Sunday, October 21, 2012

Easy Operation on the CP Rail M & M Subdivision

Long time readers of this blog know that I am not a big fan of operations. I am not very much interested in car cards, switching and paperwork. That doesn't mean I don't operate, though.

Sure, there are times when I just like to see the trains go round and round. But other times I operate them according to a plan. In my case, it's a simple plan--but it's still a plan.

As the photo above shows, I use a simple dispatching board to direct and illustrate movements on the layout. (To see how I made it, using fridge magnets for the tracks and train symbols, click here.) Tracks on the left represent the six-track Winnipeg staging yard; tracks on the right are the six-track Thunder Bay/Duluth staging yard. The lines in between are the tracks on the layout.

It's like a game, really; the object of the game is to move the red tags to where the blue tags are, and vice versa--to run the trains from staging yard to staging yard, in other words. When done, flip the tags around and repeat.

The tags have train numbers on them, as in the photo below. Even numbers go east; odd numbers go west.

In the town of Fort Frances, trains drop off and pick up cars. I am none too fussy about how many are dropped off or picked up; operators (usually me) can do whatever they like. This produces variety in the trains.

In practice, what this means is that when I operate, it can take days, weeks or even longer to run a session--to move this tags from one end to the other.

Simple, really--and that's OK with me.

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