Author Topic: Best Of Week 4,378: Operations - How much is too much?  (Read 6057 times)

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cv_acr

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Re: Week 4,378: Operations - How much is too much?
« Reply #15 on: February 17, 2009, 06:05:29 PM »
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Yep, that does sound exactly the same. The mainlines around Sudbury basically form an X as well, with the four points of the X being Montreal (& eastern Canada) and Toronto (& southern Ontario, eastern USA) to the east and Sault Ste Marie (& midwestern USA/Chicago & Minneapolis) and Thunder Bay (& western Canada) to the west.

Plus the various small branchlines in the area. (Nickel & Little Current subdivisions and some industrial & mine spurs)

It's a little simpler in that there's no trackage rights in from other railroads. There's an interchange with CN, and a couple of private railroads, but no run through trains. (Well, actually that's not true - CN has trackage rights on the Nickel sub, but only for about a mile from their interchange to INCO Railway's interchange. It's basically all within yard limits out on the branch and doesn't come into Sudbury yard proper or anywhere near the mainline. (That part of the layout also hasn't been built yet - minor detail)) All the interchange traffic is transferred by regular locals.

Except for the locals that are based out of Sudbury, most mainline trains run straight through, except 955 and 50 which terminate/originate in Sudbury with traffic for the locals.

This is the overall schematic of what will be modelled:

http://www.wrmrc.ca/divmap.html

asciibaron

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Re: Week 4,378: Operations - How much is too much?
« Reply #16 on: February 17, 2009, 11:42:13 PM »
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That happens all the time. Cars can sit in yards for a day or two before making a connection. Model railroads are sometimes way more efficient than the real thing.


i think you missed my point, you can't have an organic layout until you've create sequences that work and the only way to get there is to force the sequences from the start.  once the ball is rolling, things will click, but you will never get to that point if you hope they happen, it takes hours of work, esp. on timetable based railroads.  i understand connections are missed and cars get lost on the prototype.  that's not the issue - what fun is it if every operating session results in all tracks full with cars for tomorrow's session because nothing can run today?

i'll use my prototype as an example of an operating session and why letting nature rule from the start would not work.

the LV, PRR, and Reading (via CNJ) hand off traffic to the L&HR at Hudson Yard in Phillipsburg, NJ.  CSD-94 from the Reading comes off the CNJ from Allentown and enters Hudson Yard via PRR.  the cabin and power are swapped and cars from the LV are added  that came in from the LV about an hour prior to the Reading train.

the L&HR AO-4 leaves Hudson yard and heads east (north) on trackage rights over the PRR's Bel-Del line to Belvedere where it enters L&HR track for the run to Maybrook.  if the AO-4 leaves with just the LV cars, the 4 track Hudson yard is now down to 3 tracks and time sensitive freight is not delivered to the NH in time.  all cars on the railroad after midnight are charged a per diem and guess what, that 47 car train from the Reading is now on L&HR trackage in the yard.  leaving early just cost the railroad money.

in Maybrook the AO-4 arrives and hands off the cars to the NH.  here it picks up cars from the NH to take back west (south) to Hudson to hand off to the Reading.  it's the CSD-97 (the return run of CSD-94) and is train OA-1 on the L&HR.  cars from several NH trains are added and cars for the L&HR locals are added to the consist.  the OA-1 drops off cars for the local at Warwick and picks up anything to head to the PRR, CNJ, LV, or Reading at Hudson yard.

there are 2 trains like this in each direction, a yard job at Warwick to class the drop offs, and an out and back local from Warwick to Hudson that works whatever needs done along the way.  this is a very simple operation to model and can be dome with just a few operators but one that can be goofed up enough to lock down the 4 tracks at Hudson and bring the railroad to a halt rather quickly.

-steve
« Last Edit: February 17, 2009, 11:44:24 PM by asciibaron »
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cv_acr

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Re: Week 4,378: Operations - How much is too much?
« Reply #17 on: February 18, 2009, 01:11:26 PM »
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Steve:

Yeah, I think I did misunderstand the intent of your post. I was referring to some computer switchlist programs that assume that train A drops off cars 1 2 and 3, and train B will be taking those to the next point. And the switchlist for train B includes those 3 cars and if train A hasn't arrived yet, then train B is waiting for those cars to arrive before it leaves - which would not be proper (except in exceptional cases where the dispatcher may hold a train for certain HOT traffic).

That's a fundamental desing flaw with simple switchlist programs, and also leads to a lot of cherry picking in yards.

A properly running system requires planning those connections as you said. And allowing for cars to miss the connection occasionally. But if trains are swapping large blocks, then those connections can be made quite easily.

asciibaron

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Re: Week 4,378: Operations - How much is too much?
« Reply #18 on: February 18, 2009, 01:50:46 PM »
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the run problems start when the protected connections are delayed and the low priority trains arrive and jam up the arrival tracks.  this can be a huge PITA if there isn't someplace to park the low priority trains out of the way of the arriving cars for the protected connection.  this is where having plenty of sidings comes in handy to let a drag or local die slowly, out of the way.

this leads me to another thought; i don't think many model railroaders think of operations in a larger view - cars from other railroads don't just appear in yards, they are brought to the railroad by other railroads which got them from other ones.  i get laughed at by Ed for being interested in so many different railroads, but my interest follows the traffic.  where did the traffic come from and where is it going.  the Alphabet Route helps to shed some light on the traffic aspect where a larger monolithic railroad would not - traffic on the PRR from points west to points east cover a long distance on home rails - were did that traffic start and where will it end?  it's not so easily understood when compared to traffic on the L&HR or P&WV. 

for me, a great operating session includes the traffic from connecting railroads, and for my prototype, it's a must for things to make sense.  i could just start my session with an eastbound out of Hudson, but there is no context there - the idea that the railroad is a bridge route is lost.  those cars on that train didn't just appear in the yard, and they surely didn't come from on-line sources.  having the LV and Reading come in from staging and drop off cars sets the stage for the rest of the operations and instantly opens a door to the world beyond my layout. 

setting up these interactions helps tell the story of the railroad and gives purpose to the layout beyond the basement.  the layout is now a railroad and part of a larger transportation system... we are all actors in a well choreographed play when i all goes right.  each performance a little different while getting to the final point.  the local might leave ahead of the drag coal or the drag might get clipped by a quick dispatch or passenger train.  each "telling" of the story is unique, but not new.

i love trains ;)
« Last Edit: February 18, 2009, 01:53:14 PM by asciibaron »
Quote from: Chris333
How long will it be before they show us how to add DCC to a tree?

wm3798

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Re: Week 4,378: Operations - How much is too much?
« Reply #19 on: February 18, 2009, 02:58:39 PM »
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Precisely!  And that's why I chose Hagerstown as my modeled yard, even though it's 40 miles east of Maryland Jct, the real focus of the operations.  At Maryland Jct, you pretty much had pure WM trains rolling through, with coal and wood coming from the Thomas Sub, and fast freights down from Connellsville.  Occasionally you'd get foreign power from the west, but really not until the NW run throughs started after about 1970.  At Hagerstown, there was always a traffic salad...  Reading run throughs, N&W and PRR from over at Vardo, B&O stuff rolling up from Cherry Run or Weverton.  Periodically even a wayward CNJ unit could be spotted feeding at the trough at Hagerstown.

Perhaps operationally it would make more sense to model Md. Jct. and Ridgely, but to get the full flavor of the WM as a bridge route, you have to do Hagerstown.  You just Have To.

Lee
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Lee Weldon www.wmrywesternlines.net

asciibaron

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Re: Week 4,378: Operations - How much is too much?
« Reply #20 on: February 18, 2009, 03:07:51 PM »
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Perhaps operationally it would make more sense to model Md. Jct. and Ridgely, but to get the full flavor of the WM as a bridge route, you have to do Hagerstown.  You just Have To.

you need to pick which WM you want to model, the coal road or the bridge route  ;D
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wm3798

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Re: Week 4,378: Operations - How much is too much?
« Reply #21 on: February 18, 2009, 03:22:57 PM »
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I choose YES!!
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cv_acr

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Re: Week 4,378: Operations - How much is too much?
« Reply #22 on: February 18, 2009, 04:39:55 PM »
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I agree.

All our waybills that are through cars, have "To (city) via (staging)" rather than "EAST", which adds to the feeling that we're moving traffic. ie, this boxcar of washing machines is going to Winnipeg, as opposed to this boxcar of unknown loading is going to west staging. Sure, that's all you need to route it over the railroad, but the rest is "scenery" and adds to the illusion. (surprisingly, there's a bit of argument on some of the operations groups about the need to include that info - some maintain the crews don't need that info to their work and so it's totally unnecessary).

Also, using the correct cars for shipments is key too, as the mix of cars and roadnames is also part of that impression. To help keep things straight, we've taken to using pools on the club layout. That is, rather than using the AAR car type to match waybills to cars, we have created specific pools. Different types of traffic are broken down this way. For example, home road paper service boxcars are one pool, 40' boxcars for pool/express/general service are another, and there are regional pools for certain areas (eg. MEC, B&M paper cars etc). On a big layout with lots of different type of traffic (our pool list is 2-3 pages long) this really helps refine and control the mix of traffic. Certain trains are instantly identifiable by the cars on them; 911 and 912 are Montreal-Sault Ste. Marie (connecting with SOO Line to Chicago & Minneapolis traffic) and these trains are a healthy mix of SOO/US Midwest cars and New England (MEC, BAR, DH, BM, VTR, etc) paper traffic, with a little Montreal-Chicago intermodal sprinkled in.