JMRI Operations Pro: My continuing adventures in operations software     Part 1

   By Chuck Diljak

When model railroaders hear the acronym, “JMRI”, most think of Decoder Pro for programming their DCC decoders. However, did you know that JMRI also contains a module called Operations Pro that generates switch lists? Chuck has been using operations software to generate switch lists since the year 2000. A few years ago, he needed to upgrade his current software or try another program. Since that fateful day, Chuck has been a happy user of JMRI Operations Pro. In this clinic, Chuck will show you how to get started with a simple example, provide tips on developing your own system, and troubleshoot issues. Chuck’s goal is to motivate you to try JMRI Operations Pro for yourself!

   Part 2

Part 2 of this clinic continues where Part 1 left off. Chuck will build on Part 1 of this clinic,which covered the basic essentials of building your railroad operations in JMRI. In Part 2, Chuck continues with more advanced topics, including staging operations, interchanges, and adding a classification yard operation. Your imagination is the only limitation on what you can do in JMRI Operations Pro.

Operations on the SJR&P

   By Stan Ames

    Operations can be a lot of fun, but it can also be daunting to folks just starting out. In part this is because there is a wide variety of operating styles and each of us operate our railroads a little differently. This clinic was prepared for Garden Railways Magazine to introduce operations to that community and to describe in detail one approach. The purpose is to present the style we use on our railroad, both to those just starting out as well as experienced operators At the conclusion of the clinic there will be an opportunity to sign up to a selection of ops sessions available at the convention.

From Here to There

By Tony Koester

Model Railroad Planning editor Tony Koester will discuss how to move trains from "Here" to "There" by timetable and train-order (TT&TO) rules as well as how to move freight cars from Here to There using more realistic-format waybills.

TT&TO operations are not nearly as hard to adopt as many modelers assume and move most of the decision-making from "Simon-says," the dispatcher, to the train crews, increasing the challenge and fun for everyone.

The waybills are as simple to use as the almost standard four-cycle waybills but have a much more realistic appearance and no car cards. They can provide one, two, four, six, or even eight cycles before repeating the original movement. They're made on your home computer as Word or Excel documents.


Considerations and Questions for Operations in N Scale

     Panel Discussion By John Doehring

Are you interested in building an operations-oriented railroad, but wondering how well it can work in N scale (or perhaps any scale beyond HO)? It’s been a long while now since the early days of N (poorly performing and unreliable motive power, and a limited high quality rolling stock). Still, there are some scale-specific considerations (both pro and con) in planning your N layout. Each of our panelists have successfully creating beautiful railroads in N scale – each designed with operating realism and fun at their core. Please join this engaging discussion, and learn from the pros who’ve been there and done that – and get the ideas and inspiration you need for your own operations-oriented layout.

Researching Consignees/Shippers For Fun and Profit

     By James Heidt

     People who love trains understand that the journey is often more satisfying than the destination, and that includes the vast variety and wealth of informational research available to us online. For his circa-1948, bridge line Ogdensburg & Norwood, Jim Heidt has accumulated lots of background data - to create a more complete transportation experience in miniature for operational guests. Interested in the research for realistic, prototypically inspired industries on and off your line? Want to add that extra seasoning of flavor to your waybills? Come and see.

Designing a Layout for Realistic Operations

     By Peter McKenney

     Designing a layout based on a prototype railroad also provides a lot of information for creating a realistic operating scheme. Given space constraints, the author first determined how many prototype-based design elements he could accommodate, then used schematic track drawings to plan the flow of rolling stock, and finally (satisfied the plan would likely be both practical and enjoyable) built the benchwork needed to support the layout. Then, in part to satisfy AP requirements, he also generated a timetable and train chart, a system of operations (based on prototype employee and passenger timetables and operating forms), instructions for future layout operators, and finally fascia signs for operator instruction and references.

and the Chief Dispatcher Certificate

Let’s Learn how to Operate

   By Bruce Robinson

Bruce has been holding operating sessions for over 25 years. In this clinic he will draw upon that experience to describe how to set up an operating system. He will touch on such topics as track planning for operations as: train makeup, train handling sequence, scheduled running of trains, waybills, routing of freight cars, yard operations, and dispatcher control.  Most importantly, how to have fun at an operating session. If you have been thinking of setting up operations for your layout, this is the clinic for you.

Earning the Chief Dispatcher Certificate

  By Bruce Robinson

     What does it take to earn the Chief Dispatcher certificate in the Awards Program? This clinic will go through the NMRA Achievement Program requirements and how to work through all the parts that must be completed to earn the award. If you hold the certificate please stop by and lend a hand in explaining the steps that need to be taken.