So I was hoping to have photos from the op session on April 10th for this post, but due to life and work travels will have to wait till the end of month post. What I did decide to showcase was all of the job aides /operational resources used to make a ops session successful, and there is a ton so lets get started.
Small laminated card that provides info for the operator such as model data, road #, dcc address, and functions.
Switch List /
Used to report the consist of a train. The manifest includes a blocking cheat sheet for the YM to use when switching the train. The switch list advises the local crew of work to be performed at their customer "First/Final Mile" services. These sheets and their roles will be changing between and the Q3 ops session with the implementation of a modified car card/waybill system.
The station diagrams help operators become familiar with the station or area they are working.
Diagram for Bay Yard IndustryNot only does it show customers, tracks, and spotting instructions but also where you are in relation to the rest of the modeled railroad.
This laminated card was taken from template used by Steve Rodie up in Omaha, and tailored for the MCIS. Information on the train symbol, type, size, and work that it completes is clearly made available and helps the operator during the session.
Session Line-Up Sheet
As the host I manage this sheet which helps us navigate our train lineup as we operate in sequence. Info on the sheet allows me to ensure we have a staging track, power, and someone to "mark up" and operate the train.
DTC Block Cards / DTC Block Signs
There is no dispatcher at this point on the layout as we currently operate on a first come first serve DTC block authority process.
DTC sign and block card for "UPPE"
The layout is divided into DTC blocks which are noted by signs on the layout and by Velcro DTC block cards on the fascia. To operate in the block the operator pulls the card which now implies he has authority to operate and no one else can. We practice pulling block cards for 2 to 3 blocks at a time to allow fluid train movements and ability to make a meet/pass at one of 2 locations on layout. As the train clears the block the card is put back in the fascia for another operator to use. I used this system after reading about Chip Cole's CSX Plymouth Sub and seeing it in practice on the ARR and SP.
Each DTC block is a 4 letter abbreviation for the station it's in. For sidings it's the 4 letter abbreviation plus SDG denoting siding. Mainline switches are not in the blocks as they start or end on each end of the switch.
I hope you enjoyed seeing some the resources needed for a successful operating session. Please let me know if you have any questions.