freight car forwarding l.
Skip this Video
Loading SlideShow in 5 Seconds..
Freight Car Forwarding PowerPoint Presentation
Download Presentation
Freight Car Forwarding

Loading in 2 Seconds...

play fullscreen
1 / 36

Freight Car Forwarding - PowerPoint PPT Presentation

  • Uploaded on

Freight Car Forwarding Steve Prevette Burnt Hills & Big Flats RR Pasco WA Fluor Hanford City University Introduction This clinic will cover some basic methods to designate destinations for your cars. Car Cards and Marker on Car will be included

I am the owner, or an agent authorized to act on behalf of the owner, of the copyrighted work described.
Download Presentation

PowerPoint Slideshow about 'Freight Car Forwarding' - paul2

An Image/Link below is provided (as is) to download presentation

Download Policy: Content on the Website is provided to you AS IS for your information and personal use and may not be sold / licensed / shared on other websites without getting consent from its author.While downloading, if for some reason you are not able to download a presentation, the publisher may have deleted the file from their server.

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - E N D - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
Presentation Transcript
freight car forwarding
Freight Car Forwarding

Steve Prevette

Burnt Hills & Big Flats RR

Pasco WA

Fluor Hanford

City University

  • This clinic will cover some basic methods to designate destinations for your cars.
  • Car Cards and Marker on Car will be included
  • This is one of the first steps to bringing Operations to your layout
why operations
Why Operations?
  • You’ve built your empire, what do you do now?
  • Running trains around in a circle, switching cars aimlessly can get boring
let s bring some order freight car forwarding
Let’s Bring Some Order:Freight Car Forwarding
  • Where should the car go next?
  • How does the operator know where the car is to go?
  • What is the car carrying?
  • What does the car

do once it is


what system is best
What System is Best?

Thinking Man’s

Wheel Order


Card Order

Tab on Car

Tack on Car

Cargo Operation


complexity and realism versus ease of use
Complexity and Realismversus Ease of Use
  • Generally, the more realistic the freight forwarding system is, the more complicated it becomes
  • We are hear to have fun – at some point the trade off between complexity and ease, realism and fun must be made.
  • It’s your decision



no computers today
No computers today
  • We’ll stick to non-computer systems for this talk.
  • Personally, I use a computer program that I wrote in QBasic to assign destinations to cars and then I put tacks in holes on the cars.
what this means to you
What this means to you
  • You’ve been assigned a local train.
  • You arrive at a town and are told to switch out the industries.
  • How do you know which

cars to set out (deliver)

and to pick up?

thinking man s no paper
Thinking Man’s – No Paper
  • Used by John Armstrong
  • A train crews picks up whatever cars they would like to, sets out as many as they want to.



paperwork systems
Paperwork Systems
  • These methods provide paperwork to the train crew to tell where the cars are to be delivered
  • Paperwork must be handed off to and from the yard crews
  • Can have problems reading reporting marks on the cars, but some people add photos of the car to the paperwork
wheel reports one piece of paper per train
Wheel Reports – One piece of paper per train
  • Cards are made up for each train listing the number of each car type for the train.
  • Make several card sets to give variability
  • Pick up like cars to replace cars set out.



basic car card one piece of paper per car
Basic Car Card – One piece of paper per car
  • Make one 3 x 5 for each car
  • List about 10 destinations down the card
  • Use paper clip or pencil check mark to annotate the next destination
  • When at bottom, erase check marks or slide paper clip to top




New Haven 40 foot plug door boxcar 45097

  • Cadosia Team Track
  • Erie Lackawanna Track 2, Big Flats
  • Amphenol Electronics, Sidney

Utica Staging

C. Auter Track 1, Cadosia

Lackawanna Tool & Die, Scranton

Note: Next Destination is Utica Staging

card order two pieces of paper per car
Card Order Two pieces of paper per car
  • Make one 3 x 5 for each car
  • Make a pocket to hold a smaller “order” card
  • Order cards provide up to 4 destinations
  • After last destination, replace order card



the car card
The Car Card

Make one card per car

Graphics from “Ship It”

the order card can be 2 sides
The Order Card (can be 2 sides)

Make “lots” of order cards.

Note: “HD” implies hopper

card order notes
Card Order Notes
  • Make a box to store excess Order Cards in, organized by car type
  • Make a pocket to hold a smaller “order” card
  • Order cards provide up to 4 destinations
  • After last destination, replace order card
  • Probably the most common method used, can develop very realistic car routing sequences
markers on cars
Markers on Cars
  • These methods put markers on the cars in order to tell the train crew where they are to be delivered
  • Generally incorporates color coding (though car cards can also be color coded)
  • Very friendly for clubs and new operators
  • Avoids having to read reporting marks
  • Need supporting method to assign the markers to the cars
cardstock tabs
Cardstock Tabs
  • Print labels on cardstock – ¼ inch by ½ inch
  • Bend the corners down with tweezers
  • In practice, tabs have lasted years
  • Watch out for Sneezing! (make out of metal?)


plastic tabs
Plastic Tabs
  • Use plastic H-columns
  • Paint and letter each side
  • Can have one destination on each side
  • John Allen used a long-short-long-short sequence.


  • Use common thumbtacks, with dry transfer letters
  • Advantage – magnetic and stable
  • Disadvantage – must drill holes in cars


  • Magnetic strips with magnet or metal glued on underside of car roof
    • Can stack these so can last for multiple op session before putting on new markers
  • Sticky Dots
  • Yellow Sticky Pad paper
assigning tabs tacks to cars
Assigning Tabs/Tacks to Cars
  • The next slides provide some ideas on how to assign tabs/tacks to cars
  • Car routings can be fairly realistic, but probably not as realistic as can be provided by car cards.
two sided tabs
Two Sided Tabs
  • Put one destination on each side of a H type tab. When delivered, flip to other side.
  • Car shuttles between two spots
  • John Allen managed a 4 cycle routine with a long-short / flip / long-short color coding.



allowable car types on back
Allowable Car Types on Back
  • Mark on backside of tab or tack what car types can receive the tab.
  • Randomly draw a handful of tabs/tacks and start placing on the allowed car types
  • Keep going until all cars are marked



cargo operation
Cargo Operation
  • From a Model Railroader “Bull Session” in the early 1970’s
  • Draw up order cards specifying the type of car, the load, origination and destination.
  • The order cards are used to assign the tabs/tacks




40 Foot Gondola

From: General Electric switch lead, Big Flats PA

Load: Scrap Metal

To: Jack’s Scrap, Oneonta NY

Via: Delaware and Hudson Interchange, Sidney NY

cargo operation empty
Cargo Operation - Empty
  • Deal out a card
  • Find an empty car of the type called for
    • If none available, put in a “hold” box
    • If going offline, try to find a “foreign” empty
  • Put tab/tack in car to get it to origination
  • Put card in box for that town (card is not needed by train crew)
  • Car is delivered to origination
cargo operation load
Cargo Operation - Load
  • After car is delivered, remove tab/tack
  • Find the order card for the load
  • Load the car (if open-top)
  • Place tab/tack in car for destination
  • Put order card in box for destination
  • After car reaches destination, “unload” it by removing tab/tack and treat as empty
  • Put order card back into deck
comment on cargo operation
Comment on Cargo Operation
  • I used it on 2 HO layouts at a teenager
  • Gives realistic traffic flows
  • May need a deck for each staging origination
  • Realistic job for traffic agent – finding appropriate empty cars to use
  • No paperwork for the train crews
  • Some loss of realism – if two box cars come to the same location to be loaded – which went with which order card?
burnt hills big flats
Burnt Hills & Big Flats
  • I currently use tack-on-car in N scale
  • Tacks are assigned by computer
  • Tell the computer the car type and current location, and computer gives next location
  • “Empty return to home road” is a destination
  • Works well, I have 280 cars on the layout
what s next
What’s Next?
  • Determine what to put on the cards or tacks, how many of each to make.
  • To do this, list all your destinations (including interchanges and staging) and choose how many cars of what type they should get per week.
  • May even include detail as to types of loads
  • Use this table when making cards / tacks.
what s next 2
What’s Next 2?
  • What trains to run?
  • I have a clinic given at PSX 2004 on Traffic Flow that may help. It is available on my website at
  • Freight car forwarding can be as easy or complicated as you would like it to be
  • This overview of some simple systems should help you get started
  • Operations is Fun!