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  • Topic: Operating Session Etiqutte......

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    • November 5, 2008 7:02 PM EST
      • Who Ya Gonna Call?, Ft Gay, WV
         
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      I'm considering writing a treatise, a rule book as it were for the dos and don;ts while at a Large Scale Operating session. I understand that we have the gamut of all levels of expertise with such things, and would like ideas for what I might include......What do the novice operators need/want before they show up? And what would railroad owners want new operators to know before they show up? Totally open to suggestions/opinions......
    • November 5, 2008 7:19 PM EST
      • Coldstream, British Columbia, Canada
         
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      Bart,

      What I find the easiest is a booklet with the operating rules and a schematic of the layout with the different shipping and receiving locations. Small enough format to tuck into your shirt pocket.
      ____________________________________

      Cheers

      HJ
      ---

      Coldstream, BC  Canada


      Inspire­d by the r­eal world

       

      English language hobby website 

      highly RhB centric, but most of it can be applied to other railway projects

    • November 5, 2008 7:20 PM EST
      • Burke, Virginia
         
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      First of all; keep it simple! We don't need all of the rules in a real rule book.

      It should be pretty straight forward. Things like:

      - Line up the switches. Dave Goodson had white painted on one side of his ground throws to indicate which way they should be when you leave the area. If you have visible markers, you might want them all aligned to the main route through a switch.

      - If you have to move cars to drop off or pick up another car, you need to put those cars back where they were when you started.

      - Deliveries should be spotted at the industry. This means that you might have to move any cars that are currently on the siding so that your delivery is in the right place. Put those cars back!

      - Don't push the rest of the train with the caboose.


      I had some other pet peeves, but I can't remember them off-hand. ;)
      ____________________________________

      Bruce

      http://jbrr.com/

       

    • November 5, 2008 7:51 PM EST
      • Candlewood Valley, Connecticut
         
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      Don't leave beer bottles (empty or full) on the main ?
      ____________________________________

      www.cvsry.com www.cvsry.com

    • November 5, 2008 7:52 PM EST
      • Burke, Virginia
         
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      Full, unopened bottles are actively encouraged. Well, as long as they're cold.
      ____________________________________

      Bruce

      http://jbrr.com/

       

    • November 6, 2008 3:26 AM EST
      • West Grove, Pennsylvania
         
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      If your not sure, ask!

      Keep in contact with the dispatcher............(this is one of my faults as I have a small RR and have a tendency to get impatient waiting for clearance.) ..........;)

      Something I like to do is wander around the layout and become somewhat familiar with it.

      And like Bruce mentioned, make sure the switches are aligned to the main route when you leave an area. I think this is one of the main issues I have with new operators. It's easy to forget to do that if your new.
      ____________________________________

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

    • November 6, 2008 6:33 AM EST
      • Southern Illinois
         
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      I have approached this subject through the entire history of our Operating Sessions. Though we have complicated trains that can be run, newbies to the line should be given a simple trains like a railbus to get their feet wet.

      And when mistakes are made, they are always the fault of the railroads management. lf you don't have it explained correctly, don't expect perfect results. It is my thoughts, we do this for fun.
    • November 6, 2008 8:44 AM EST
      • Bartlesville, Oklahoma USA
         
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      Quote:
      And when mistakes are made, they are always the fault of the railroads management.
      Or that brat from Chicago ;)
      ____________________________________

      In that awkward stage between preschool and death. 

    • November 6, 2008 8:53 AM EST
      • Burke, Virginia
         
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      Ric Golding said:
      I have approached this subject through the entire history of our Operating Sessions. Though we have complicated trains that can be run, newbies to the line should be given a simple trains like a railbus to get their feet wet. And when mistakes are made, they are always the fault of the railroads management. lf you don't have it explained correctly, don't expect perfect results. It is my thoughts, we do this for fun.

      ____________________________________

      Bruce

      http://jbrr.com/

       

    • November 6, 2008 10:00 AM EST

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      My two cents worth.

      Not only am I a newbie but I have yet to even do any operations. A small sections on how would be nice.
      Things like were do I start? Something tells me I don't just throu a loco on the tracks and grab what ever cars I think look nice. Who are the key people? Dispatch, yard boss ect. Chain of comand.

      I know some of this may sound dumb but its these kind of things I like to know when starting something new.

      one more thing. If a new person mucks it up realy bad who do we blame? :) Right now I think its Andy
    • November 6, 2008 11:39 AM EST
      • Southern Illinois
         
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      The St. Louis Chapter of the NMRA has put together a very good "how to" on their site. There a books by Bruce Chubb and Tony Koester on the subject and I think there is even a new DVD coming out to talk about it and show examples.

      Check this as a place to start reading

      http://www.gatewaynmra.org/library.htm

      A simple way to start is to exchange like cars for like cars, meaning a box car for a box car at a siding. I do this at train shows, assemble my train take a spin around the layout and do it again after swapping cars at industries with cars in the small yard at the end of the layout.
    • November 6, 2008 1:45 PM EST

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      One pet peeve...some of you may know this individual, a nice fellow otherwise, but.....

      The middle of an operating session is not the place for "show & tell" or for a sales pitch to sell something. While I believe in informal and laid back ops some attention to what's going on is essential to keep things going for the enjoyment of all.

      John Allen had a couple of tricks to keep people focused. One was an exploding boxcar with "Danger Explosives" written on it in Spanish. If coupled to a bit hard it went off with a bang sending sides and ends flying. Another was a timer attached to the cab (controller) located beneath the benchwork where John could reach it. When instructed to stop for water the operator had to pull to the water spout and wait for a bit. Upon doing this John would reach beneath the benchwork and reset the timer to allow the train to proceed. If the water stop was ignored the timer would be allowed to run out and the engineer would find himself in the embarrassing position of having his train stop and tie up the whole mainline.

      The time for sales pitches is before or after the operating session not during it unless maybe during a roundy round running where switching or train clearances aren't a factor or an informal "run" with just a couple of people to do a little running and gab.

      Aside from the above proper alignment of switches is one of the most important. I think I'll mark the switch throws to show proper positioning. That'll make it easy for a first time operator especially.

      I don't believe in too many rules. The object after all is to have fun. Of course the bigger the ops session the more crucial it is to have rules.
    • November 6, 2008 2:06 PM EST
      • Who Ya Gonna Call?, Ft Gay, WV
         
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      Ya know one that always makes me cringe.......especially when someone allows their "less than graceful" toddlers do it is to step over a moving train......or stepping over a train period..........
    • November 6, 2008 2:12 PM EST
      • Candlewood Valley, Connecticut
         
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      Bart Salmons said:
      Ya know one that always makes me cringe.......especially when someone allows their "less than graceful" toddlers do it is to step over a moving train......or stepping over a train period..........
      You don't have to be a toddler for this to be a disaster. Soon after I had my walkway crossing built, I left a passenger train stopped in the crossing. I came back a few minutes later, thought I was stepping over the train and kicked a Bachman coach halfway across the front yard :o That was the day Never step over a train, moving or stopped. went into my rulebook.
      ____________________________________

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    • November 6, 2008 2:55 PM EST
      • Deer Park, Washington
         
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      Jon Radder said:
      Bart Salmons said:
      Ya know one that always makes me cringe.......especially when someone allows their "less than graceful" toddlers do it is to step over a moving train......or stepping over a train period..........
      You don't have to be a toddler for this to be a disaster. Soon after I had my walkway crossing built, I left a passenger train stopped in the crossing. I came back a few minutes later, thought I was stepping over the train and kicked a Bachman coach halfway across the front yard :o That was the day Never step over a train, moving or stopped. went into my rulebook.
      Yup. Had that happen to me. I managed to kick the top of my SD-45, dislodging one of the cooling fans for the dynamic brakes. It took me over an hour to find the fan blade. :O Now, I never step over a train. I have people bridges to place in strategic spots so folks will know where to cross the track, too.
      ____________________________________

      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.

    • November 6, 2008 4:49 PM EST
      • Southern Illinois
         
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      Richard -

      You said - "Aside from the above proper alignment of switches is one of the most important. I think I'll mark the switch throws to show proper positioning. That'll make it easy for a first time operator especially."

      I have Tenmille turnout controls on the mainline marked with green reflective tape on the side of the paddle that aligns for the mainline and red relective tape on the other side. Currently there is nothing on turnouts not on the main. However, I have thought of putting white reflective tape on both sides.

      Because we have people of all experiences coming and going all weekend, we have a little problem passing all the info or rules. I can write up lots instructions, but that seems so cruel to put requirements of reading on participants.

      Jon,

      You said - "Soon after I had my walkway crossing built, I left a passenger train stopped in the crossing. I came back a few minutes later, thought I was stepping over the train and kicked a Bachman coach halfway across the front yard"

      Its up and straight. But is it long enough?. He scores!!!!! What a kick, the crowd goes wild. The little guy on the field wins the game, again.
    • November 6, 2008 7:04 PM EST
      • Candlewood Valley, Connecticut
         
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      Ric Golding said:
      Jon, You said - "Soon after I had my walkway crossing built, I left a passenger train stopped in the crossing. I came back a few minutes later, thought I was stepping over the train and kicked a Bachman coach halfway across the front yard" Its up and straight. But is it long enough?. He scores!!!!! What a kick, the crowd goes wild. The little guy on the field wins the game, again.
      The passengers were quite shaken up. In fact, you could even say they came unglued :D
      ____________________________________

      www.cvsry.com www.cvsry.com

    • November 7, 2008 6:06 AM EST
      • Southern Illinois
         
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      ;-)
    • November 7, 2008 6:10 AM EST
      • Nashville, IL
         
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      Geoff George said:
      one more thing. If a new person mucks it up realy bad who do we blame? :) Right now I think its Andy
      Geoff, It's always my fault... I even get blamed for the accorns falling outta the trees.... Not to mention the leaves............
    • November 7, 2008 6:20 AM EST
      • Southern Illinois
         
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      Boy are there a mess of leaves to clean up before tomorrow afternoon and no time. Should prove interesting, Consolidated dissapeared.

      As far as Operations Etiquette - the layout owner should have the railroad ready for the ops session. Oh well.
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