My Library - Magazine Articles By Category: Operations

A Commodity-based Card Operation System

Magazine:
Railroad Model Craftsman 1991-04
Page:
76
Author:
Jim Vail
Description:
Jim describes the car card system that is similar to the prototype; i.e. delivering empties to a requester and picking up loaded cars based on the content of the car. This applies to one car, multiple cars, or a complete train.

ABCs of Switching Cars

Magazine:
Model Railroader 1987-10
Page:
108
Author:
Jim Kelly
Description:
This introductory article discusses what switching is, how to uncouple cars, and how to deal with trailing point and facing point turnouts

Automated Interchange

Magazine:
Model Railroader 2006-09
Page:
62
Author:
Tony Koester
Description:
Using hidden staging to automatically move a train forward delivering new cars once a set number of cars have been removed from the interchange track. It magically appears like the real foreign railroad delivered new cars.

Balanced Locomotive Roster for Operations on the Panhandle

Magazine:
The Keystone Modeler 72 Winter 2010
Page:
17
Author:
Bill Neale
Description:
The author describes how he decides which engine is to be assigned to a particular train. He models the PRR Panhandle in 1939, so all of his engines are steam. The article is accompanied by a large number of photos of his layout.

Car Identification Idea

Magazine:
NASG Dispatch Volume 13, Number 3, June 1990
Page:
5
Author:
Don Thompson
Scale:
S
Description:
Using paint markers to mark the axles of cars using the resistors' marking bands scheme to help identify the owner of the car. Useful in large group settings and during operating settings.

Controlling Train Movements Part 1

Magazine:
The Marker Lamp Vol 62 #1 2016
Page:
12
Author:
Peter Kazmir
Description:
Covers various methods of operations modelers use, with prototype photos and scan of real documents.

DCC for operations

Magazine:
Model Railroad Hobbyist 2016-04
Page:
21
Author:
Bruce Petrarca
Description:
The author covers what it takes to get ready for holding an operating session. It includes a large sidebar article on setting up decoders in engines used for operating sessions.

Engineering Department

Magazine:
1:64 Modeling Guide 2012 Summer
Page:
12
Author:
Dick Karnes
Scale:
S
Description:
The author describes the things he has to do to get ready for his monthly operating sessions.

Evolution of an Operational Railroad

Magazine:
Railroad Model Craftsman 2010-11
Page:
42
Author:
Kent Williams
Scale:
N
Description:
The author describes how his 9' x 26' N-scale layout is operated, the changes he had to make to improve for operations, and the lessons he had to learn.

Fine Scale Operations: Jersey Western Style

Magazine:
Model Railroading 2000-11/12
Page:
62
Author:
Jim Mansfield
Description:
Describes how to mimic the real world operations of a switcher crew, such as the diesel's control stand, applying brakes, and performing maintenance tasks simulated with a Digitrax throttle and Digitrax equipped engines.

Great Operation: Expert Advice

Magazine:
Model Railroader 2006-09
Page:
46
Author:
David Popp
Description:
Techniques the Model Railroader staff employs to maintain great operations. Covers smooth roadbed, trackplanning, wiring, coupler standards, leveling benchwork, keeping freight car rolling smoothly, planning for access, ballasting turnouts, and tuning commercial turnouts.

It's More Than Horsepower

Magazine:
Model Railroader 1978-11
Page:
135
Author:
Rick Tipton
Description:
The author describes how he created a "tonnage chart" where a certain number of engines are needed to pull a certain number of cars. The quantity and type of engines used in the consists are based on scaled-down prototype engines' performance numbers. He then bases the information on what kind of terrain the engines would be battling. It is an interesting way of adding to the realism of model railroad operations.

Layout Operation

Magazine:
Chicago & North Western Historical Society Modeler Volume 9, #2
Page:
41
Description:
Creating action orders for "slow" lumber, "roller" lumber and "diversion" lumber.

Locomotive Sounds Add Fin and Realism to Operation

Magazine:
Model Railroader 2010-12
Page:
46
Author:
Andy Sperandeo
Description:
Whistle and horn signals are described, so that the reader and program and operate his or her trains in a realistic fashion. It also describes when to use the bell, and how different sounds relate to whether the engine is a steam or diesel locomotive.

Lumber Movement Switch list

Magazine:
Chicago & North Western Historical Society Modeler Volume 9, #2
Page:
31
Author:
Ryan Crawford
Description:
Modern switch lists for lumber movements.

M&StL Conductor Train Lists

Magazine:
Chicago & North Western Historical Society Modeler Volume 9, #2
Page:
32
Author:
Doug Harding
Description:
Scans of some train lists.

Magnetic, Movable Maps

Magazine:
Model Railroader 2005-12
Page:
146
Author:
David Popp
Description:
The author describes how he prints a town's track map, inserts it into a plastic picture frame and attaches it to the layout's fascia. He also describes an idea by Gerry Leone to glue a magnet to the picture frame, and a metal washer to the layout's fascia, so that the map is removable.

Making a Case for Operation

Magazine:
NASG Dispatch Volume 34, Number 3, June 2010
Page:
20
Author:
Sam Powell
Scale:
S
Description:
This article covers why you might want to hold operating sessions, what you need to have to do operations, and detailed planning to bring it all about.

Model Railroad Power Control Center

Magazine:
Model Railroader 1989-09
Page:
100
Author:
Dan Holbrook
Description:
The article covers how the author built a magnetic tag display to visually show the distribution of motive power during an operating session.

Moving Freight and Making Names

Magazine:
Model Railroader 2005-02
Page:
40
Author:
David Popp
Description:
The article introduces the concept of operations and how to get started in it. It covers mapping your railroad, industrial analysis, starting with a switch list, car cards and waybills, and boxes and shelves in which to store these car cards and waybills.

Operation Rules on the HO Scale Salt Lake Southern

Magazine:
Model Railroader 2005-12
Page:
94
Author:
Gary Petersen
Description:
The author describes how he accomplishes operations on his layout. He has continuous staging so that trains can be re-used during a session, or have many sessions back-to-back.

Operations 202

Magazine:
Railroad Model Craftsman 2005-03
Page:
85
Author:
Bill Kaufman
Description:
This is the second installment on operations and deals with how to get the cars to the right places and move trains so they don't run into each other.

Operations on the Francisco & Colorado

Magazine:
Railroad Model Craftsman 2006-01
Page:
78
Author:
Bill Kaufman
Description:
The author describes how he got into operations. Includes photos of his layout, and a trackplan of the 12' by 12' HO-scale layout.

Portage Potpourri

Magazine:
Model Railroader 1991-01
Page:
141
Author:
Gordon Odegard
Description:
An interesting switching puzzle, with the solution on the next page.

Prototype Paperwork for a Small Layout

Magazine:
Model Railroader 2004-09
Page:
58
Author:
Bob Madison
Description:
Creating paperwork for a small L-shaped switching layout and a small oval layout with three spurs.

Prototypical Waybills for Car Card Operation

Magazine:
Railroad Model Craftsman 2009-12
Page:
71
Author:
Anthony Thompson
Description:
The author builds on articles that have described the car card system in detail. It describes an alternative waybill, which address some shortcomings in the other systems. Includes prototype and model waybills, as well as many photos of rolling stock movements on the author's layout.

Rail Lines to the Shoreline

Magazine:
Model Railroader 2005-03
Page:
72
Author:
Howard R. Lloyd
Scale:
HO
Description:
This article focuses on the ships used to transport goods that are carried by rail on land. It covers sea-going vessels, coastal vessels, harbor craft, car floats, and piers and cranes.

Railroading with a Purpose

Magazine:
O Gauge Railroading 2016-01
Page:
40
Author:
Bob Bartizek
Scale:
O
Description:
The author describes how his layout is designed for realistic operations with 3-rail O scale. Includes many photos, and track plans. His Pennsylvania & Western layout is included in a segment of the OGR's "Great Layout Adventures, Volume 11" DVD.

Realistic Locomotive Assignments

Magazine:
Model Railroader 1996-10
Page:
112
Author:
Bill Gruber
Scale:
HO
Description:
The author followed prototype practices for operating his layout (featured in the August 1994 issue of Model Railroader). The article covers the research he did and has many photos of his layout.

Reverse Running

Magazine:
Model Railroad Hobbyist 2017-01
Page:
154
Author:
Joe Brugger
Description:
The author shares his eye-opening experiences operating on several different layouts.

S Tracks

Magazine:
NASG Dispatch Volume 35, Number 1, February 2011
Page:
10
Author:
Sam Powell
Scale:
S
Description:
Sam discusses what operations are, why people like operating session or don't like them, handling stress preparing for a session, car-card system, and how to start the first session.

S Tracks

Magazine:
NASG Dispatch Volume 35, Number 2, April 2011
Page:
19
Author:
Dan Vandermause
Scale:
S
Description:
How can we quickly communicate to guest operators of our layouts where the layout is located and what its purpose is? This article covers many ways to accomplish that. (related web page)

Sequence Timetables Made Easy

Magazine:
Model Railroader 2002-10
Page:
60
Author:
John Pryke
Description:
Operate without watching the clock.

Simple Prototype Operations On a Small Layout

Magazine:
Model Railroading 2005-02
Page:
24
Author:
David Butts
Description:
Describes how the author "added" operations to a small 6' x 13' HO-scale layout. He established a list of industries that need to be serviced by the rails and determined the flow of traffic. Based on that he developed a train schedule. He describes the Freight Car Card Forwarding System by Micro Mark and the wooden boxes he made to hold those cards.

Smooth Operators

Magazine:
O Gauge Railroading 2016-01
Page:
10
Author:
Allan Miller
Scale:
O
Description:
Exploring the idea of adding operations to a "loop-runner" layout for added interest in the hobby.

Still Snowing at Summit

Magazine:
Model Railroader 1994-12
Page:
118
Author:
Bob Hayden
Scale:
HOn3
Description:
The author presents a switching puzzle on his layout.

The Basics of Operation

Magazine:
Railroad Model Craftsman 2002-08
Page:
90
Description:
Detailed article on how to do operations: framework for operations, car destinations, waybills, basic switching, traffic control, timetables and train orders, CTC, track warrants, profit and loss.

The Case for Continuous Restaging

Magazine:
Model Railroader 1999-11
Page:
139
Author:
James EuDaly
Description:
Thoughts related to continuous restaging of complete trains.

The Roundhouse

Magazine:
S Gaugian 2003-01/02
Page:
40
Author:
Tom Jarcho
Scale:
S
Description:
The author likes to put on his operator's hat sometimes to run the many trains on his layout. This requires planning.

Three Cars for Upper Kennebecport

Magazine:
Model Railroader 1985-12
Page:
132
Author:
Bob Hayden
Description:
A small switching puzzle (solution is offered on page 180).

Traffic and Freight Cars on the Cardinal System

Magazine:
Railroad Model Craftsman 1991-11
Page:
85
Author:
Jack Brown
Description:
In this article the author describes a number of industries and how they affect traffic flow on a layout. Industries covered are steel, scrap, brick, team track, and wood. Several prototype and model photos accompany the article.

Way Bills

Magazine:
Chicago & North Western Historical Society Modeler Volume 9, #2
Page:
26
Author:
Daniel Holbrook
Description:
Way bills for shipping lumber.

Ways to Way Freight

Magazine:
Model Railroader 2008-01
Page:
130
Author:
Andy Sperandeo
Description:
The author describes how various way freights function. He discusses end-to-end locals, one-way locals, and local turns.

What's an Agent-operator and Do I Really Need One to Run My Layout?

Magazine:
Railroad Model Craftsman 2005-09
Page:
81
Author:
Jim Providenza
Description:
Adding jobs for these types of operators to your operating session adds another level of authenticity to your session - imitating what was done in years past.

What's the Rush?

Magazine:
Railroad Model Craftsman 2006-12
Page:
70
Author:
Trevor Marshall
Description:
The article covers ideas the author has implemented on his layout to make operating sessions last longer and be more fun, even though the layout may be small. He discusses two-person crews, having operators create their switch lists, developing traffic and schedules, implementing switch locks, manual uncoupling, slowing down the fast clock, enforcing top speeds via DCC decoders, and adding sound.