I have been working on my quarry layout (see http://www.the-gauge.com/forums/showthread.php?s=&threadid=4673)and came up against something that I have never heard or read of before. In the articles in MR I read about the operations of some of the most gorgeous layouts you can imagine, picking up a load of ore cars here and delivering a load of logs there and so forth. My question is where do the loaded cars come from and do they get unloaded at their destination. Does anyone have a setup where empty cars get loaded and loaded cars get unloaded. I can see a box car pulling up to a freight station and then pulling out again, presumably with a fresh load. Or a passenger train stopping at a station for passengers to get on or off, but what about gondolas and other open cars? I was working out how to handle the cars in my quarry when I realized that I had no real way to load them. Are all of the mine, logging and other similar industries I see in the layouts nothing more than a diorama or is there some way to actually run an operation like that? If they don't actually work then why worry about clearances, switches and other details that are important to the running of the actual railroad as long as they appear to work? I understand that there are limitations to running prototypical layouts and if I am stepping on anyone's toes I appologize, but how does everyone else handle this?