September 30, 2022

On Sheet – Room for Improvements

ne thing about model railroad operations – you don’t have to get it right on the first try. Nobody can say exactly how something is going to work until they do it. When managing a model pike, you’ll find yourself changing things, cutting in turnouts or altering your schedule. You set something up, maybe it works, maybe it doesn’t. If the latter is true, you try something different. In my Tuscarora Branch Line, I thought I wanted to run a train order board so that special orders could be “hooped up” (i.e. physically passed) to the engineers. For this, you […]
December 18, 2022

OpsLog – LM&O – 12/17/2022

he engineer on train 244 curses under his breath as he ground his units up the long hill towards Harris Glen. For no reason at all – except to be ornery  – the dispatcher had issued a train order for 244 to meet 247 at the base of the grade – Pittsburgh – rather than midway up as timetabled. It would have been an easy meet but for management sticking its long nose into train-running business. So now 244 was late, and that meant that, given the hard meets the railroad was running, passenger 97 would be dawdling at Lehigh, […]
December 23, 2022

On Sheet – Expedited TT&TO

mentioned that at our last special session on the LM&O, we ran TT&TO. Now, TT&TO (or Time Table & Train Order) operations requires that trains run according to the times printed on their timetables. Meets are specified. However, if the dispatcher needs to change a meet point for any reason, he issues a train order to the involved trains passing their stations, giving them rights over what is specified in their time table and rulebook. Generally, an order to change a meet might read TRAIN 98 MEET TRAIN 99 AT SAN LUIS OBISPO. However, there are two problems with TT&TO […]
June 15, 2023

OpsLog – LM&O – 06/14/2023

ight has fallen and the chill has sunk in between the low Zanesville hills. The auto plant is humming as is the furniture factory (a pity since the local never showed up today). And me? I’m stuck in this rotting tower, most of the levers out of service, nothing but a second story train order office. Looking west, I suddenly see a headlight stabbing out of Below Notman tunnel. I check the watch – 7:30 PM. That means… to the east, the low form of a drag freight comes around the raised hillock under the GM plant. I lift up […]
October 20, 2023

On Sheet – Train Order Boards Revisited

don’t want to get into all the details. Recently, when attending a huge TT&TO session at the La Mesa  Model Railroad club in San Diego, I thought I saw a train order board being misused. Later, while hanging out at another station with an old SP guy running it, I mentioned the “mistake” I’d witnessed. Turns out, as he explained it, I was wrong. Great, and I’ve written multiple blogs and given two clinics (as well as did it on my Tuscarora) incorrectly. So I’ll correct it now. Train order signals (as shown in the photo to the right) tell […]