On Sheet – Size and Documentation

On Sheet – Size and Documentation

o I’m just going out on a ledge here and noting an observation  -the smaller your railroad, the more important introductions documentation is.

At our club layout, it’s pretty basic. Yard switching information is hung on clipboards near the arrival tracks. Warrants are damn near self-explanatory. Guests who run with us usually need a conductor the first run or two, and then they have it.

But if you are running a small layout (and mine is really, really small), you need more documentation to explain what has to happen. In large layouts, there are more sidings and room to sort things out. On small layouts, there might only be one way of doing things. Yes, you can explain things as you work, but sometimes (with a new crew) you are on the edge of having enough time for everyone.

For example, on my Tuscarora, I’ve got the following attributes…

  • Time Table and Train Order
  • Switchlists
  • A mineral freight agent
  • A full interlocking position (which is now two positions, leverman and station operator)
  • Random events

And this isn’t the full list. The point is, to make this work (especially the TT&TO with what is pretty much ONE passing siding) you need to have some sort of introductory document so newbies know what you are simulating and how your tight operations work. Besides my Tusk, I run on the CSX Taft (a 2×8) and that still has a lot of SOP you need to follow to keep things rolling. For larger pikes, our club is all warrants (your instructions). And on the FEC Broward, it’s all CTC, so follow the traffic lights.

So if you are planning on ops in a small space and realize there are rules that make it work (but aren’t obvious) you might need a page or two to explain things.

I have fourteen (though most of that is specific jobs and paperwork examples).

Just something to keep in mind.


P.S. And now, having chatted with some people about my operation session coming up this Saturday, it seems nobody read their job descriptions. It’s going to be an interesting day.