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Local Switching Operations

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Local Switching Operations

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  1. Local Switching Operations Steve Prevette PNR Vice President Burnt Hills and Big Flats RR http://users.owt.com/prevette Prevette@owt.com

  2. Scope • How to do switching on a model railroad • Common configurations of sidings • Considerations for track planning • Considerations for planning operating sessions

  3. The Challenge • Operations should be FUN! • Too simple can be boring • Too complex can be a headache • Need to consider what is right for you, and for your operators • Realism (following prototype practices) can add to the fun

  4. Why do we set out cars? • Passenger trains can load and unload without setting out or picking up cars. • Cases of freight cars loading and unloading on the main are rare in the prototype. • Toy trains have accessories for loading and unloading cattle, pipes, logs, milk cans while in the train.

  5. Loading and Unloading • Fortunately for model railroads (and unfortunately for the prototype), loading and unloading of most cars takes time. • We can then have “fun” shifting and switching cars around, a cost the prototype would just as soon do without.

  6. A simple siding Siding Mainline Turnout

  7. A simple siding

  8. Switching a simple siding“Trailing Point” The yellow boxcar is to be delivered to the siding for unloading Siding Mainline Turnout

  9. Switching a simple siding Pull engine and car to be delivered ahead of turnout Siding Mainline Leave rest of train on mainline Turnout

  10. Switching a simple siding Set the turnout for the siding, and back car into siding Mainline Turnout

  11. Switching a simple siding Uncouple car, pull engine forward and set turnout back for the main Mainline Turnout

  12. Switching a simple siding Couple up to the rest of the train, and proceed to next assignment. Mainline Turnout

  13. Switching a simple siding Mainline Turnout

  14. What happens if the train is going the other direction? The yellow boxcar is to be delivered to the siding for unloading Siding ? Mainline Turnout This is “Facing Point”

  15. Options • Double end the siding • Add a run around track • Only switch this siding when the train is going the proper direction (left to right) • Push the car ahead of the locomotive from a previous location

  16. A double ended siding Siding Mainline Turnout Turnout

  17. Double ended siding • Can be switched from either direction • May be too easy • Can’t be used for other purposes (such as holding a train for a meet) without moving spotted cars • Takes twice as many turnouts, more length, siding must roughly parallel main

  18. Adding a runaround • The runaround can serve multiple sidings • The runaround may also be used as a passing siding if there are no industries on it • If the main must be used as part of the runaround, switching time may be impacted due to need to get clearance from dispatcher.

  19. With a runaround The yellow boxcar is to be delivered to the siding for unloading Siding Mainline Runaround

  20. With a runaround Pull train into runaround Siding Mainline Runaround

  21. With a runaround Uncouple from train, move engine forward onto main Siding Mainline Runaround

  22. With a runaround Back engine around train on main Siding Mainline Runaround

  23. With a runaround Back engine around train on main Siding Mainline Runaround

  24. With a runaround Move forward and couple onto back of train Siding Mainline Runaround

  25. With a runaround Pull train with car to be delivered back onto the main Siding Mainline Runaround

  26. With a runaround Push train towards siding Siding Mainline Runaround

  27. With a runaround Push cars onto siding, and uncouple car to be delivered Siding Mainline Runaround

  28. With a runaround Pull train with car to be delivered back onto the main Siding Mainline Runaround

  29. With a runaround Push remainder of train back onto runaround and uncouple Siding Mainline Runaround

  30. With a runaround Engine runs around remainder of train Siding Mainline Runaround

  31. With a runaround Engine runs around remainder of train Siding Mainline Runaround

  32. With a runaround Engine runs around remainder of train Siding Mainline Runaround

  33. With a runaround Engine couples to remainder of train, and departs Siding Mainline Runaround

  34. With a runaround Engine couples to remainder of train, and departs Siding Mainline Runaround

  35. More than one car per siding • Multiple industries per siding? • May make the industry too small (the building is smaller than the boxcar it is loading) • Does add challenge for switching • One big industry per siding? • May look more realistic, especially if against a backdrop • May have multiple “spots”

  36. More than one car per siding Multiple spots for loading cars

  37. Operations Thoughts • Through trains are the money makers for the railroad and have priority (I’ve seen that backwards on some op sessions) • The local can get stuck for a long time as a parade of mainline trains go through town • It is no fun for the local crew to sit around endlessly waiting for a switching opportunity, only to clear up again five minutes later

  38. Helping out the Local Crew • Add a separate runaround from the passing siding • Add a “lap siding” • Have one or both “tails” of the runaround off of the main

  39. Runaround separate from Passing Siding Run around Main Passing Siding

  40. Lap Siding A short runaround within a long passing siding shortens switching times and adds flexibility Mainline Runaround

  41. Lap Siding Two long trains may also meet Mainline Runaround

  42. Lap Siding Note – a long passing siding with a crossover is also a lap siding Mainline Runaround

  43. The Switchback The length of this tail must be at least one engine plus one car long clear from the turnout Siding Siding Mainline

  44. The Switchback These cars are to remain here when done Siding #2 Mainline The Yellow Car is to be delivered to Siding #2

  45. The Switchback First, these cars must be moved out of the way Siding #2 Mainline

  46. The Switchback Siding #2 Mainline

  47. The Switchback Siding #2 Mainline

  48. The Switchback Siding #2 Mainline Shove the two gray cars forward and leave on mainline

  49. The Switchback Siding #2 Mainline Shove the two gray cars forward and leave on mainline

  50. The Switchback Siding #2 Mainline Backup, uncouple rest of train