Railroad Line Forums - Operations on the B&M Eastern Route
Railroad Line Forums
Username:
Password:
Save Password


Register
Forgot Password?
  Home   Forums   Events Calendar   Sponsors   Support the RRLine   Guestbook   FAQ     Register
Active Topics | Active Polls | Resources | Members | Online Users | Live Chat | Avatar Legend | Search | Statistics
Photo Album | File Lister | File Library
[ Active Members: 5 | Anonymous Members: 0 | Guests: 164 ]  [ Total: 169 ]  [ Newest Member: jfields ]
 All Forums
 Model Railroad Forums
 Layout Design / Operation Sig Forum
 Operations on the B&M Eastern Route
Next Page
 New Topic |   New Poll New Poll |   Reply to Topic | 
Author Previous Topic: Beginning With SwitchWithIT Topic Next Topic: SwitchWithIt (New Install)
Page: of 8

jbvb
Fireman

Premium Member


Posted - 10/27/2013 :  11:17:30 AM  Show Profile  Visit jbvb's Homepage  Reply with Quote
For a year or so, I've been thinking seriously about operations on my B&M Eastern Route layout. I'm modeling a mostly double-track line that mixed heavy industry with a fairly high-density passenger service. The layout was planned and built with operations in mind; I know what kind of plant the B&M had in place to handle the traffic and I've modeled as much as I can.

The track and control systems are ready and I have enough equipment for a somewhat anachronistic weekday schedule (just don't get concerned at McGinnis-paint RDCs operating alongside steam). I'm now at the point of experimenting with timetables and freight movements, trying to put together an operating plan which will be functional and fun when I invite guests over.

My first question is about fast clocks. My MRC Prodigy Advance DCC system's has a settable ratio, but I have not found an OEM or 3rd party clock display that works with it. Also, my Wireless hand-held appears to have a bug - the time is always 00:00. If MRC says anything useful about that, I'll report it here.

I know some of you are using JMRI's clock, others the built-in clocks in NCE or Digitrax. Is there a modestly-priced, easy-to-set product that would let me put two synchronized displays up on the wall, one for either end of the room?

Country: USA | Posts: 5933

nhguy
Fireman



Posted - 10/28/2013 :  3:14:52 PM  Show Profile  Visit nhguy's Homepage  Send nhguy a Yahoo! Message  Reply with Quote
James,

As far as I know there are no external clocks available except for the NCE system but are quite a bit on the expensive side to me. There are several external fast clock systems available. I use the GML Enterprises fast clock system. http://www.thegmlenterprises.com/id19.html It is a good reliable system. I have the clock controller and 6 clocks of the 8 inch clock faces type. In the long run it was more cost effective for me to purchase this entire system than buy the expensive clock faces(that I could not get to work on another fellow's railroad) for the NCE's built in clock system which is what I use. What I needed for the NCE system to do the same thing was more than 3 to 1 in costs for the clock faces. Several of us have use this same GML system in our operations. I would look around for a suitable fast clock system and evaluate what you need. I am not aware of other clocks available for JMRI, MRC or Digitrax as I don't use any of these systems and had stopped looking after I purchased the GML system. That is not to say that they are not available.


Bill Shanaman
New Haven RR
Hartford Division
in Colorado.

Country: USA | Posts: 4763 Go to Top of Page

jbvb
Fireman

Premium Member


Posted - 10/28/2013 :  4:07:28 PM  Show Profile  Visit jbvb's Homepage  Reply with Quote
Thank you, Bill; GML is still the price of a nice loco, but it will handle my plans to have one or two non-throttle operating positions: Bexley Towerman and Draw Operator, plus the ability to run one or two trains on DC.

MRC got back to me just before lunch - I should send both the Prodigy base station and the wireless back, with a check for $50 and they will upgrade. Not awful for equipment that is 4 & 8 years old, respectively. There is a week in December when I won't care if I can't run DCC, so that's when I'll do it.



Country: USA | Posts: 5933 Go to Top of Page

dave1905
Fireman



Posted - 10/28/2013 :  5:22:06 PM  Show Profile  Visit dave1905's Homepage  Reply with Quote
There is a company that sells wifi connected fast clocks. Joe Atkinson tested one on his IAIS layout. Wee bit pricey. I'll see if I can figure out which company it is.

Dave Husman

Iron Men and wooden cars
Visit my website : www.wnbranch.com

Country: USA | Posts: 1145 Go to Top of Page

dave1905
Fireman



Posted - 10/28/2013 :  5:31:20 PM  Show Profile  Visit dave1905's Homepage  Reply with Quote
Here it is:

http://www.iascaled.com/store/MRBus


Dave Husman

Iron Men and wooden cars
Visit my website : www.wnbranch.com

Country: USA | Posts: 1145 Go to Top of Page

jbvb
Fireman

Premium Member


Posted - 11/11/2013 :  10:50:37 PM  Show Profile  Visit jbvb's Homepage  Reply with Quote
Thanks for the pointers, Bill & Dave. The look of GML's clock faces is more era appropriate, but I'm thinking I will put off buying one till I get some friends over for a test run. But that's getting closer.

I've been working on an Employee Timetable. I'm aiming at timetable/train order operation, but in multiple track territory with interlockings and a few miles of CTC, I'll be using a different subset of the rules, and not writing a great many train orders, when I get to that point. First, I just want to try a non-clocked run to see how things work out.



I did a spreadsheet, but without formulas for train timings. This gives the lineup for the operator at Draw (staging for both ends of the line).



Country: USA | Posts: 5933 Go to Top of Page

Orionvp17
Fireman

Premium Member

Posted - 11/11/2013 :  10:59:15 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
James,

I just took a good look at the schedule. If my math is correct, that's 29 trains a day. You have a busy little stretch of railroad there!

Keep us posted, and keep that Draw working!

Pete
in Michigan



Country: USA | Posts: 6723 Go to Top of Page

jbvb
Fireman

Premium Member


Posted - 11/12/2013 :  06:19:32 AM  Show Profile  Visit jbvb's Homepage  Reply with Quote
I should have mentioned: my staging and equipment pool is too small to just run right through noon or midnight - I will have to turn most of the consists. My plan is to run a morning as one session, then the corresponding afternoon as the next.

But it was a busy RR: In 1947, 9 inbound and 3 outbound passenger trains passed West Lynn between 7 and 8 AM on a weekday. Today, only 3/3. I'm starting out with a 'Saturday' schedule to get yard and way-freight activity with a modest passenger schedule - most freight and yard jobs were 6 days a week. If my crew likes that, we can move up to midweek, and then do a Monday (inbound freights heavy). I haven't worked out Sunday yet, but this was the era of the Blue Laws so things will be quiet.



Country: USA | Posts: 5933 Go to Top of Page

jbvb
Fireman

Premium Member


Posted - 11/24/2013 :  10:33:57 PM  Show Profile  Visit jbvb's Homepage  Reply with Quote
I did some test runs at a 6:1 clock ratio and adjusted all my running times. At this rate, a passenger run takes between 25 and 40 minutes, depending on station stops, which feels about right. The two through freights can do their work in the allowed time as well. Now I have to see how local freights do.

Meanwhile, I've finished the weekday timetable & crew assignments for both weekdays and Saturdays. Weekdays take 6 throttles, Saturdays 5. I have to work out whether I have enough locos of plausible types to run either yet.



Finally, I started setting up for card order freight. This is two of MicroMark's sorting cases for Bexley's 5-track yard.



And this is "vinyl undersill" from the big box DIY store 'vinyl siding' section for a single industry with four spots. I looked for the smaller strip that Vagel mentioned as being in the 'bath' section, but couldn't find it.

Note that I'm also labeling things for visitors. In the 1950s, low-volume signs were still mostly painted, either by hand or using a stencil. R.W. Jones wrote about the B&M sign painter who handled the destination signs at North Station, so I've been practicing with a small flat brush and Titanium White artist's acrylic. I wouldn't qualify as a journeyman, but I'm improving. I'll probably try replacing the red Sharpie on the F-channel with black paint at some point, though I expect lettering on an uneven surface will be much tougher.



Country: USA | Posts: 5933 Go to Top of Page

jbvb
Fireman

Premium Member


Posted - 12/05/2013 :  10:14:43 AM  Show Profile  Visit jbvb's Homepage  Reply with Quote
Over the last few days, I've put up more vinyl undersill, but I still have 8 or 9 industries that need it. I also started filling out car card/envelopes from the MicroMark "starter" card operations set I got for Christmas several years ago. So far, I've done ~30 of the ~70 cars on the layout. I had estimated I'd need ~75 cars for freight operations on the completed portions, but that may be a bit under. I have ~20 more Green Dot cars in the storage boxes I take to Hub Modular setups, so I should be OK with the 100 cards provided in the set.

Doing the waybills is going to take more thought.



Country: USA | Posts: 5933 Go to Top of Page

jbvb
Fireman

Premium Member


Posted - 12/06/2013 :  5:33:52 PM  Show Profile  Visit jbvb's Homepage  Reply with Quote
An off-line comment made me realize that I haven't explained some basics here, so:

The layout is an oval with four passenger stations and two sets of yard limits. See this page in my build thread for my current plan (much nicer than that on page 10, with most text readable):

http://www.railroad-line.com/forum/topic.asp?TOPIC_ID=20091&whichpage=26

The staging yard at the top is Draw. Then, clockwise the River Works (GE plant) flag stop, West Lynn yard, Bexley (major town, with aspects of Salem, MA), Bexley Engine Terminal & Yard, Rowley (modules), Newburyport West (minor junction), Newburyport and back to staging. The main staging tracks are mostly commuter-train sized, so I made two longer ones that rejoin the main between West Lynn and Bexley - this is the prototype junction of the Saugus Branch. Because it's my railroad, the New Haven built a tunnel under Boston Harbor and for reasons lost in time, connected it to the Saugus Branch rather than the Eastern Route main. So I will be operating run-throughs with the NH as well as B&M trains to/from Boston.

The operating scheme is that passenger consists leave Draw, run around the oval and terminate back at Draw. Of necessity, local/commuter passenger consists will be seen more than once in a 12-scale-hour operating session. As with the prototype, there are only a few long-haul trains, so they only appear once. Consists must be turned & rearranged between the morning and afternoon sessions of a single day.

Freight arrives on the RR via 1) a BM/NH Providence - Portland run through named the Casco (opposite side of the job is the Narraganset) and 2) one hauler from East Somerville per shift that turns at Bexley. As with the prototype, most of the freight originates or terminates on-layout. Pickup and delivery are handled by the Lynn Goat, Bexley Switcher and Portsmouth local (east in the morning, west in the afternoon).

I'm presently thinking hard about whether I can do card-order freight the way some manage it: A waybill describes a closed cycle, and stays with the car till the Freight Agent decides to rearrange things. The alternative, where waybills describe an originating or terminating load, and cars frequently move empty, appears to be more work. But the extra realism may be worth it to me.



Edited by - jbvb on 12/06/2013 8:06:22 PM

Country: USA | Posts: 5933 Go to Top of Page

nhguy
Fireman



Posted - 12/10/2013 :  1:46:52 PM  Show Profile  Visit nhguy's Homepage  Send nhguy a Yahoo! Message  Reply with Quote
James,

I like the progress. There are a few suggestions that I would offer from an operations stand point from experience. As you are going to run the morning and afternoon sessions as two separate sessions, which is a great idea, I would recommend running the morning session a few times to see what shakes out and make the corrections. Make sure you tell your crews that there are going to be two different scenarios so they will be prepared for them in the future. You can Beta test each to see if meets and schedules can be met to your expectations. Adjust from there. Ask for comments from your crew. They are an invaluable source of information on how your scheme 'looks' and works for them. I have added and removed trains and redesigned trackage from those suggestions that make the layout run better. Once that is done then run the other session and do the same thing.

The beauty of a 4 waybill system is that it is so flexible. You don't have to use the same car for the same loads all the time. You can move empty cars as empty's without removing the waybill. The railroad 'station agents' did this to order empty cars for loading and I do the same with the waybill. I send empty cars from industries that got a load in and then 'the agent' sends that empty car from one industry to the other (next waybill move). Even if it is next door, across town or in another town. The RETURN TO YARD printed on the car card is there IF you want to use it. Doesn't mean you have to us it. I use it rarely because an empty car doesn't have to go to a yard first to get sent out empty again unless it is going off line or to another major yard or you want it to. You also don't have to use all four sides of the waybill. I have several cars that go from a specific supplier to an end user. It only goes two places. From the supplier to the industry and return. Again, you can change cars when ever you want so the same car doesn't keep showing up at the same industry unless you want it to. An example of this is a coal train. Who is really going to pay attention to the car numbers and say I have seen this car here four times already. Especially a non specific car like a black hopper. Nobody. You will know but the operators won't. They are just concerned with where the car goes. I've used the same cars in my coal train for years and my crews haven't noticed. I re-arrange them sometimes but that is about it.

Speaking of car cards, I would also suggest installing sorting shelves in towns. These provide a place to put the car cards so crews can sort them without putting them on the layout to do so. A 1x4 or 1x6 (to give you room to anchor the shelf to the benchwork) will work well. You can paint these to match your fascia color. It is going to happen. I still have to install these myself but I don't have that much scenery yet so I can get away with 'allowing' this practice. I will not allow it after the scenery is in but operators get in a habit and it is hard to break them of it. That is what the sorting shelves is for. To keep the cards off the layout and damaging scenery.

If you don't have cup holders and throttle holders I suggest you get these now and install them. I have installed lanyards on my NCE Cab 04P radio throttles so they hang around the neck for hands free operation. Tethered throttles need a place to hang so that is what the throttle holders are for or if the crew needs to take a break they can hang them there. If you are not allowing drinks in the layout area then you don't need cup holders. I do so I have these. You have to remind operators they are there once in a while when you see them plop a coffee cup or soda can on the layout. I politely tell them that there is a cup holder right on the fascia for that.

Just some food for thought for you to digest. Use them if you wish or don't. I thought I would just mention them for you to think about. Bill


Bill Shanaman
New Haven RR
Hartford Division
in Colorado.

Country: USA | Posts: 4763 Go to Top of Page

jbvb
Fireman

Premium Member


Posted - 12/11/2013 :  10:58:59 PM  Show Profile  Visit jbvb's Homepage  Reply with Quote
Thanks for the input, Bill. I'll have to think about how to do repeated morning sessions without afternoon sessions, as about a third of the cars that come on-stage in a day will do so via the Providence - Portland freight in the early morning, and the same fraction of the cars that go off-stage do so on the other side of the job in the late evening. But I can always fix that up with an evening of switching between sessions.

I haven't yet written a single waybill - the cases I'm trying to solve are smaller spurs that should be empty for a day or even most of a week between deliveries. A number of these receive car types the visible railroad can't plausibly load (reefers, coal hoppers, covered hoppers). One place I can stash cars for a day or two is in the 15-18 car 'through' block in the Providence-Portland freights I can also let empties sit in Bexley yard, as they'd move at lower priority than loads. But I need to fit those two together - empty D&H hoppers shouldn't return home via Providence in a priority train.

I haven't made shelves yet, but they're on the to-do list. I like local operator Bruce R's fold-down shelves, but one of mine is needed where the fascia is on a long 30 inch radius curve. Maybe I can make a slide-out shelf there.

I have a half-dozen throttle holders and will buy/make more as I find locations that need them. I rarely drink anything in the layout space, but operators may want to, so I will look around for the folding cup holders I've seen in photos of others' layouts.



Country: USA | Posts: 5933 Go to Top of Page

CVSNE
Crew Chief

Posted - 12/12/2013 :  07:43:13 AM  Show Profile  Visit CVSNE's Homepage  Send CVSNE a Yahoo! Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by dave1905

Here it is:

http://www.iascaled.com/store/MRBus


I use these - and yes they are a bit pricey but they do work as advertised. I went with them since the configuration of my layout and location of the dispatcher's office in relation to the layout meant I was willing to pay to avoid stringing wires between the dispatcher's desk and layout.

One possibility for getting stated with fast clocks that is very low cost - if you have a smart phone - is to download a fast clock app for the phone.

Marty


Marty McGuirk
Manassas, VA
www.centralvermontrailway.blogspot.com

Country: | Posts: 632 Go to Top of Page

nhguy
Fireman



Posted - 12/13/2013 :  12:31:55 PM  Show Profile  Visit nhguy's Homepage  Send nhguy a Yahoo! Message  Reply with Quote
Look for the cup holders in boat and RV stores. They are less expensive there and have more variety.

Bill Shanaman
New Haven RR
Hartford Division
in Colorado.

Country: USA | Posts: 4763 Go to Top of Page

jbvb
Fireman

Premium Member


Posted - 12/15/2013 :  2:05:13 PM  Show Profile  Visit jbvb's Homepage  Reply with Quote
Thanks, Marty. Bill, searching for "folding cup holder" turned them up for as little as $2.50 each from a marine supplier.

Milestone: all freight cars presently on the layout have car cards. I will start on waybills as soon as I decide the best way to get text into those teeny spaces on the MicroMark blanks. A Sharpie "fine" pen is not fine enough to be easily readable at that character size.



Edited by - jbvb on 12/15/2013 2:06:31 PM

Country: USA | Posts: 5933 Go to Top of Page
Page: of 8 Previous Topic: Beginning With SwitchWithIT Topic Next Topic: SwitchWithIt (New Install)  
 New Topic |   New Poll New Poll |   Reply to Topic | 
Next Page
Jump To:
Railroad Line Forums © 2000-19 Railroad Line Co. Go To Top Of Page
Steam was generated in 0.67 seconds. Powered By: Snitz Forums 2000