Using Easy Model Railroad Switch Lists
I'm not sure if I'm posting this in the right section. I had an op session over the weekend for 6 guys who had never operated on my layout https://sites.google.com/site/mylvrr before, and for a couple of them it was their first op session. Since everyone was new, we didn't use a fast clock, just ran sequential events from the schedule.
Operations on the layout center on Coxton Yard which requires three operators: a yardmaster and East Yard and West Yard engineers. A Lehigh Valley yard engineer in Wilkes-Barre, a Jersey Central yard engineer and a LV mainline engineer were the other assignments. The primary operation involves taking the through trains like SJ-2 arriving at Coxton and breaking them down. Basically the 7 cars blocked for Coxton are removed, and replaced by 7 cars from the yard.
Unlike previous op sessions over the last few years using just car cards, I made up switch lists for each train using Bob's Easy Model Railroad software. Everyone felt the switch lists were easy to use and simplified their learning curve. Their basic questions on the Switch list had to do with the "1"s in the L/D (Loaded) and P/U (Pick-up) columns. Some of them were unfamiliar with AAR Mechanical Designators or the railroad reporting marks which made switching cars much more challenging.
To make the yardmasters job a little easier, I made up a separate switch list like SJ-2A which had just the pick-ups in the yard listed. This was used by the yard engineers to assemble the outgoing block and then passed on to the mainline engineer when the train was assembled.
I find the easiest and quickest way to make up the Switch lists is to write down the Equipment ID Number from the Car Card and search on that. The Switch lists are certainly much easier to use than a stack of car cards.
One of the options under Scheduling is to Process Cars or Engines to move them to their destinations. Since my mainline is a dog bone and I end up restaging the majority of my train consists to their original positions between sessions. I only need to process the cars which have been set out during the session.
If you never used switch lists before, I think you and your operators will find them very easy to use and make your op session much more enjoyable and prototypical.
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