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  • Topic: Simple Operations on a Short Railway

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    • October 13, 2013 11:49 AM EDT
      • Kelowna, British Columbia
         
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      My garden railway is too small to replicate railway operations in a strictly realistic fashion, so my operating system is a compromise. Trains are very short, often just a caboose and a flat car, but each train hauls something tangible from point to point. Since the "loads in and empties out" are handled in terms of interchangeable loads, not cars, it means I can get by with a minimum of railway cars on the line in any operating session and nevertheless do lots of operating. In a typical session with four operators, two to a train, train crew number 1 might handle several different loads, for example, a load of tractors, a load of lumber, and a portable oil tank, each load on a separate trip. Train crew number 2 might handlw a couple of bulldozers on the first two turns and a load of logs on the final turn. The strategy of a quick turnaround at terminals helps keep trains out and moving on the mainline.

      Although all this isn't particularly prototypical for freight operations, it does make operating a very small railway easy, fun, and practical.

      Here is a plan of the railway:



      Trains originate at terminals. This is Littleton, with the tram engine and a flatcar load of tractors about to depart:



      Littleton wye is used for turning whole trains. This photo shows the shay and a flat loaded with a bulldozer on the tail track of the wye:



      Badsey and its spur track are just beyond the Littleton wye. This photo shows the shay and the same consist heading throught Badsey for Dogdyke.



      Dogdyke is the western terminal, connecting with a hypothetical Canadian National narrow gauge branch line. In this photo the shay is arriving at Dogdyke. Already on the Dogdyke siding are the tram and its train.



      The tram engine has run around its train and is backing it on to the Dogdyke spur.


















      This post was edited by Ian Pooley at October 13, 2013 2:23 PM EDT
    • October 13, 2013 11:57 AM EDT
      • Candlewood Valley, Connecticut
         
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      Welcome Ian!  That's a nice little switching layout.  Mine is not much bigger and is operated in a similar fashion,

      One small tip - Most of us around here are OLD. Please use a larger font when posting!

      ____________________________________

      www.cvsry.com www.cvsry.com

    • October 13, 2013 2:29 PM EDT
      • Kelowna, British Columbia
         
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      Thank you for the advice, Jon. I've upped the font size. When I get a moment, I'll post an example of a switch list.

      Ian
    • October 13, 2013 6:08 PM EDT
      • Cape Cod,
         
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       I like it Ian, with the WYE and turntable you have lots of options for running trains.

       You have some unique and interesting equipment.  Did you build the T boiler ?  or is it a electric accucraft?
         

    • October 13, 2013 6:14 PM EDT

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      As a guy who likes to run operations, I think your railroad looks super!! What a good, innovative design for a railroad in a limited space. you do nice work!!

      Ed

    • October 13, 2013 7:22 PM EDT
      • Kelowna, British Columbia
         
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      Thanks for the compliments guys. The T-boiler shay is an Accucraft. The rather unprototypical tender contains the batteries and RC. There is another Accucraft shay currently undergoing battery conversion on the workbench.

      Ian
    • October 14, 2013 11:50 AM EDT
      • Kelowna, British Columbia
         
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      Here is a sample switch list:

      Green Valley Tramway

      Operating between Littleton-Badsey and Dogdyke

      Switch List

      Date __________________________

      Assigned Engine:  2-Cylinder Shay and auxiliary tender

      Engineer/ Switch Crew _____________________ _______________________

      Operating Rules:

      1. In the double track section between Badsey and Trouble House Halt, trains heading from Dogdyke to Littleton-Badsey will take the easternmost track; trains heading from Littleton-Badsey to Dogdyke will take the westernmost track.

      2. Only one train at a time is allowed to operate inside the Dogdyke or the Littleton-Badsey yard.

      3. Due to the poor quality of the roadbed, slow speeds are in effect. Proceed with caution.

      4. The wye at Littleton-Badsey is in general to be used in a clockwise direction.

      5. When approaching switches, check to see that the switch points are thrown in the correct direction before traversing the switch.

      6. If a derailment occurs, stop the train immediately, rerail the car or cars that have come off the track, and proceed.

      7. After switching a spur track, and when the train has cleared the switch, stop the train and, before proceeding, throw the switch back to the correct position for main line running. 

      Train Movements:

      Assignment No. 1:  From Dogdyke to Littleton-Badsey

      Instructions : Proceed, with empties, to Littleton-Badsey

      Assignment No. 2: From Littleton-Badsey to Dogdyke

      Instructions : Load one bulldozer and one load of coal at Littleton and return to Dogdyke.  Run the engine back to Troublehouse Halt and turn. Return to Dogdyke.

      Assignment No. 3: From Dogdyke to Littleton-Badsey.

      Instructions : Unload bulldozer and coal at Dogdyke. Return to Littleton-Badsey with empties.

      Assignment No. 4: From Littleton-Badsey to Dogdyke.

      Instructions: Load another bulldozer at Littleton and return to Dogdyke. Run the engine back to Troublehouse Halt and turn. Return to Dogdyke.

      AssignmentNo.5: From Dogdyke to Littleton-Badsey

      Instructions: Unload second  bulldozer at Dogdyke, and return to Littleton-Badsey.  Park the two empties and the caboose beside the blue shed at Littleton.

      Assignment No. 6 : From Littleton-Badsey to Dogdyke

      Instructions: Turn the locomotive on the wye, pick up the two loads of logs and the caboose on the spur at Badsey, run around the wye a second time, and return to Dogdyke. Unload the logs.

       

    • October 17, 2013 8:23 AM EDT
      • Southern Illinois
         
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      Ian, this is great!  Glad you could show Ops without a great deal of trackage.  Many 1:1 operations is simply moving freight from one location to the other.

       

      Thanks for sharing.

       

      And thanks for the example of your switching list.

    • October 17, 2013 9:20 AM EDT
      • East Brunswick, N J RRR#22
         
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      Thank you, Ian for posting this. It is another inspiration to operate in a small space. I frequently let myself get down because I don't have as much room as I would like. You have proven otherwise.

      ____________________________________

      "If I ever go looking for my heart's desire again, I won't look any further than my own backyard. Because if it isn't there, I never really lost it to begin with." - L. Frank Baum

    • October 17, 2013 9:33 AM EDT
      • South Devon, England
         
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        A great set up Ian I am sure it is very rewarding to operate.  I have looked at the thread quite a few times since your original post.  The names are very English and I am reminded of two railways in the UK even if your stock and loco is North American.  The former Wisbech and Upwell Tramway is one and the other , solely commuter, is the Docklands Light Railway in London - it is the track in the latter case.  

       

       

      http://www.lner.info/co/GER/wisbech/

       

       

       

       

      ____________________________________

      regards, Alan

       Nothing is so strong as gentleness. Nothing so gentle as real strength.  Saint Francis de Sales  French saint & bishop of Geneva (1567 - 1622) 

      https://www.dartmouthrailriver.co.uk

      https://www.buckfast.org.uk/

       

    • October 17, 2013 11:54 AM EDT
      • Kelowna, British Columbia
         
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      Thank you, gentlemen, for your kind comments. Alan, the names of the stations are from an old Flanders and Swann song, "The Slow Train." If you look up the lyrics on Google, you will find all sorts of vanished railway stations on abandoned British branch lines are mentioned.

      As you noticed, I mix British and North American locomotives and rolling stock. This isn't as far fetched as it might seem. In Canada, early narrow gauge operations did actually mix the two: industrial (colliery) railways in Nova Scotia and British Columbia used British locomotives, and early narrow gauge railways in Ontario, PEI, and Newfoundland used British, Canadian and American built locomotives and rolling stock. Of course here in British Columbia, the early narrow gauge mining railways used largely American built equipment: the narrow gauge Kaslo and Slocan Railway, not far from where I live, used an ex Rio Grande Southern rotary snow plow to clear winter avalanches.

      Ian

    • October 17, 2013 1:38 PM EDT
      • South Devon, England
         
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      It is some while Ian since I heard that song.  A glance at the lyrics reminds me that most of the places mentioned are in the northern or midland parts of England.  Two lines reference parts here in the south west.  I can follow your thinking: my American railroad has names of places where I have friends and my structures are based on North American buildings.  

      ____________________________________

      regards, Alan

       Nothing is so strong as gentleness. Nothing so gentle as real strength.  Saint Francis de Sales  French saint & bishop of Geneva (1567 - 1622) 

      https://www.dartmouthrailriver.co.uk

      https://www.buckfast.org.uk/

       

    • October 17, 2013 3:53 PM EDT
      • Kelowna, British Columbia
         
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      Alan

      I agree with you that mixing things up doesn't matter a bit. And poetic or slightly bizarre station names are more interesting for visitors than slavishly prototypical ones. By the way, Wikipedia says that the name "Troublehouse Halt" was chosen because the passenger halt was actually put in to serve the customers of the Troublehouse pub. When the line was slated for abandonment, the customers of the pub sent a coffin to Mr. Beecham to protest.

      Best regards,

      Ian
    • October 17, 2013 4:26 PM EDT
      • South Devon, England
         
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       Ian, the infamous, to most railroad fans, was Richard Beeching.  Quite a few of the railway lines that were closed as a result of his report have been re-opened, in part, becoming Heritage lines.  

       

       

      ____________________________________

      regards, Alan

       Nothing is so strong as gentleness. Nothing so gentle as real strength.  Saint Francis de Sales  French saint & bishop of Geneva (1567 - 1622) 

      https://www.dartmouthrailriver.co.uk

      https://www.buckfast.org.uk/

       

    • October 17, 2013 7:42 PM EDT
      • Kelowna, British Columbia
         
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      Alan

      Sorry, Beeching, not Beecham. In Canada branch lines have been lifted with less protest. The Kettle Valley Railway which runs just south of where I live, was abandoned in the early 70s. And the local branch line, the Canadian National Railways Okanagan subdivision, was t abandoned without warning just three months ago - the track hasn't been lifted yet!

      Best regards

      Ian
    • October 17, 2013 7:42 PM EDT
      • Kelowna, British Columbia
         
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      Alan

      Sorry, Beeching, not Beecham. In Canada branch lines have been lifted with less protest. The Kettle Valley Railway which runs just south of where I live, was abandoned in the early 70s. And the local branch line, the Canadian National Railways Okanagan subdivision, was t abandoned without warning just three months ago - the track hasn't been lifted yet!

      Best regards

      Ian
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