Full-on Test Operating Session Experiment

Discussion in 'Model Rail Operations' started by Gary S., Apr 7, 2007.

  1. Gary S.

    Gary S. Senior Member

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    I tried out my operating plan tonight, and it worked well. Plus I had a lot of fun. I'm really looking forward to all the stuff I have to do, building the industries, car cards and waybills, scenery, ballasting the track, and really getting this railroad to working. Oh, and I still need to name everything, the yards, the industries, etc.

    I started with 10 cars in the east interchange and another 10 in the west interchange, plus another 20 cars at the various industries. 10 of these were headed to the east interchange, 10 headed west. Don't have my car cards and waybills done yet, so I made a switch list for the cars in each interchange.

    Left out of the east interchange, set out the cars to be spotted and picked up the cars headed toward the west interchange, both trailing point spurs and facing point spurs which required a run-around move. It required some thought as I was only picking up the cars headed west. I had to move some cars around, shuffle the a bit, to be able to spot the set-outs.

    Headed to the west interchange and dropped off the outbound cars, picked up the 10 cars there which were headed for the industries.

    On the way back east, I set out the cars headed for the industries, again with both trailing point and facing point spurs. Picked up the cars headed east, then went to the east interchange and sorted the cars there.

    In all, it took about 2 hours to handle the 40 cars. Had very few derailments or other problems. The uncoupling magnets work very well. And I only derailed cars or the loco a couple of times by running from frog to point with the switch in the wrong direction.

    Here's a pic of the train coming out of the west interchange yard:

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  2. Gary S.

    Gary S. Senior Member

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    Switching the spur that will eventually be a scrap yard:

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  3. Gary S.

    Gary S. Senior Member

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    Doing a run-around move to switch the facing point spurs

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  4. Gary S.

    Gary S. Senior Member

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    Switching the flux silo and the grain elevator

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  5. Gary S.

    Gary S. Senior Member

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    Heading into the east end interchange yard

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  6. Gary S.

    Gary S. Senior Member

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    Bringing the geep out of the engine escape, and sorting cars into the interchange tracks

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  7. MilesWestern

    MilesWestern Active Member

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    That's GREAT Gary! I just finished my Mainline today! bounce7 Can't wait to see how it progresses! :thumb:
  8. ocalicreek

    ocalicreek Member

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    Flux...as in Gern (a la DoctorWayne)? If it's Gern it's gotta be good!

    BTW, looks like you're set for many years of operating and modeling fun! If I'm ever in Texas, mind if I drop by?
  9. Gary S.

    Gary S. Senior Member

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    I was so impressed with DocWayne's Gern Industries that I pmed him awhile back. Apparently a huge underground deposit of flux was found in Texas, and Doc Wayne decided that a new facility was in order to take advantage of the discovery.
  10. Gary S.

    Gary S. Senior Member

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    Oh... and if you are ever down this way, I'd love to have you stop by and run some trains with me.

    The operating session was like a chess game. Trying to think several moves ahead, where do I put this car that needs to be left here but is in the way of the car I need to set out, which car should I set out first, should I pull those cars before dropping these others off over there? Should I have this car at the front or the back of the train? And the whole time I am wondering if I am doing the moves in the most expedient manner, or what should I have done differently.
  11. Nomad

    Nomad Active Member

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    Way to go Gary:thumb: :thumb: :thumb: :thumb:. Looking good. Great pictures and great description.

    Loren
  12. doctorwayne

    doctorwayne Active Member

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    Lookin' good, Gary! :thumb: :thumb:

    Wayne
  13. Ralph

    Ralph Remember...it's for fun!

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    That's excellent Gary! The fun begins!!!!!
    Ralph
  14. cnw1961

    cnw1961 Member

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    Gary, great to see that it works out for you! Interesting pics and a great tour of your layout. thanks for sharing.
  15. Nazgul

    Nazgul Active Member

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    Gary,
    I agree with everyone else....you are set for years or operational enjoyment! I can't imagine not having a blast every time you go to the train room........That's the mark of a great layout!
    Enjoy:thumb:
  16. TN_Trainman

    TN_Trainman Member

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    Way to go Gary, congrats.........hopefully by June I can post pics of the TN&Western for you to enjoy as well as I did yours!!!!!
  17. Gary S.

    Gary S. Senior Member

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    Loren, and everyone else building an operations layout:

    One lesson I am discovering about the permanent uncoupling magnets.... If you are going to place a magnet in each spur, you need to think carefully about the exact placement. On my spur to the Gern Silo (picture above where the cars actually go under the silos), I have a problem. If I have 3 covered hoppers under the silos and need to pick them up, when I back into the spur with other cars behind the engine, right when I couple to the hoppers, it puts the couplers of 2 of the cars behind the engine right over the magnet, which uncouples them.

    The magnet should have been in a different place. I could rip out that spur and move the magnet, but another option is to lengthen the spur... this would require me to cut out the wall of the elevator building behind the silos so a car could go under it, which may actually be a cool idea. This would allow me to push the covered hoppers a bit further from the magnet when I set them out, so they could also be picked up without uncoupling other cars.

    I've got another spur where if I set out a car right on the end of the spur like I had planned, 2 of the other cars in the train again end up right over the magnet. I'll probably lengthen this spur a bit to ease the set-outs and pick-ups.

    So, when you are designing your spurs and uncoupling magnet locations, give it some thought. You want one of the "handle cars" to be stopped where it is either centered over the magnet when you stop, or possibly the car can be a little off center of the magnet, offset so the magnet is a bit to the end of the car which is toward the end of the spur. This will give you a little maneuvering room to set out the cars to be spotted, and to pick them up with no troubles.

    If all your cars are about the same length, it is pretty easy to figure this out. With cars of widely different lengths, it may be problematic.

    Now of course, this leads to an entire discussion of how many and where do you place the magnets. I choose to put a permanent magnet at the start of every spur, and electromagnets at various strategic locations on the "main".
  18. Gary S.

    Gary S. Senior Member

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    Looking forward to that. Right now I seem to be in a "low-enthusiasm" spot as far as construction is concerned. I did start on one of the industris, got some walls glued together, but that is it. I still have a ton of work to do to get this thing where I want it.

    And, I still have about 20 more feet of shelves past the bridge to design.