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  • Topic: User friendly ops software

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    • March 10, 2017 7:21 PM EST
      • Dallas, OR
         
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      I have seen JMRI and RailOps discussed in this thread. RailOps is reportedly no longer supported. There seems to be a fair amount of discussion about JMRI and it appears a lot of people are using it, but our club ops folks claim "The UI seemed really clunky and non-intuitive. " Are there any other ops software packages out there to keep track of car cards and waybills and the other things one needs for ops?

      I am brand new at ops and have only witnessed one short demo session, so I don't really know what it is all about, yet.

      Thanks,

      Michael

      ____________________________________

      Michael and Sharon Barnes
      Dallas, Oregon

    • March 10, 2017 8:04 PM EST
      • Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
         
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      Funny you should mention that. I did a search tonight for some other software and found this;

      http://nmra.org/software

      There are several operations software packages listed on this page, as well as design software and such.

      ____________________________________

      Shannon car Shops
      Home of the infamous leg lamp

      I.A.R.R.R. Member #12

      and King Butt Modeler

    • March 11, 2017 1:46 PM EST

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      What about the old school card systems?

      You have cards for the industries, and shuffle them up and then put them in pockets on the cars (or some variation)...

      Just curious.

       

      Greg

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    • March 11, 2017 1:57 PM EST
      • Burke, Virginia
         
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      Michael Barnes said:

      I have seen JMRI and RailOps discussed in this thread. RailOps is reportedly no longer supported. There seems to be a fair amount of discussion about JMRI and it appears a lot of people are using it, but our club ops folks claim "The UI seemed really clunky and non-intuitive. " Are there any other ops software packages out there to keep track of car cards and waybills and the other things one needs for ops?

      I am brand new at ops and have only witnessed one short demo session, so I don't really know what it is all about, yet.

      Thanks,

      Michael

      I don't agree with the assessment of the UI on JMRI.   I find it rather logical - but then again I've never been accused of being mentally stable.   

      What don't you like about it?

      ____________________________________

      Bruce

      http://jbrr.com/

       

    • March 11, 2017 3:59 PM EST
      • Deer Park, Washington
         
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      Greg Elmassian said:

      What about the old school card systems?

      You have cards for the industries, and shuffle them up and then put them in pockets on the cars (or some variation)...

      Just curious.

       

      Greg

      The cards blow away, get rained on, squirrels get them...

      ____________________________________

      Not only does my mind wander, sometimes it walks off completely.

       

      Some people try to turn back their odometers.  Not me.  I want people to know why I look this way.  I've traveled a long way, and some of the roads weren't paved.  Will Rogers.

    • March 11, 2017 4:12 PM EST
      • Off the Grid
         
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      What is your application?  Is this for a large layout operated by a group,  or just a one man operation like many of us do. Our 'Trainops' group has found JMRI to work pretty well in both those situations, and I don't have any UI issues either.  Fred's IPP&W runs on RailOps and they have continued using it with great success despite it's commercial demise.  Stan continues to use the card system on his huge multi operator layout, and Ric might still use the dice in a cup method at times

       

      What I am trying to say is that there is no one right answer. Look at what's out there and pick what is best for you.

      ____________________________________

      www.cvsry.com www.cvsry.com

    • March 11, 2017 4:35 PM EST
      • West Grove, Pennsylvania
         
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      Steve Featherkile said:
      Greg Elmassian said:

      What about the old school card systems?

      You have cards for the industries, and shuffle them up and then put them in pockets on the cars (or some variation)...

      Just curious.

       

      Greg

      The cards blow away, get rained on, squirrels get them...

      And people put them in their pocket and forget about them. 

      ____________________________________

      "Nothing in the world is more dangerous than sincere ignorance and conscientious stupidity." --Martin Luther King Jr

    • March 11, 2017 5:19 PM EST
      • Your Host in Littleton, MA
         
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      Bruce Chandler said:
      Michael Barnes said:

      I have seen JMRI and RailOps discussed in this thread. RailOps is reportedly no longer supported. There seems to be a fair amount of discussion about JMRI and it appears a lot of people are using it, but our club ops folks claim "The UI seemed really clunky and non-intuitive. " Are there any other ops software packages out there to keep track of car cards and waybills and the other things one needs for ops?

      I am brand new at ops and have only witnessed one short demo session, so I don't really know what it is all about, yet.

      Thanks,

      Michael

      I don't agree with the assessment of the UI on JMRI.   I find it rather logical - but then again I've never been accused of being mentally stable.   

      What don't you like about it?

       

      Yea, I wouldnt call the UI clunky and non-intuitive.  Daunting at first, yea, but once you figure out that the ops stuff is all in one place, you can safely ignore the rest. 

    • March 12, 2017 11:46 AM EDT
      • Off the Grid
         
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      I think Bob hit the nail on the head.  JMRI has so much depth for DCC that is outside the Operations section that it looks more complex than it really is. From Panel Pro ignore everything except the Operations menu.

      ____________________________________

      www.cvsry.com www.cvsry.com

    • March 13, 2017 7:08 PM EDT
      • Dallas, OR
         
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      Greg Elmassian said:

      What about the old school card systems?

      You have cards for the industries, and shuffle them up and then put them in pockets on the cars (or some variation)...

      Just curious.

       

      Greg

       

      I think that is basically what my club wants to use. They are just looking for software that will generate the cards from a spreadsheet.

      Michael

       

      ____________________________________

      Michael and Sharon Barnes
      Dallas, Oregon

    • March 13, 2017 7:11 PM EDT
      • Dallas, OR
         
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      Bruce Chandler said:
      Michael Barnes said:

      I have seen JMRI and RailOps discussed in this thread. RailOps is reportedly no longer supported. There seems to be a fair amount of discussion about JMRI and it appears a lot of people are using it, but our club ops folks claim "The UI seemed really clunky and non-intuitive. " Are there any other ops software packages out there to keep track of car cards and waybills and the other things one needs for ops?

      I am brand new at ops and have only witnessed one short demo session, so I don't really know what it is all about, yet.

      Thanks,

      Michael

      I don't agree with the assessment of the UI on JMRI.   I find it rather logical - but then again I've never been accused of being mentally stable.   

      What don't you like about it?

       

      I personally have not yet set up JMRI. From the screenshots and videos it looked okay to me. When I get a chance, I'll download it and see. As I have no experience with ops, I don't know what is good or bad.

       

      Michael

       

      ____________________________________

      Michael and Sharon Barnes
      Dallas, Oregon

    • March 14, 2017 2:50 AM EDT
      • West Grove, Pennsylvania
         
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      I don't even call it JMRI anymore. I changed the name on the icon on my desktop  to TrainOps. 

      ____________________________________

      "Nothing in the world is more dangerous than sincere ignorance and conscientious stupidity." --Martin Luther King Jr

    • March 14, 2017 8:13 AM EDT
      • Burke, Virginia
         
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      If there's something you don't understand, please ask - it can be intimidating to start.   Heck just starting operations can be intimidating.   

      ____________________________________

      Bruce

      http://jbrr.com/

       

    • March 14, 2017 8:53 AM EDT
      • Your Host in Littleton, MA
         
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      Bruce Chandler said:

      If there's something you don't understand, please ask - it can be intimidating to start.   Heck just starting operations can be intimidating.   

      Definitely ask.  We've all been up this learning curve.

    • March 14, 2017 12:41 PM EDT
      • Nepean/Ottawa, Ontario, The Dominion of Canada
         
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      Here in Ottawa there are quite a few railroads using "RailOps" with great success, although there are only two in Large Scale.

       The program may not be "Supported" any longer, but that doesn't stop it from being a dependable program. There is a "RailOp List" where questions are answered, and often is quite busy.

      On the IPP&W we use two RailOps programs. One for the NG, and one for the SG.  These two operations use the same track/layout, but the equipment changes.

      Each program involves over 250 pieces of rolling stock.

         Doug Matheson, is know by many in North America as a well informed RailOps "Expert". He is helped by Lawrence Watkins, looking after the NG; and Steve Watson, the SG operations, here on the IPP&W.

         We have been using RailOps for over 15 years, or more. We alternate week to week from NG to SG......every Saturday, weather permitting.

        The railroad, I am told, belongs to me, but I don't claim to be any sort of expert on the subject of RailOps.  I make a point to know enough to be able to suggest/ make any changes in weekly operations, and help out when needed.

      The operators seem to have no trouble using the "Orders" for their trains, which list all needed movements of the equipment, about the same as those shown in other post in this thread.

      Two of the other pikes using RailOps, are; one in Sn3, and the other in HO.....I take part in two operations a month on the Sn3 layout.

      Anyone contemplating the use of RailOps, is welcome to send questions through me to Doug Matheson, or visit here during our operations.

       Fred Mills

    • March 15, 2017 11:00 AM EDT
      • Nepean/Ottawa, Ontario, The Dominion of Canada
         
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      Here on the IPP&W we put all the rolling stock away in storage sheds after each operation. We use bread trays, and each tray is marked/colour coded as to where the cars were located after the last operation. This makes set-up easier, along with a printed sheet generated by RailOps which shows each car's exact location.

       We only take about a half hour to set out the 250-300 cars......there are usually somewhere near 15 or more people taking part each Saturday morning.

        It works very well for us, but others may prefer other operating programs.

       Car Cards, originally were going to be our way of operating. In their day, before computers were a way of life in our World, the car card system was the way to go, along with its variations. I operated on a number of pikes that used many of those variations. There was the "Four sided waybill in a car card" method. the "Paper clip on a card" system, and a few others that seemed to work on INDOOR railroads....usually HO scale, N scale and "O" scale were not as popular in the operations world.

       When we started investigating the LS OUTDOOR Operating possibilities; we tried Car Cards, of one type or another. It was never very successful, or enjoyed out in the real outdoor World.  Others may, after their trials, find that one of the CC systems will please them. It might be worth exploring......for those that try to inject new ideas into the scheme.

      Another thing to consider, is that with any of the computer generated programs, applied to "Club Layouts", is that a lot of club members would insist on taking their rolling stock home, after every operation. As long as their cars are on site, and available, for every operation; things go well, but to have any of them missing can cause problems. Taking cars in, or out in short notice makes the RailOp controller's job a headache. Another is; that all cars must have standard couplers. Mixing coupler types does not work easily, if at all in an operation.

      On the IPP&W there are a lot of cars that belong to others, who choose to keep their cars on site. Their cars are often labeled on the underside with their names, but are also entered into the RailOps INVENTORY LIST, under their ownership......Cabooses are usually the only cars that some take home. Those cabooses are not in the car inventory list. We do have enough cabooses in thge list/on site to run the operations, so it isn't a problem.

        Anyone visiting during operations, is persuaded to not introduce "Non-Standard equipment" on to the line. That equipment can introduce bottlenecks in Yards and sidings.   We do enjoy visiting equipment, after the operation.

        Locomotives for our purposes, are not documented in the RailOp program. They are mostly taken home by the operators. Most of our operators have at least one, NG, and one SG style of locomotive, appropriate for this particular railroad; equipped with Battery/Radio Control, and Kadee Couplers.

        My contributions to this thread/topic, are only meant to try to be informative, sharing our experiences. Everyone is free to decide what will work best for them, under their conditions, for their pleasure. I am NOT in any way, trying to "Push" RailOps on to anyone's plate. Or accusing anyone of "Being Wrong" in whatever choice(s) the may make.  Last I heard, we in North America, are still living in a  bit of the World that still allows us all a few freedoms of thought and speech..

        Any questions about our operational experiences are welcome.

        Fred Mills

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