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  • Topic: Setting up waybills

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    • January 15, 2021 10:02 AM EST
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      Setting up waybills

      Hey folks 

      I thought I'd get a conversation going about waybills. I've been unable to find a good tutorial on how exactly to set up two- or four-position waybills.  Every page I've found so far basically says "Now fill in your waybills with the desired car routing," but not what that means exactly.  I'm assuming some giant table of all your industries and in/out cars?  Are there any Excel, or other, tools that assist with figuring out routing? (I've been unable to find any)

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    • January 15, 2021 12:24 PM EST
      • Denver, Colorado
         
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         You're way over my railroad head here, Bob.....but, have you considered researching into the railroadiana world (Ebay, regular collector sites, Facebook, etc.) and finding actual waybills from real railroads from earlier times?

       

         I would think myself that there would have to be some around. I randomly collected timetables, workmen's pay books, various documents, and stock certificates for a while; I seem to remember some typed waybills being around.

       

       

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    • January 15, 2021 12:48 PM EST
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      No, I have plenty of actual waybills, I want to know how to set up the model-railroad version of them.  Every page I've come across about them assumes that you already have your traffic flow designed.  None of them tell you how to set up that traffic flow.

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    • January 15, 2021 1:30 PM EST
      • Curmudgeon at Large, Lynn Haven, FL
         
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      Pardon my ignorance as I am just recently getting in to looking at operations. Wouldn't traffic flow be determined by origin/destination. In other words, if you have a coal mine on your RR loads would originate at the mine and destination would either be industries on the RR or interchange off the RR.  Opposite for empties. Origin would either be industries on your RR or interchange and destination would be the mine. Am I simplifying this too much?

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    • January 15, 2021 1:45 PM EST
      • Burke, Virginia
         
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      Bob McCown said:

      No, I have plenty of actual waybills, I want to know how to set up the model-railroad version of them.  Every page I've come across about them assumes that you already have your traffic flow designed.  None of them tell you how to set up that traffic flow.

      Yep, I'm not sure where they set up traffic flow.   I did find this, but it just assumes that you have the flow going...https://www.thesprucecrafts.com/model-railroad-waybills-2382376

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    • January 15, 2021 1:50 PM EST
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      No, that's exactly it, Bob, but then do this for 30 industries, two yards, two interchanges, and 10 off-layout locations, and suddenly I'm lost in the details.  There *has* to be a step-by-step guide out there on how to set it up.

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    • January 15, 2021 1:57 PM EST
      • Burke, Virginia
         
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      You might look through (or join) the operations special interest group:  https://www.opsig.org/

       

      There's a lot there...

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      Bruce

      http://jbrr.com/

       

    • January 15, 2021 2:54 PM EST
      • Curmudgeon at Large, Lynn Haven, FL
         
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      So I do have the general idea. I was also looking at JMRI and watched a couple Youtube videos on the software. I sort of got the idea that the Operations part of the software could generate waybills/switch lists, knowing yards, industries, cars/types, etc.  I am trying to figure out if I can do a 'virtual' railroad in JMRI and later delete that RR with all the inputs (basically rolling stock only and track plan) when I build something real.

       

      Also wondering how well JMRI would work as an inventory program as well? I know some of the folks here use JMRI, bit I don't know to what extent.

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    • January 15, 2021 3:19 PM EST
      • West Grove, Pennsylvania
         
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      Bob Cope said:

      Also wondering how well JMRI would work as an inventory program as well? I know some of the folks here use JMRI, bit I don't know to what extent.

      Under "Operations" one of the sections is "Cars" where you list all your rolling stock by type of car, reporting marks, color and a few other characteristics. We use this before the Ops section so we know where the cars go in each town and industry. The list can be printed out in a couple of different ways. 

      Location, Road number, Type of car, destination, color, road name, it's load, what train it's on, etc.

      We use the number and location lists to set out the cars before and Ops session. One way lists all the cars  in order of their  number (01, 02, 03) and then location, the second one lists the cars in order of their location first.  Under location, it sorts them out by different town, and industry. Under "Mancos" it'll list all the cars there and what industries they belong at.

       

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    • January 15, 2021 3:30 PM EST
      • Candlewood Valley, Connecticut
         
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      Bob McCown said:

      No, that's exactly it, Bob, but then do this for 30 industries, two yards, two interchanges, and 10 off-layout locations, and suddenly I'm lost in the details.  There *has* to be a step-by-step guide out there on how to set it up.

      I'm lost in the details with a lot less.  I need to completely change the way I have set up JMRI as things pretty much stopped moving.  My plan was to determine origin and destination for every load / industry, but as yet even getting that down on paper in a form I can easily understand has eluded me.

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    • January 15, 2021 4:17 PM EST
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      Jon Radder said:
      Bob McCown said:

      No, that's exactly it, Bob, but then do this for 30 industries, two yards, two interchanges, and 10 off-layout locations, and suddenly I'm lost in the details.  There *has* to be a step-by-step guide out there on how to set it up.

      I'm lost in the details with a lot less.  I need to completely change the way I have set up JMRI as things pretty much stopped moving.  My plan was to determine origin and destination for every load / industry, but as yet even getting that down on paper in a form I can easily understand has eluded me.

      Every once in a while I have to completely reset a town in JRMI to get things unstuck.  There comes a time where an industry will just stop being served at all, pickups or setouts.  The only way I have been able to get things moving again is to move all the cars from an industry back to a yard, and then things go again.

       

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    • January 15, 2021 4:23 PM EST
      • Burke, Virginia
         
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      Jon Radder said:
      Bob McCown said:

      No, that's exactly it, Bob, but then do this for 30 industries, two yards, two interchanges, and 10 off-layout locations, and suddenly I'm lost in the details.  There *has* to be a step-by-step guide out there on how to set it up.

      I'm lost in the details with a lot less.  I need to completely change the way I have set up JMRI as things pretty much stopped moving.  My plan was to determine origin and destination for every load / industry, but as yet even getting that down on paper in a form I can easily understand has eluded me.

      I have always thought that JMRI is more or less a programmed RANDOMIZED operations.   You don't direct cars from "a" to "b";  you say that  location "a" can handle certain types of cars and will be switched by THIS train. Location "b" can handle certain types of cars and will be switched by THIS train.  You tell the program to generate some switch lists and hope it works.  There's no real flow, but for the visitors on your layout it probably doesn't really matter as they are enjoying switching cars at your industries.   Car Cards are probably more "accurate" as they show a car that moves from "a" to "b" and then to "c" and "d" and then it repeats the process.   For me, the REAL problem with car cards is that to be really effective the operator HAS to know what cars he should pick up;  and THAT knowledge only comes from being VERY familiar with the layout.   Not only that, but as Bob is discovering, there's NO EASY way to get things set up. 

       

      I always preferred the TrainOps/JMRI approach - generate a switch list so my operators know exactly what THEY need to do; it lists the train, all the cars and tells you what to pick up and drop off at each location.   Cool.

       

      As for Jon's problem, this seems to be inherent in EVERY program I have used.    (The first time I set up my layout in Railop, NOTHING moved at all.)   For JMRI, SOMETIMES you can "kick" it, and get it running again by changing car locations manually...other times it just seems like NOTHING will EVER fix it, so you start from scratch, but it breaks anyway somewhere down the line.

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    • January 15, 2021 5:13 PM EST
      • South Central , PA
         
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      Bruce Chandler said:

      You might look through (or join) the operations special interest group:  https://www.opsig.org/

       

      There's a lot there...

       

      There really is !!

      Not my cup of tea however the list of resources on what to search out is mind numbing!

      https://www.opsig.org/Resources/Bibliography#Computer

       

       

    • January 15, 2021 5:42 PM EST
      • Curmudgeon at Large, Lynn Haven, FL
         
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      Something I didn't get clear in my head is "Does JMRI use every car in the inventory to generate a switch list for every operating session?" Is it possible that to many cars available to the program chokes it?

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      We don't stop playing with trains because we grow old, we grow old because we stop playing with trains.....

       

    • January 15, 2021 6:10 PM EST
      • Candlewood Valley, Connecticut
         
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      Bob C - I don't think that you can have too many cars UNLESS you have so many that there is no space left to make moves. That happened to me and prompted my building the large fiddle yard shelving in my basement. Once I had used the new yard to clear some tracks, things began to move again. My remaining problem is that it only moves a the same few cars each session. Probably because I don't have valid destinations.  I learned just recently that yards don't change a load status which is why I need to re-think the whole game.

      Bruce has had a lot of experience running JMRI Ops, so he's probably right that I need to go in and tickle the system to get stuff moving again. I'm sure that will happen before spring. I'm having too much fun right now doing loco conversions.

       

      One great feature of JMRI is the detailed build report. If you have the patience to comb through every step, you will find out why it is, or isn't moving each car.

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    • January 15, 2021 7:05 PM EST
      • Curmudgeon at Large, Lynn Haven, FL
         
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      Digging about I ran across this article in Model Railroad Hobbyist magazine on a free switch list generator. I know nothing about it, just thought being as BD mentioned an XL spread sheet as a possibility I would share the link https://model-railroad-hobbyist.com/node/27714

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      We don't stop playing with trains because we grow old, we grow old because we stop playing with trains.....

       

    • January 19, 2021 7:29 PM EST
      • Ottawa/Nepean, Ontario, Canada
         
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      ....I know that with computers, and all these programs available, a person can get in so deep that just the programming, becomes "The hobby", before you know it.  Sometimes it might pay to go back to "Keep-it-simple-stupid"...

         Of course, in some cases, as in a club layout, too many cars, or one heck of a lot of them, makes a computer, and program, a needed tool.

        But;   if you have less than 40-50 cars, and a simple typewriter/computer/printer, you can go back to the "Old fashioned" four destination/sided waybill, with matching car cards.

         Like the real railroad; generating a waybill determines the type/style of car needed for the load. It at the same time, determines four connecting destinations for the chosen car, before returning the car to a designated terminal, as an empty car.

          I'll admit that the newer "Train order" type computer produced sheets do make the preparation, much less work, especially where we are dealing with 175 cars each Saturday morning, where we have to put them out at predetermined locations, and carrying around 10-20 car cards bearing waybills is not very desirable for any of the operators.  You also would need to have holders at every yard/industry for delivered cars, and cars to be picked up, or moved.

             I guess having experienced about a half dozen variations of "Railroad Paperwork" ideas, for operating model railroads; the most important fear to avoid; is again...don't turn FUN into a major paperwork/computer quagmire....KISS...

           If anyone wants to visit (When we again start operations), please come out and join us as we VERY successfully enjoy operating, on the IPP&W/RP&M Railroads.   You might just enjoy a rather simple operation, with a great many cars.

           Fred Mills

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