Wyoming Division Historical Society Articles Modeling the Union Pacific from Cheyenne, Wyoming to Ogden, Utah
This is how my single move car cards work.  Below the headings on the first blank line is the car identification.  The next blank line below the “From-To-Loading” heading is for one move.  Usually a car only moves once per session, but there is no reason why it cannot move multiple times by filling out the next empty line whenever desired.  “Whenever desired” can mean many things.  It may not move for several sessions, or that type of car may be needed elsewhere, because there is a shortage of the type, so it would move in the same session again.  Or it may be in the way in a yard which are typically far too small to hold all the cars that our operations bring to them, so a yard overwhelmed by cars may slow down a whole operating session.  With single move cards any local yardmaster may initiate car moves to clean out his yard, if that is allowed by the operating rules of the layout, and such rules can be easily added.  All that is required is an extra locomotive, throttle, engineer, and permission from authority to form and move a new train out onto the main.  There may be other reasons for such special or extraordinary trains, and all can add flexibility and realism to a session.  But most commonly, there is no realistic reason to move all cars along at the same pace of one-move-per-session.  Some should stay to be loaded or unloaded a day or few days; others may move to and away from a given loading dock in a fraction of a day.  On the Wyoming Division I encourage my road crews to mark up cards and move them along on their own!  This may shock some, but consider:  viewed from a satellite, real car moves probably resemble ants scurrying about apparently randomly.  In truth, like ants, each car has a destination and purpose to its move, but viewed globally on a layout, stays at locations, are helter-skelter, because customer needs are random on the scale of the whole layout.  It is not realistic to require that cars only (usually) move once per session, and (usually) always once each session.  Ideally, a real railroad moves its cars as soon as possible to put it back to work and to avoid demurrage charges.   And customers want the car emptied quickly and moved out of their way, and to avoid charges.  No one in the real world wants cars to sit till the next work session.  So I tell my road crews to sensibly move cars along by marking the cards for the next move either for that crew to take it, or for the next crew to take it soon.  And as always, wherever the car moves the card stays with the car in a fascia pocket or on a road crew’s clipboard. With a single move car card, the car stays or moves according to the bottom line that is partially filled out.  “Partially” means that the move is not complete until the “Loaded” or “Unloaded” space is filled in.  When it is filled in, the next line or move begins, either when it is filled in later, or if desired as a string of pre-set moves planed in advance.  Thus the single move card can and should move the car often during a session, and furthermore a card may contain multiple moves if desired.  The last 2 columns keep track of where in the sequence of moves that car is.  The car’s location on the layout is determined by where it actually is, or course, but the card should be with it, and marked at that location in the first column. To be specific, below the identity line is an array of spaces, the columns of which are “From,” “To,” “LD,” “MT,” “LCL,” and “Unloaded*.”  “From” and “To” are obvious.  The others should be checked if the car carries a load, is empty, or carries LCL freight, and the “Loaded” or “Unloaded” column is to show the move was completed.  For example, a car may be completed in set up or when car has been there “long enough” completed in set up or when car has been there in Cheyenne “long enough” as determined by “customer” or “freight agent” (operator) Full: loaded Checked after “long enough,” or MT: To be checked when car is emptied (during Session or otherwise), or LCL: To be used only for LCL cars i.e., left blank since the car is loaded.  Loaded: To be checked or dated when loaded (date also shows session) Unloaded: To be checked or dated when car is emptied The above example car card would be marked like this: Figure 5.  Car Card marked for move from Cheyenne Frontier Oil to Sinclair Oil near Rawlins (Italics indicates hand written entries) Continuing with the car with the card in Figure 5, assume that it has been at the Sinclair Oil Refinery long enough to unload it, but since tank cars are not plentiful on the Wyoming Division, someone—say at Frontier Oil Refinery—badly needs tank cars.  Someone else, a nearby yardmaster, the layout owner, or even any conductor/engineer who has been so notified by anyone in charge of such things, may start the car’s move back to Frontier by marking the next line thus: Figure 6.  Car Card marked for next move using next (2nd) line Here on the next blank line the next destination, “Frontier Oil” has been written in and the car marked as empty with a check mark in the “MT” column.  It is acceptable but not necessary to copy the last “To” (Sinclair Oil Rawlins) down and to the left to fill in the new “From” space, because since it went to that location the last move, it must be from that place this next upcoming move.  But it is easier and quicker to draw an arrow down from the previous “To” to the next “From.” Now that the next move is added to the card, the next train headed east from Rawlins to Cheyenne that is of a type that can make stops for pickups should take this car to, or at least toward Cheyenne.  I phrase it that way, “of a type that can…” because on the Wyoming Division such a train has to be either a “Manifest” or a “Local” (see below in the Block Cards Section), and it must have a locomotive that can pull the added car (see below in the Locomotive Cards Section).  These two requirements are rules of operation on the Wyoming Division layout, and not necessary to the Four Card Car Forwarding (FCCF) system.  Your layout will have its own rules and may not need all four cards. This single move nature of the car cards gives great flexibility without extra cards or markers in a small envelope, and in fact no envelope is needed, and the “waybills” stay in the Caboose.  A single move per session or multiple moves may be made for any or all cars, and in setup you do not have to plan several or 4 moves ahead of time, although you can if you want.  Therefore, initial setup is a breeze.  With 4 cycle cards you turn the cards between sessions.  With single trick car cards, you write the next move on the card between the sessions, or not.  If you have few operators for the next session you may not want to pick up all cars or from all spots that session, so you do not add a move to a few cards.  And if you have dated them in the “Unloaded” column, you can track their history.  There are 18 lines on the card.  After 18 lines, the cheap cards are so worn that it is a relief to make a new card by filling out the identity line, and that is very easy to do. The single move car cards are especially useful for LCL cars.  In the following example, rather than marking the card as full in the “Full” column, it is checked in the “LCL” box were checked.  There is no need to check the “Full” box, but it can be checked both “Full” and “LCL.” Therefore, for either the “Full” or “LCL” case, a check later applied to the “Loaded” or “Unloaded” column means the car is ready for other duty.  Figure 7.  LCL Car Card (Uses the same blank card marked differently) For an LCL car and card, a check applied to the “Loaded” column with no check on the same line in the ”MT”column would indicate the partial unloading had been done, because the “LCL” column would be still checked.  Thus the car card can easily be adapted to make LCL cars and cards by simply filling out a whole string of “To” locations running down the car and marking the corresponding “LCL” boxes in that column with a check.  Such an LCL card is shown in Figure 7 above. In this LCL car card example, the car has been moved along to several freight houses (FH) and after only a short time that same day has been unloaded partially, and perhaps some freight added to it at each stop, and the “Loaded” column is checked to indicate that that part of its move had been completed.  At the last location filled in, a check is placed in the “Unloaded” column if that car’s moves are done.  To keep a record of when the activity was completed, use dates in the “Loaded” and “Unloaded” columns instead of check marks.  On the Wyoming Division I have LCL cars and cards at nearly every freight house or team track with the cards directing the cars to be moved both east and west, and road crews are expected to bump them along in the correct direction, and then to mark the car to cause the next move! For non-LCL cars when the “MT” space is checked the “Unloaded” box may be dated as a confirmation of the end of that move, but it is not absolutely necessary.  Such dating does, however, provide a convenient place to date the end of the last move, and thus the date of the last session this car was moved.  If no date has been entered during the session, and it is desirable to record it to note the date that the car was last used, it can be entered after the session. Likewise, a car that was last moved with its card checked “MT” and left in the proper destination should be checked “Full” after being in the new location in a long enough time for that work to be done.  Road crews can and should do so, but with discretion, to make the stay at the new location is reasonable.   To repeat, there is no realistic reason for all cars to be marked at the same time, i.e., in setup as in turning 4 cycle car cards. The cards are also the intentionally large size of ¼ page of card stock, and this makes them easy to write on and to handle.  No envelope means they lay flat and are easy to put on a clipboard or in an apron.  The drawback is that the fascia boxes are also large to handle them, but they can be stacked as shown below. A final point is that while flexibility is gained, care must be taken to keep the railroad “balanced,” so that cars flow both directions in approximate equal numbers or as otherwise required, so as to not run out of cars at some location in a future session.  But this can be done pretty much visually on most layouts, if the movements are not constrained by preplanning.  If unbalance occurs, and if the car forwarding system is flexible enough it may be easily corrected on the fly.  This makes for more realistic and reasonable movements.  Real railroads often have to move empties to needed places, so if you also have to, it is good.  I have never had the need to plan ahead to balance the Wyoming Division, and that may be because of its size and the fact that staging is double ended.  It does seem that the single trick plus block cards tend to automatically balance the road. Block Cards Most freight traffic on the prototype Wyoming Division was in blocks of cars from east of Cheyenne to west of Ogden or west to east.  Blocks were switched, and we follow prototype practice these ways.  For blocks headed east from Ogden to either points east of Cheyenne or points south of Cheyenne we use the convention on the layout that “North Platte” or “NP” is the destination off the layout east of Cheyenne (staging), and “NP” can mean Chicago, Marysville, Kansas on to Kansas City or St. Louis or any other eastern destination or origin.  Likewise, south of Cheyenne is “Denver” by our convention, and that word means Denver, or Texas, or New Orleans, Miami, or anywhere else we want it to mean. For destinations or origins of blocks of cars west of Ogden we similarly conventionally use “LA,” “Colton” (PFE loading), “Oakland,” and “Roseville” (Roseville, CA for PFE loading) as code names.  We also use “Portland” as a conventional name for destinations or origins of blocks of cars northwest of Ogden that go that direction via the Oregon Short Line (OSL).  This branch line becomes hidden track at Granger, Wyoming, just west of Green River and leads to a separate “Portland Staging.”  Diagrammatically the situation looks like this. Figure 8.  Routes for Blocks on the Wyoming Division lead to a natural method of naming trains Inside the rectangle is the layout proper; outside the rectangle are staging areas and the imaginary locations in the staging areas.  We use these imaginary locations as code names to name trains.  Thus an east bound train might be “Roseville-NP PFE Special East” (Roseville, CA and Portland were important PFE loading places).  The designation of “Special” is a type of train which came from the following list. Passenger: Highest priority that stop only at depots or for fuel Special: PFE and Stock Trains or other high priority or remarkable trains Forwarder: Through trains that only stop for coal (or fuel), water, sand, and ashes or to get helpers on or off, or for engine changes Manifest: Through trains with a few (typically 1-6) head end cars that should be set out in Wyoming or Utah (in the rectangle above); can also pick up cars at those stops Extra: An extraordinary train that can be used to clear out an overwhelmed yard or to sweep up cars needed elsewhere during a session Local (or Drag): Entire trains of cars to be set out and to make pickups, lowest priority Using the above code names, there are, for examples, “NP-LA Forwarder West” and an “Oakland-Denver Manifest East” trains, and any number of other combinations.  The code is “From-To-Type-Direction.” Considering the Diagram above, you will notice that according to the arrow, some east bound blocks of cars seem to leave the layout before they get to Cheyenne.  In fact they go directly from Laramie (50 miles west of Cheyenne) to Denver, bypassing Cheyenne on Track 3, the Harriman Cutoff and the wye at Speer as can be seen on the Upper level track plan in Figure 1.  Therefore, blocks from west of Laramie, have to be classified at Laramie—some continue on the original train through Cheyenne to “NP,” via Track #2 paralleling Track #1.  Other blocks change trains onto a Denver bound train via Track #3, the Harriman Cutoff.  Or the original train may continue to Denver, with some of its blocks waiting in Laramie for a NP bound train.  As trains can lose blocks in Laramie for a destination different from their own, the Laramie YM can add blocks to fill out the train for its destination. The same situation happens at Green River where west bound blocks are sorted for either straight on to Ogden and through to “LA” or “Oakland,” or, alternately, northwest at Granger on the OSL for “Portland.”  Therefore, Green River is a block classification yard for west bound blocks like Laramie is such a yard for east bound blocks.  The Green River YM also fills out west bound trains with blocks he previously took off other trains. These two splitting’s of destinations for blocks makes for block switching and classification, and a concurrent need for block cards, so what we lack in switching across Wyoming we gain back in switching blocks in either Laramie (east bound blocks to NP or Denver) or Green River (west to LA or Oakland or NW bound blocks to Portland.  Now it is evident why my system uses both Car Cards and Block Cards, and one is shown below in Figure 9. Figure 9.  Wyoming Division Block Card The Block Card is easy to fill out following the instruction at the top.   First, circle the proper “From-To” combination from either the east bound array of them on the left or those on the right for west bound blocks.  Second, enter the total number of cars in the block in the cell at the bottom.  Third, enter the ID of the first car in the block and the last car in the block.  And finally fourth, number the blocks 1, 2, 3,… in the order that they appear on the train, usually front to rear.  Since the block stays together as a unit, only the beginning and the end of the block need be identified.  For speed and simplicity not all of the four designations of “Road,” “Car #,” “Color,” and “Type” are needed.  If the road crew finds them important, he can add them to the card whenever he wants. When the block is broken up, with one exception, the block is no longer a block, or at least the same block, so this card is no longer needed and can be discarded or kept for analysis of traffic on the layout.  The single exception is if a car is added or taken from a block for any reason.  You could make a new block card, but you do not have to, if you remove or add the car to the middle of the block and change the “Total Cars in Block” by the number of cars in the change. If you have blocks with non-standard origins and destinations, it can be added to the “Special Instructions” of the card.  Additional moves may be added to the initial moves here also if it is acceptable to keep the block intact. To identify a train previously made up by someone else, the block cards are invaluable.  Simply read the identity of the last car in the train, match it to the last car on the last block of the stack of block cards, and count up the train the number of cars the card says should be there.  If that car matches the first car noted on the block card, you have identified your train.  Note that to use this method you start at the rear of a train, which is the last car next to the caboose, but if it has no caboose yet, it should be safe to determine the end of the train furthest from the destination of the train.  You start at the caboose end, because head end cars with individual cards are there, or should be. Size of Cards and Stacking on the Clipboard The block cards are a full ½ sheet of card stock printed in portrait mode.  I make the car cards ¼ sheet of card stock, and later it will be see I make the Train Orders and the Locomotive Cards as full sheets.  These sizes are convenient for a normal clipboard available from Amazon for less than $1 each, but more important, when all are on the clipboard they can be “stacked” staggered to keep them organized but still easy to see the different types as is shown in Figure 10.   Figure 10.  4 types of cards on a standard clipboard. Like the car cards it is nice to have the block cards large, but you may not have room on your fascia for such large fascia pockets or boxes.  Furthermore, now you have two sizes of cards, so you need an extra set of boxes for the new cards.  On the other hand all cards are single page thickness, so the boxes do not have to be very deep.  We made boxes out of 0.093” polycarbonate sheet held on the fascia by screws through ¼” diameter plastic tubing, and with longer screws and multiple spacers the boxes can be stacked.  A double, stacked box stands out only 3/4” from the fascia and holds more than enough cards. I have received some criticism that the different sizes of car and block cards make is difficult to handle them, and that is true if they are mixed in together.  But if head end cards are scrupulously put on the head end where they are easier to switch first, then the car cards will be all together on top of the block cards.  If a train is made up with single cars between or after blocks, then to keep the cards in order, the different sizes may be awkward mixed up in the order of the cars on a train. Locomotive Cards We also have a fourth card on the Wyoming Division.  Locomotive cards are to regulate the number of cars a given loco can pull up the grades of Sherman Hill (Cheyenne to Laramie), or up the Wasatch (Ogden to Green River), or on the prairie.  Out on the flat between Laramie and Evanston any loco is rated to pull more cars than on the grades, and we make up our trains or modify them or add helpers to get near but not exceed those limits just like the prototype did to balance profits and on time deliveries.  This means on the Wyoming Division we change locomotives at those two yards.  Like car cards, loco cards stay with their locomotives, so when a train gets a new loco the engineer trades in its loco card.  I have laminated the Locomotive cards printed on colored paper to make them easy to find. The Loco Cards also tell where each loco must stop for coal (or fuel), water, sand, and to dump ashes.  Using them we maximize fun while making complexity manageable for near prototype ops.   The Car Cards are all identical, as are the Block Cards.  But there are unique Locomotive Cards for each type of Locomotive.  Full 8 ½ x 11 sheet Loco Cards for a Big Boy and for a diesel are shown slightly reduced in size on the next pages. The top ½ of the car is mostly blank, because it is covered by the Block Cards and the Car Cards stacked directly above it when all are held by the clipboard clip.  The boxes are filled in by hand (printed in italics), so one blank suffices for all Big Boys, and other blanks are for each other type of locomotives, steam and diesel.  The right hand box is preprinted for “Tonnage Rating” in cars for the two areas of the railroad, up a grade and on the largely level “bowl” of Wyoming.  The array of dots under the identity line show selected stations where the locomotive has to stop for the commodities of fuel, water, and sand, and where ashes must be dumped while coal is taken on. These are available at many more places than are shown on an individual loco card, but the card shows where a given loco must stop.  One blank form works for all steam engines, but the preprinted array of dots varies for the different types of steamer.  To make them all, I used a different tab on the Excel Workbook for each loco type, each type being unique and only requiring to be filled out by hand as to Loco number.  This system of using tabs at the bottom of the Excel Workbook allows diesel tabs by type also, and for the UP of 1957, tabs for the various gas turbine electrics used.  A diesel card is reproduced on the last page, and it is identical to a Turbine card except for the preprinted identity of “Diesel” versus “Turbine” and the differing tonnage ratings.  The Diesel card shown is for an F unit ABB set, so multiple numbers are given to completely ID the set which we never break into individual units. For all loco cards the fueling locations are listed on the left side down for east to west travel and up on the right for the west to east direction, and the speed limit columns are for indication only, being in practice at this stage relative for the different grades.  Helper cut in and cut out locations are also listed, and on the bottom is a key to certain CV functions on our NCE throttles. The Locomotive Cards strictly govern the locomotive stops and tonnage ratings, helpers needed, and speeds.  Fuel, sand, water, and ash dump possible locations are shown on the Train Orders described next, but as “Available,” not as required.  So if a loco requires these services per the loco card, the TO described below tells where they are available.        Figure 11.  8 ½ x 11 Steam Engine Locomotive Card.   Pre-printed as is and laminated      Figure 12.  8 ½ x 11 Diesel Locomotive Card, nearly identical to a Turbine Card pre-printed and laminated. Train Orders I use a single 8 ½ x 11” sheet Train Order for each train.  They are largely preprinted, two for each type of train (one for east and one for west), and can be filled out in less than a minute for a particular train.  The preprinted instructions are in the form of a table or array showing in columns in this order:  the stops a train makes, instructions for that location, direction of running (L or R track), where coal, water, sand, and ash dumps are available (but not necessary stops—those are shown by the Loco Card), where to get helpers and cut them off, and where to change locos.  There are a few general instructions and a key above the array to explain the terms in the array. It sounds complicated, and it is a bit in the conglomeration of Car Cards, Block Cards, Loco Cards, and Train Orders, but each of these 4 elements are simple taken alone.  The same is true for the complicated looking Train Order, but if you look at it one line at a time, it becomes simple.  At the next location you follow the instructions at that location, given in both a line of text or repeated in the array of boxes.  The single line taken alone is in effect a written Track Warrant to that location.   The next page shows a blank Train Order or TO in Figure 13.  In my operating system a Call Boy may be used to call the next person as engineer/conductor or pair of operators as an engineer plus conductor crew, and he takes that crew to where the train is ready.  Trains may be ready in staging or any other yard, but usually they have been prepared by staging during the session or the pre-staging crew before the session and then taken to a set of A/D tracks in a yard.  To start the session and to have trains all across the layout, we pre-stage some trains in the yards at either end of the layout, Cheyenne in the east or Ogden in the west, and others across the layout at Laramie, Hanna, Green River, etc.  These train on out on the layout are usually trains left from the last session.  After finding the train the Call Boy and crew “verify” it:  together they match each of the blocks by the car numbers/road names of the last and firstt cars of each block.  After the rear end of a block at the end of the train is identified, they count up the block the number of cars that the block card tells them the block should have, and if the last car is the same as shown on the block card, that block is verified. This is done for all blocks from the caboose back up the train to the head end cars.  Then they match each head end car and cards, if any.  There are a few practical variations of this process that are actually used.  First, the train may not have a loco yet, because with my system, the locomotives are chosen and coupled to the train by the Hostler of that yard.  This is prototypical.  The owner of a real railroad, at least a sizeable one, never assigns power to individual trains.  In Cheyenne on the UP this was the job of the Roundhouse Foreman who got the Hostler under him to move the locomotive out of the roundhouse to the coal tower to top off the coal and water and then on to the departure track to attach it to the train, and then the crew climbed on board.  I combine the jobs of Roundhouse Foreman and Hostler into the Hostler’s role, and a short pause under the coal tower suffices for the coal and water top off. Second, the train usually has a caboose, but it may not.  Staging should put a caboose on the train, but may not have had one available, but there may be one in the yard (Cheyenne or Ogden which each border staging) that just came off an arriving train.  Alternately cabooses may be kept on a caboose track, and a yard crewman brings it to the train. Third, the verification of car and block cards versus cars on a train may be accomplished by starting at either end of the train, but starting from the rear is faster.  If the train has no caboose yet, to verify from the rear of the train that end will still be the end furthest from the destination of the train. During the last regular operating session in January, 2015 and in the Winter Invitational in February, 2015 we did not have a Call Boy, but drew cards from a deck of playing cards to determine crew Jobs and the order of road crews assigned to trains.  The road crews got trains directly from staging which made trains up on the fly—only a few trains were pre-staged to kick off the session with some trains distributed across the 1,000 foot mains.  This “dynamic staging” in real time may have led to the mixing of head end cars and cards in with blocks and block cards, and the difficulty two guest YM’s complained of where the different card sizes were hard to sort.  If the head end cars are required to be put on the front of the train, their cards will naturally be on top of the larger block cards, but it is hard to fault staging for not doing so.  The two crews did send out 51 and 57 trains for the two days of the Winter Invitational Meet, and the different crews both days are to be congratulated for those totals.  Those totals count about 4 to 5 trains that were pre-staged and on the layout to start each day, but the average was one train every 7.2 minutes! A blank Train Order or TO is shown on the next page in Figure 13.  To fill out the blank TO the Call Boy should direct the crew to add the session date, and the time they “clock in,” and their name(s).  As soon as the loco shows up its number should be added.  This is the train number for OS’ing.  The following blanks on the TO heading should have been hand written in by the staging crew: “Name of the train.”  The last part of the name(Type) is preprinted on the blank, and the direction (East or West) is also preprinted.  The TO shown has the first part of the train name added in script.  The form shown is for a “Manifest West” (see the 6 types of trains on the Wyoming Division in the Block Card Section). “Train Number” is the train number that would be on a timetable, but I do not use one yet.  For now this is the Locomotive Number.  “# in Session” is for the trains that are pre-staged, a number I assign to the trains in the order I choose to run them.  I alternate east and west trains to spread them out.  From these pre-staged TO’s on clipboards with car and block cards I can then make an Excel list based on this column of new numbers, and that gives me a “lineup” to pass out to YM’s and the DS, so they know what is coming their way.  The Call Boy and staging also get copies.  It is very important to write in the top margin of the TO the starting location of all pre staged trains, otherwise it is very hard on a large layout to find the train from just the car cards.  My Excel Header contains a blank for this information, but it is not shown in Figure 13. If no Call Boy and pre-staged trains are used, then the YM’s are pretty much in the dark unless they watch closely for approaching trains.  The Dispatcher knows about the train as soon as it starts on the main because the road crew should report to go OS, so a YM can call DS to enquire about what is coming his way. “Locomotive Number” is the train number identification purposes to report to the dispatcher (to “OS”).  When trains are made up during a session, a loco usually will be assigned to a train by the Roundhouse Hostler after the staging Hostler has taken the train from staging to the A/D tracks and only then is the train number known. All the information required to OS is together in a line:  “Train Number (loco number)”, “Train Type,” “From,” “To,” and “Direction.”  OS’ing is quick and simple from the top of the sheet. Note that the train name should be written in two places, on the top and on the right hand edge, which becomes the end of the form on the clipboard, so it can be seen in the Call Boy’s pigeon hole box of clipboards. When the train reaches its destination, the lower right box should be filled out, mainly to provide data to determine the average time that a certain type of train takes to negotiate certain trips.  This is also on the Train Sheet (TS) the Dispatcher keeps if Crews OS as they get off the train. Figure 13.  Wyoming Division blank Train Order The second column is an ordered list of locations the train will pass through, and some are stops.  The actions at each of the locations or stops are indicated in both the wide next column that gives a brief line of instructions on what to do at each location.  The next 9 columns are an array that repeat much of the same information shown in the third column.  If all the cells on a location line are blank for these 9 far right array columns, there is no stop necessary.  For the columns that have an “Available” there are those services available, but a stop is necessary only if the train’s locomotive card indicates this as a stop by a dot in that cell of that location line.  That is, “Available” means a stop is optional; a stop is required only by the locomotive card.  The example Loco Cards are shown in Figures 11 and 12. The other marks in the following columns further right are “” which means there is the possibility for work picking up or setting out head end cars or blocks here.  Road crews should “check” for work at these places as shown by the car or block cards on the clipboard and on the fascia at those places.   “Yes” indicates locations to get a helper locomotive or the release it, and finally where to change locomotives (Laramie and Green River) are also indicated with a “Yes”. As I wrote earlier, the TO is simple taken one line at a time, and let’s face it, a train is only in one place at a time. For a long time I had 3 columns for OS instructions plus a fourth larger one for notes in place of the instructions, but I found that it was better to put these detailed OS’ing instructions on the bright hot pink colored signs on the fascia at the OS locations so they were harder to miss. The Train Orders add several interesting complexities of realistic operations to the Wyoming Division that many other layouts do not have.  These extra requirements are exactly what prototypical steam and early diesel operations were like on the real railroad, assuming perfect, breakdown free operations.  Actually, we have breakdowns to the model locos and cars, and we deal with them pretty much like the real railroads do.  After panicking, the engineer or crew reports to DS or to me, Allen, Lenny, or Greg or anyone else in charge, and together we work out a solution, from fixing it on the spot or removing the bad car, or sending a replacement loco.  And sometimes traffic piles up behind the stopped train.  That is pretty much what happens on a real railroad, but our terminology is different.  We have “bad cars” with a “bad” coupler or truck, but not hot journals or fires, and so on. Putting It All Together Combining Head End Car Cards for a single move, Block Cards, Locomotive Cards, and Train Orders has been a definite challenge for our operators and for us.  Each element is reasonably simple taken alone, and all together it appears to be a larger challenge to operators than it proves to be once they start.  When I completed my operating system as a concept, we had our first formal operating session on October 26, 2013 with 27 operators, and for an inaugural operation session it was a great success.  There were very few track and DCC problems and the operating system worked well, even though its complexity led to some oversight type errors by our new operators.  But no serious corrections were needed in either the layout or the car forwarding system.  On November 30 we operated again with 28 people and followed on December 26 with 35 operators to our third session.  We had these 3 sessions with only a month between each to reinforce the learning required.  Few changes in the car card system were made then or have been made to this date from the original design.  After those 3 sessions we stopped operations for about 6 months to do the construction for Phase III described in the Section “Staging Design.” After Phase III was completed we have had 13 more sessions at monthly intervals plus two training sessions for new operators.  Arizona is not heavily populated so there are not many operators available, and we need 35 or so for each session!  So we draw from all over the state as well as a few non-Arizona operators who have heard of the Wyoming Division.  Late last year, I sent out invitation to key expert operators that Allen, Lenny, and I had met at Bay Rails, So Cal Ops, the La Mesa Club in San Diego, and to other polished operators who had either visited the layout or operated on it during visits to Sedona.  In particular we had contact with the active model railroaders in Albuquerque who had invited me to give a talk about the layout and my Four Card Car Forwarding system.  Enough of those invited had visited the layout and some had operated with us, and they had confidence to recommend us to the others invited.  On February 5, 6, and 7, 2015 we had our first Wyoming Division Winter Invitational consisting of Thursday, Open House to inspect the layout, followed by a BBQ at Sharon and my home in Sedona Friday, 9 AM to 4 PM operating session, with pizza we sent out for at lunch Saturday, 9 AM to 4 PM operating session, followed by a prime rib banquet at a local restaurant. So there were 6 to 6 ½ hours of operations each day excluding lunch. Thirty-five notable guest operators attended from the Bay Area of California, Los Angeles-Orange County area, San Diego area, Albuquerque, and one person each from Texas and Portland, Oregon. In our regular sessions we run about 22 trains in 4 hours, or one every 15 minutes and those are all pre-staged.  In 6 ½ hours in the Winter Invitational we ran 51 trains on Friday, and not having a slow start getting organized on Saturday we ran 57 trains.  On Friday we only had about 6 pre-staged trains to start the session, and on Saturday there were about 4-6 that were left over from Friday in place on the layout to start.  All other trains were dynamically staged by two staging YM’s both of which were new to the layout and card system!  Allen worked with them only a few minutes to train them and then they did the rest the whole of both sessions.  The rest of the operators had no problems with my Four Card Car Forwarding system, as can be seen by the number of trains run and the few problems encountered.
Operations Article Page Number                        of Three 3 3 3 3 2 2 2 2 1 1 1 1 Operations Article Page Number                        of Three 3 3 3 3 2 2 2 2 1 1 1 1 From:	Cheyenne To:		Sinclair Oil Figure 4.  Single Trick Car Card