I’m setting up for an operating session and thought I’d share some of the work that goes into that – starting with what I’ll call the Conductor’s Package.
This is the set of paperwork and other information that a conductor needs to safely navigate his train over the line. In this case, I’ll share the contents for a freight extra behind 2-6-0 Number 80.
This document includes a schedule of trains, notes, and special instructions adapted from the prototype time table. It also includes useful tips to help conductors and engineers do their work on the layout.
(I frequently have to make up some of these before a session, since I’ve started giving them away to visiting operators as a keepsake – which also allows interested operators to study the Employee Time Table in more detail at their leisure…)
These two documents authorize the crew of Engine 80 to occupy the railway. The Clearance Form includes a list of initial Train Orders – in this case, one order (Number 5). The Train Order gives the crew authority to run as an extra from Hamilton to Simcoe, and back to Hamilton. Since Port Rowan and Port Dover are both part of the Yard Limits south of Simcoe, authority is not needed to run to these two terminals – so it’s not given here.
(I created the Clearance and Train Order forms for my friend Pierre Oliver, by redrawing official CNR documents. I don’t think I’ve mentioned the Clearance Forms on this blog before, but they’re done the same way that I did the Train Orders. Pierre then took my artwork to a local printer, which printed up pads for us to use.)
This is greatly simplified International Morse Code, which allows the conductor (putting on the agent/operator’s hat) to OS his train with the dispatcher when arriving and leaving St. Williams and Port Rowan. The information for the return trip – in this case, Extra 80 East – is printed on the reverse side.
The waybills are presented in the same order that the cars appear in the train. Finally, everything is secured, in the order presented here, to a small clipboard that represents the conductor’s desk in the caboose. This can be seen in the lead photo for this post.
In addition to this package, the conductor requires a pen and an uncoupling tool.
There’s more prep to do for an operating session, though – and I’ll cover that in a future post.