I’ve started to compile a list of things to do before any operating session in which I’ll be hosting guests. This is a work in progress, but here’s the list I have so far. I’ll add to it as I think of things. In no particular order, I should do the following:
01 – Check that I have enough copies of required paperwork, such as Employee Time Tables, switch list blanks and so on. If not, print (and assemble, in the case of the ETT).
02 – Turn any trains on the Sector Plate so they’re ready to enter the layout. When building new trains, cycle the freight cars, pulling new cars from the storage shelves below the sector plate. Check wheel sets for dirt when building trains.
03 – Cycle the freight car waybills: Select appropriate waybills for cars in trains on the sector plate. Pull waybills from bill boxes in St. Williams and Port Rowan and determine which cars will be lifted during the session, then replace the appropriate waybills with bills to lift the cars.
04 – Set up LCL and Express paperwork, if running the mixed train.
05 – Choose suitable pre-written Clearance Forms and Train Orders, or write up new ones.
06 – Prep the Conductor’s Package.
07 – Set the fast clocks: to 12:30 pm for the mixed train, or to 3:30 pm for a freight extra.
08 – If the St. Williams agent/operator has work for the train crew to perform, set the order board on the St. Williams station.
09 – Check that there’s space on the Train Register at Port Rowan for recording trains that will run during the session. If not, print a new register page.
10 – Test throw each turnout a couple of times to make sure the points move freely. (This isn’t a big job, since there are only eight turnouts on the layout.) Do the same for the derail in Port Rowan.
11 – Ensure there are pens for the conductor. Check that the batteries are working in The Galvanick Luchipher.
12 – Charge the iPod Touch used as a TouchCab throttle, if necessary.
13 – Check the layout for dust or cobwebs and clean if necessary.
This may seem like a lot of work, but it goes quickly and ensures that my guests have a smooth, enjoyable operating session – so it’s definitely worth doing.