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  • Topic: Switching Puzzle: Train#2 at Jackson

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    • May 19, 2015 12:09 PM EDT
      • Burke, Virginia
         
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      Switching Puzzle: Train#2 at Jackson

      I thought I'd take some "real life" examples from my operations sessions, post them up here and see if it's popular enough to do on a semi-regular basis.

      I model a narrow gauge that runs 2 trains a day.   Once in the morning, another in the afternoon.   There's never a need to worry about fouling the main.

      Train #1 goes from Green Springs to Lexington, with stops in Occoquan and Jackson.   Train #2 does the reverse.

      When I ran Sunday, Train #1 didn't have much work to do in Jackson.   Rather a surprise.   And even Train #2 didn't switch every location like it sometimes does.   But, it was enough to make for a decent puzzle, especially since every industry spur is at capacity.

      Here's what Jackson looked like at the start of the session.

      Left to right:   That's Buchanan Tool & Die with the 4 boxcars in front.   You can barely see the Bucket Coaling station to the left of the tree/bush.  Next we have Salmons Produce with a few visible reefers behind it.

      In front of it, you see 4 tank cars that are just in front of the barely visible Mills Fuels.   Finally, there are 4 boxcars on 2 sidings in front of Matheson Textiles.

      This is a crude schematic of what it looks like (I sure wish there was a little program to do this more easily!):

      The train is coming in to Jackson from Lexington on the left.   At the bottom of the schematic, I have made a diagram of the 5 cars that make up the train at that point.

      The BLUE labels indicate the industry, the GREEN labels indicate the track capacity.   (The passing siding at the top can hold 7 cars.)

      Here's the switchlist for Jackson:

      ALL set outs must be as close to the loading dock as possible - typically the end of each spur.

      Have at it!   There's no time limit...

      This post was edited by Bruce Chandler at May 19, 2015 2:00 PM EDT
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    • May 19, 2015 12:57 PM EDT
      • Strattanville, PA
         
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      This looks fun.    Can you explain the "E" and "L"  denotations ....  Oh ok, empty and Loaded?      I think your schematic is good.   What did you use to draw it?  Looks like a scan doctored up with good old windows paint?   On the left I see a loco.  Is that the train coming in, or is there a parked loco using that track?   Now that I've procrastinated through questioning, I suppose I should go find my pencil and stopwatch...

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    • May 19, 2015 1:06 PM EDT
      • Burke, Virginia
         
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      Randy Lehrian Jr. said:

      This looks fun.    Can you explain the "E" and "L"  denotations ....  Oh ok, empty and Loaded?      I think your schematic is good.   What did you use to draw it?  Looks like a scan doctored up with good old windows paint?   On the left I see a loco.  Is that the train coming in, or is there a parked loco using that track?   Now that I've procrastinated through questioning, I suppose I should go find my pencil and stopwatch...

      Yes, you have it correct.  This switch list was generated using the Operations section of JMRI.

      As for the schematic, I first took a picture out of my window...then traced the track with a Sharpie on plain paper.   Then I scanned it into PowerPoint which I used to do all of the labeling and rolling stock rectangles.

      The loco on the track is to show where the train is coming in from.

      No stopwatch needed!!!   No pressure...just enjoy.   I know if took me a lot longer than I thought it would - and that's how I learned some of the track capacity - I REALLY tried to get 3 cars at once from Buchanan Tool & Die, but there is NOT enough space no matter how many times I tried...

      This post was edited by Bruce Chandler at May 19, 2015 1:07 PM EDT
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    • May 19, 2015 2:09 PM EDT
      • Deer Park, Washington
         
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      The first thing that struck me was that there are too many cars!  I feel Salieri's frustration in the movie "Mozart," when he said, "Too many notes!"   I'm reminded of the Yardmaster's rule that when the yard is half full, its full.  

       

      Perhaps, for us beginners, you could reduce the volume of traffic.

       

      Good mindbender.  Let's see more.

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    • May 19, 2015 2:55 PM EDT
      • Candlewood Valley, Connecticut
         
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      Funny looking box car at the bottom of the picture next to Matheson Textiles

       

      One thing I dislike about the JMRI switch list is that they do not list they separate the pick-ups and set-outs. If I'm working Buchanan Tool & Die I'd like to know what all of my moves will be without having to find it in the switch list. At least for my RR I would.  In your world it looks like you need to work all the pick ups first in order to free room for the set outs, so it's probably good to have it the way it is.

       

      I may have to work some of this craziness into my railroad.  As I am now, everything I have switches trailing point.  It can take me some time, but the moves are nearly always the same. When I get some time I'll think about how I might do this.

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    • May 19, 2015 3:57 PM EDT
      • Strattanville, PA
         
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      Daktah John said:

        In your world it looks like you need to work all the pick ups first in order to free room for the set outs, 

       

      That's how I was thinking too.  Then I realized I had better get back to work.  Going to play with this later.  I'll be interested to see the first solution.  Where is Ric G.?  He should be eating this up.  

       

      As for the funny box car, the photo narrative might be a bit askew, but JMRI has it listed correctly. Good thing we have computers to keep us straight. 

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    • May 19, 2015 4:31 PM EDT
      • Burke, Virginia
         
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      OK,  I could edit my statement about 4 boxcars, but that would make the rest of the following comments look really strange!  

      Tempted, I am. 

      When I'm presented with a complex situation, I usually try to get all the pick ups first, if only to buy myself some time and look like I know what I am doing; though often my plan doesn't last all that long as a better idea occurs two cars in.

      I do have fun every time I switch this location, mainly because JMRI adds some variety each time.   Take just a single car from one of Mathesons Textiles and you have a totally different solution.  

      Often, I'll switch EVERY industry in Jackson.  Hmm...though it looks like next ops session will also have a full town.

      This post was edited by Bruce Chandler at May 19, 2015 4:43 PM EDT
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    • May 19, 2015 7:40 PM EDT
      • West Grove, Pennsylvania
         
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      I've done this several times with Bruce and it's always different, always a challenge, but always fun. And I always look forward to running on Bruce's layout............(hint, hint).......

      So having said that, I'll let someone else have all the fun. 

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    • May 19, 2015 7:57 PM EDT
      • Candlewood Valley, Connecticut
         
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      OK - I'll give this a go. I just hope it doesn't take me as long to type it ans it does to actually switch it out.  I've done no pre-planning; just winging it.

       

      Since the train is already positioned looking at the facing point of Bucket Coaling Station; I'll cut the train after Hopper 40 ans make the following moves

      1. Forward to tie on to hopper 50

      2. Pull the string from Bucket Coaling Station

      3 - Shove the string forward (while pulling half the train) into the lead for Mathenson with 809 clear of the main. Cut 809.

      4.  Back out on to main.

      5. Shove 50/18 and balance of train forward clear of passing siding. Cut train behind loco.

      6. Shove 50/18 forward clear of second passing switch.

      7. Back 50/18 through passing siding in to clear on main.

      9. Forward on main. Tie on to #40.

      10. Back 40/50/15 down main past Coaling Station.

      11. Shove string into Coaling Station. - Industry done.

      12. Forward into Matheson Textiles lead. Tie on to 809.

      13. Continue forward to Matheson Textiles. Tie on to 364/898.

      14. Back string 809/364/898 to main (train still has 106 and 181 on tail)

      15. Shove string so 809 is clear of passing siding switch. Cut 898.

      16. Back clear of passing siding switch.

      17. Shove 809/364 into passing siding. Spot 364 clear of switch and cut 364.

      18. Back out on main.

      17. Shove 809 forward to tie on to 898 and cut both from front of train.

      18. Back clear of passing siding swithc.

      19. Forward into passing siding. Tie on to 364.

      20. Back 364 clear of Mathenson Textiles lead.

      21. Shove 364 into Matheson Textiles lead.

      22. Back balance of train down main and tie on to 113. Cut train at caboose.

      23. Pull train forward clear of passing siding switch.  Cut entire train (300/113/106/181).

      24. Forward light clear of passing siding.

      25. Run around train through passing siding.

      26. Forward to tie on to train. Cut #300.

      27. Back #300 clear of passing siding swithc.

      28. Shove #300 into passing siding.

      29. Back light on to main.

      30. Forward to tie on to #133. Cut 133 from train.

      31. Back #133 clear of Matheson textiles lead.

      32. Forward into Matheson Testiles lead. Tie on to #364.

      33. Shove 133/364 to Matheson textiles.  Industry done.

      Go for beans.  Think about killing enough time to outlaw.

       

       

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    • May 19, 2015 8:00 PM EDT
      • Candlewood Valley, Connecticut
         
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      As usual I missed two lines on the switch list. Matheson Textiles is NOT DONE

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    • May 19, 2015 8:11 PM EDT
      • Strattanville, PA
         
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      I re-posted this because checking John's work and having to scroll all the way up each move is a pain.  Good job !  Thanks for tackling that while I got the lawn mowed. 

       

      Ken, good pic with another good point of view.

       

      Bruce,  In your picture I see little yellow flags and in Ken's they are red.  What's going on with them?

      I vote for more puzzles.

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    • May 19, 2015 8:17 PM EDT
      • Port Orchard, Washington
         
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      Bruce,
      I'll try but I have a few questions first. Does the textile tracks have specific spots, and is it first in, first out? If first in, first out, do you have to move the older cars over to the loading track?
    • May 19, 2015 8:22 PM EDT
      • Port Orchard, Washington
         
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      Randy Lehrian Jr. said:

      I vote for more puzzles.


      Give me a bit and I'll post a new thread of the Hole. 3 tracks, 16 spots. All tanks cars...
      This post was edited by Craig Townsend at May 19, 2015 8:22 PM EDT
    • May 19, 2015 8:39 PM EDT
      • Candlewood Valley, Connecticut
         
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      Randy Lehrian Jr. said:

      I re-posted this because checking John's work and having to scroll all the way up each move is a pain.  Good job !  Thanks for tackling that while I got the lawn mowed. 

       

      I had to keep a second window open to keep referring to. As it was I got lost a bunch of times. I should print the diagram and cut out all the cars so they can be moved around.

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    • May 19, 2015 10:26 PM EDT
      • Burke, Virginia
         
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      Craig Townsend said:
      Bruce, I'll try but I have a few questions first. Does the textile tracks have specific spots, and is it first in, first out? If first in, first out, do you have to move the older cars over to the loading track?

      Craig, Yes, the newer cars should be on the siding closest to the building.

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    • May 19, 2015 10:27 PM EDT
      • Burke, Virginia
         
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      Daktah John said:
      Randy Lehrian Jr. said:

      I re-posted this because checking John's work and having to scroll all the way up each move is a pain.  Good job !  Thanks for tackling that while I got the lawn mowed. 

       

      I had to keep a second window open to keep referring to. As it was I got lost a bunch of times. I should print the diagram and cut out all the cars so they can be moved around.

      Heh.  I was trying to follow your solution and got totally lost.   I sure wish we had a little animated solution.   It's REALLY hard to visualize what is going on.  It was hard to do this in person, but I think it's much harder to follow someone's typing.

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    • May 19, 2015 10:31 PM EDT
      • Burke, Virginia
         
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      Ken Brunt said:

      I've done this several times with Bruce and it's always different, always a challenge, but always fun. And I always look forward to running on Bruce's layout............(hint, hint).......

      So having said that, I'll let someone else have all the fun. 

      Ken, when's a good time?  Looks like it is heating up for next week.   I have a LOT of maintenance to do.   Plus I tripped over one of my switchstands, breaking the ties.   Time for a Tenmille, or 8.  RLD has already shipped my order!

      My latest idea is to have my camera with me and just take pictures of problem areas when I'm operating.   It's a lot quicker than trying to take notes...

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    • May 19, 2015 10:31 PM EDT
      • Port Orchard, Washington
         
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      Bruce Chandler said:
      Craig Townsend said:
      Bruce, I'll try but I have a few questions first. Does the textile tracks have specific spots, and is it first in, first out? If first in, first out, do you have to move the older cars over to the loading track?

      Craig, Yes, the newer cars should be on the siding closest to the building.

      So 103 and 364 have to go back to their original spot location?

      A suggestion might be to label each spot. Textile 1, Textile 2, Textile 3, Textile 4. You could do this for each industry and add a whole new level of complexity. See http://www.largescalecentral.com/forums/topic/23776/switching-quot-the-hole-quot

      This post was edited by Craig Townsend at May 19, 2015 10:33 PM EDT
    • May 19, 2015 10:32 PM EDT
      • Candlewood Valley, Connecticut
         
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      Even harder then...

      Bruce Chandler said:
      Craig Townsend said:
      Bruce, I'll try but I have a few questions first. Does the textile tracks have specific spots, and is it first in, first out? If first in, first out, do you have to move the older cars over to the loading track?

      Craig, Yes, the newer cars should be on the siding closest to the building.

      Hmmm...  You didn't state that rule at the beginning. That makes for even more work!

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    • May 19, 2015 10:33 PM EDT
      • Candlewood Valley, Connecticut
         
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      Bruce Chandler said:
      Daktah John said:
      Randy Lehrian Jr. said:

      I re-posted this because checking John's work and having to scroll all the way up each move is a pain.  Good job !  Thanks for tackling that while I got the lawn mowed. 

       

      I had to keep a second window open to keep referring to. As it was I got lost a bunch of times. I should print the diagram and cut out all the cars so they can be moved around.

      Heh.  I was trying to follow your solution and got totally lost.   I sure wish we had a little animated solution.   It's REALLY hard to visualize what is going on.  It was hard to do this in person, but I think it's much harder to follow someone's typing.

      I'm not surprised you couldn't follow my solution. I couldn't follow it myself

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