Operating sessions

Discussion in 'HO Scale Model Trains' started by lester perry, Dec 17, 2005.

  1. lester perry

    lester perry Guest

    :confused: If I wanted to start operating sessions how do I do it? I know of many local model railroaders who would probably like to take part but how do I get it started? I mean I can keep 4 people besides myself buisy but it would take some training of how my layout operates. Do I get them one at a time to learn the layout or everyone at once? It is pretty simple to operate but still there is a learning curve.
    Les
  2. CalFlash

    CalFlash Member

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    I'd say get at least a couple you can expect to be regulars and train them. That way they can assist with the occasional visitor/operators. WARNING: this is not from experience as my own layout is far from done or ready to operate!
  3. brakie

    brakie Active Member

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    The way I seen it done and the way we did it at the club is simple and straight forward.Take the new operator and make a walk around tour of the layout pointing out signals,passing sidings and industries then let him/her run a train with a experience engineer as pilot guiding the trainee engineer across the layout..Then we would explain our waybill system and let them be a conductor/brakeman on the next turn(local) out of one of the yards.You can do this with small groups as well except everybody takes turns.
  4. lester perry

    lester perry Guest

    So I guess this would be one at a time over a period of time until several know the system.
  5. brakie

    brakie Active Member

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    With a group of 4 like you say you can use you should be able to train them in one nights time.
    Best to start with a simple ops plan then move to a advanced plan..
  6. lester perry

    lester perry Guest

    I guess I need to get the word out then don't I
  7. 60103

    60103 Pooh Bah

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    Lester: the hard part is getting them over. Take them any way they come -- if the layout is complex you might want to have some written materiel or a diagram.
    I've seldom been in a group of more than 4 until lately.
    A couple at a time on a train is good; one engineer, one brakeman/switchman.
  8. lester perry

    lester perry Guest

    A couple at a time on a train is good; one engineer, one brakeman

    I was talking about one person per train or yard with myself dispatching. i can have as many as 4 trains running at a time but would preffer 3 much simpler. An eastbound & westbound on the main lines with a short line running. The forth person switching in a 15 track yard with round house and car shop. I also have a district track that services several mines a timber operation and an exchange track with PRR. But I would let that stay idle for now. Floor space would become a problem with more people.
  9. CalFlash

    CalFlash Member

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    To add to the "fun" (and some realism) try to run at least 1 less train than operators. Have a chalkboard or other means for a "mark in" list - you put your name on the bottom line after completing a run and cross them out as assigned.
  10. 60103

    60103 Pooh Bah

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    lester: I was suggesting that for a training session. Once they're familiar with the layout, they can split up.

    (This is my 2500th post!) :thumb:
  11. MasonJar

    MasonJar It's not rocket surgery

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    I would agree with David (60103) on this. Having two on each train makes for more fun, and for more "prototypical" operation. The group I operate with on occasion almost always runs two per train, in part for the social aspect... Also helps with regulars showing the ropes to guests, etc, etc.

    If you are lucky enough to have a "crew lounge" area, set up a video or two, some snacks, etc for the crew that is not in the train room.

    Andrew
  12. Greg Elems

    Greg Elems Member

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    A friend of mine has an operating night on his layout. He told me it takes two days of prep off and on to get it set up. He uses the thumbtack method for car movement on the layout. To him it's easier than car cards. Anyway we usually work as one man crews, enough areas to switch along with a yard that some times we don't have enough. He uses DCC, Digitraxx for his control system and it really helps out. Start slow and work up. As everyone gets comfortable throw in the monkey wrench, like a simulated hot box. Most of all, HAVE FUN......
    Greg
  13. lester perry

    lester perry Guest

    Car movement will not be a problem. Training will be. I am thinking if I get 2 guys out for a few hours one evening they could learn the operatoins of my layout. It is not that difficult. Then go from there. Now to find some guys who can make it at the same time.