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operational diversity ?

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  • Member since
    January, 2017
  • From: Southern Florida Gulf Coast
  • 2,747 posts
Posted by SeeYou190 on Friday, May 04, 2018 10:50 PM

Yes, the layout has a very specific set of goals


Hi Sheldon.


Sorry, I was responding to the OP with my previous post. I guess I should have quoted his orignal post in my rersponse.


I appologize for the confusion.




Happily modeling the STRATTON & GILLETTE RAILROAD located in a world of plausible nonsense set in August, 1954.

  • Member since
    December, 2004
  • From: Bedford, MA, USA
  • 17,910 posts
Posted by MisterBeasley on Sunday, May 06, 2018 9:29 PM

It sounds to me like you are looking for added "play value" from your trains. So am I.

Me too.

I'm primariy a builder, so that "added play value" involves building rolling stock, structures, loading facilities and scenery.  When I built my tannery complex, I got a lot of play value from the day I opened the box and found a description of the gozintas and gozoutas for such a facilty.  A tannery needs hides, but also salt and acid.  Before I'd begun assembling the buildings, I realized I needed "hide service only" boxcars, plus an acid tanker and a covered salt hopper.  The tanker and hopper would go to and from staging or the carfloat terminal, but those hide service boxcars would shuttle back and forth between the tannery and the slaughterhouse, complicating the operation by sharing loading dock space with the stockcars and ice-bunker reefers on those tracks.

My icing platform serves multiple customers, and it's not a stretch to do so, unlike layouts that flood-load coal in hoppers and dump it at a power plant close by, where such traffic would normally go hundreds of miles before dumping.  Reefers must be iced before loading, and sometimes topped up after loading, at my brewery, slaughterhouse and Railway Express depot that deals with express reefers on my passenger trains.  I've even got a couple of "ice service" reefers that would be loaded elsewhere and brought in to augment the ice house's supply.

The icing platform is one of the few "industries" that deals with in-transit rolling stock.  Even if a reefer is not loading or unloading as it passes from staging to layout and back again, it my need a stop at an icing platform to keep the contents cold.  This gives you a lot of opportunity for diversity in your freight roster.


It takes an iron man to play with a toy iron horse. 

  • Member since
    January, 2015
  • From: Southern California
  • 1,340 posts
Posted by Lone Wolf and Santa Fe on Monday, May 07, 2018 4:58 PM

    I use a car card system that has seven different days worth of waybills so I don’t relive the same day every day. They are color coded so I know which day’s waybills to use. When the waybills for the day run out then the remaining cars are empties and go back to the yard or are returned to their home roads.
    Using seven different days I can have variety. The waybills can have days with higher demand at seasonal industries like agriculture or they can have days off. It’s nice to change it up. Other industries have variances in output also and sometime receive rare inbound equipment or other supplies.
    I don’t use ‘trouble cars’ like some people do but I do follow current events. On days that it snows in the mountains I have to run snow plows through the pass. If there is a flash flood because of heavy rain then I have to send out plows to clear the tracks. If there is a fire or earthquake I have to dispatch inspection vehicles to check the condition of the track. If there is a major derailment then I have to send out the crane car. Etc…
    I also schedule track maintenance which might tie up a passing siding or the mainline for a little bit. Also once in a while there is a special steam excursion to show off the historical society’s restored steam engines. That’s a nice change up.
    So with all of that every day is different.

Modeling a fictional version of California set in the 1990s Lone Wolf and Santa Fe Railroad
  • Member since
    July, 2009
  • From: somerset, nj
  • 2,080 posts
Posted by gregc on Friday, May 11, 2018 6:52 PM

while re-reading old magazines, I read "A Commodity Based Car Operations System" in April 1991 RMC.

Unlike other methods that specify a car by road-name and number be picked-up or set out, this methods specifies either a car of a specific type (e.g. boxcar) be set out at some destination, or any of several possible cars at some destination be picked up. This requires the operator to select the car of proper type to set out and as well as choosing the car to pick up, if there is a choice.

It is card based, so there's no guarantee that a car is available to be set out, that there is space at the destination or that there is a car waiting to be picked-up. And these "problems" force the operator to deal with them, making operation less routine.   Of course a computer based approach can avoid these problems, but then things become routine.

wondering if anyone uses anything similar?

greg - Philadelphia & Reading / Reading

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