major yard near buffalo but I imagine at least the cars to and from our businesses might get sorted at the large yard in Selkirk near Albany.

    Now we just need to designate a time shift point where our trains shift from 1950s to 1970s! :)

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  14. spitfire

    spitfire Active Member

    Hi Ralph. Yes I thought it would come from St. Paul. That's no problem though, Buffalo is also a major transfer point for x-border traffic. I'm thinking it would probably be NYC in the 1950s going through Albany, Buffalo and Hamilton. No doubt in Hamilton, more steel would be added to the train from Stelco, the big steel plant there.
    It's kind of funny, but even in my fantasy world I am feeling guilty about not "Buying Canadian". But then, I got such a good deal from Kingsport Steel, what's a Robber Baronness to do? :)

  15. brakie

    brakie Active Member

    Val,If the shipment is coming from ST.Paul then Detroit/Windsor would be the best routing..If a load of coal is coming from Millfield,Oh on the C&HV then the waybill would look like this.

    From: Killdeer Mine #5
    To: Kingsport Steel
    Toronto Canada.
    Load: #5 Stroker Coal.
    Car Itl & Num:C&HV 3228

    Of course each car would have its own waybill in case the cars would get separated during transit.
  16. spitfire

    spitfire Active Member

    Thanks Brakie! Just one minor detail to change. Kingsport Steel is on Ralph's layout. The coal is coming to Toronto Hydro. But I can easily change the receiver and keep all the routing information, which is what I need anyway. :thumb:

  17. Matthyro

    Matthyro Will always be re-membered

    I agree with you Larry. Many years ago I lived in St. Thomas ON and the main track from Windsor to Toronto passed through there and there was tons of C&O traffic. I spent many a long wait at the level crossings counting cars.
  18. brakie

    brakie Active Member

    Val,Let's look at the routing in a different light shall we?
    Let's say that Killdeer Mine is fed up with C&O's yard dwell time(the time a car sits in the yard waiting to be classified into a train) and it takes the C&O 5 days to get that car to Windsor..However the NYC can get that car to Buffalo in 3 days including the dreaded yard dwelling time.So,Killdeer requests that the NYC handles their cars to Toronto Hydro via Buffalo.
    So the routing would look like this:
    C&HV,NYC(Athens*) CP.
    *Athens being the closest interchange point between the C&HV and NYC from Millfield.

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