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Thread: Asigning jobs for an ops session

  1. #41
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    [QUOTE=Allen H.;514075]
    Quote Originally Posted by Allen H. View Post
    While looking for these sheets, I re-read what one of my blog followers said about them in the comments.

    Ron McFarlane (a member here on NSN as well) wrote:
    <snipped for brevity>
    The difficulty is in providing enough information for the operator to know what the train is to do, without providing so much that they don't read it properly.


    So my point is Andy, there are troubles on both sides of the fence, either not enough or too much info.
    It's hard to strike a happy medium.
    And I'm still finding that to be the biggest problem, Allen.

    This is a sample of the detailed instructions that I provide my operators:
    ArdmoreLocalFrt.jpg

    A much briefer summary is included on the reverse of the train-pack folder that accompanies the train. I don't have a photo of a folder handy, but this is a screen-shot of the text for the aforementioned local freight:
    TrainCardArdLocal.jpg

    My idea was that operators would read the full instructions before starting the train, and then just refer to the summary on the back of the train pack. However, as this photo shows, they tend to carry both sets of instructions with them:
    Barry_with_local_at_Dougherty.jpg

    This is a scan of the crew call-board from my operating session on 18th July, 2017:
    Callboard.jpg

    There is a report on that session on my blog at https://gulflines.blogspot.com.au/20...ion-on-gc.html. Note that we didn't make it all the way through the timetable at that session.

    The two most demanding jobs by far are operating the yards. Before we start running trains I call for volunteers to fill those roles, and I'm fortunate in that I have several regulars who like that challenge. On the 18th I wasn't so lucky and had to run Ardmore myself.

    Once the yard jobs are filled the rest of the guys sign up for their jobs, starting from the top down. My expectation is that as they complete a job they immediately sign up for the next vacant job in the sequence. Cherry-picking is loudly discouraged! Most of the guys will run 3 or 4 trains during a session.

    I don't have a dispatcher because if everybody follows their written instructions then there will be very little for a dispatcher to do. If (when) an unexpected situation arises I simply make a call and issue oral 'train-orders'.

    Regards,
    Ron McF
    https://gulflines.blogspot.com.au/

  2. #42
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    I like when layout owners provide instructional aids like that. It's especially helpful for new operators. This way you don't have to worry if you forget something right after the crew meeting. All the important info is right there.
    Karl

    CEO of the Skally Line, an Eastern MN Shortline

  3. #43
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ron McF View Post
    The two most demanding jobs by far are operating the yards. Before we start running trains I call for volunteers to fill those roles, and I'm fortunate in that I have several regulars who like that challenge. On the 18th I wasn't so lucky and had to run Ardmore myself.

    Once the yard jobs are filled the rest of the guys sign up for their jobs, starting from the top down. My expectation is that as they complete a job they immediately sign up for the next vacant job in the sequence. Cherry-picking is loudly discouraged! Most of the guys will run 3 or 4 trains during a session.
    This is exactly the way that we signed up for jobs on a large HO scale layout I used to run on ( which I may have mentioned in a previous post. ). The only difference is that the yard jobs ( there were 3 of them, two of which lasted the whole session ) were typically filled before the session even started.

    I don't have a dispatcher because if everybody follows their written instructions then there will be very little for a dispatcher to do. If (when) an unexpected situation arises I simply make a call and issue oral 'train-orders'.
    That's the roll of the dispatcher in TT&TO operation.

    Paul

  4. #44
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    Quote Originally Posted by Allen H. View Post
    Unfortunately there are layouts out there that are very large and or complicated and those DO NEED to have a set of rules or guidelines to follow to avoid Chaos. In which case I assume it just takes time to learn these rules.
    I have never operated on any railroad that didn't have some form of general rules. On TT&TO layouts, these are typically, provided as part of the timetable, and rule #1 is that all engineers must have a copy of the timetable.

    On layouts that use more modern dispatching techniques, I've seen these presented as bulletin orders. There typically are two sheets, one for general orders and a second one for session specific orders. Examples of session specific orders are tracks out of order or other conditions that may impact how a session progresses.

    Here's the script for the Winnfield Turn

    https://4.bp.blogspot.com/-calw5mb_v...0/IMG_0020.JPG

    This is nothing more than what you mentioned that you wanted to have someone tell you, except they are written down.
    Many layouts use similar train information cards for operating sessions. I've been collecting lanyards every time I go to a train show or conference for a couple of years just this purpose.

    My twist on this is that I will be using credit card sized RFID cards for the train info cards. These cards will allow the operator to print a switch list at the beginning of a run and report progress ( OS ) to the dispatcher. ( I still need to do a little work in JMRI to make that work completely.... )

    Paul

  5. #45
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    Thanks for your examples above Allen. If I was given those before starting a session, I think I would be fine!

    Andy
    UK
    Montrose and Highland Railroad
    "Gotta Keep Movin' On".

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  7. #46
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    Quote Originally Posted by pbender View Post
    That's the roll of the dispatcher in TT&TO operation.
    Yes, that's correct Paul, and my system most closely resembles TT&TO operation.

    I should have said that I don't have a dedicated dispatcher, because he would have little to do (other than monitor the trains' progress across the layout.) At one time I had visions of setting up a dispatcher's desk and a telephone system, but I've never found it necessary for the session to run smoothly. During a session I keep an eye on what is happening, and issue oral instructions ("train orders") when they become necessary. During the previously mentioned session on 18th July I had to do that just one time in three hours of running. (A through-freight was running late after switching a yard, and I didn't want to delay an opposing passenger train, so I changed their meeting point.)

    Regards,
    Ron McF
    https://gulflines.blogspot.com.au/

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