After pondering the idea way too late into Saturday night, I decided to update the waybills. They were somewhat outdated due to the layout changes made recently. I also needed a quick and easy way for crews to determine where to route cars. In the past, this was mainly performed by the yardmaster (myself) so it wasn't that big of an issue as I knew train #s and destinations. With the recent changes to the layout, crews now have more of a responsibility to route cars properly. I updated the spreadsheet Sunday and printed the waybills today.
The new format is:
Line 1: Major Terminal
Line 2: Local or Western destination (Houston, Council Bluffs, Tucumcari) - Everything east is Chicago
Line 3: Industry Name
Line 4: City
Line 5: Commodity
Line 6: Car Type
They are printed on Office Depot (Avery generic) White Matte Business Cards.
Crews can now route cars to one of the three main terminals on the railroad. From there, the operator in charge of that terminal will classify into a local, or final destination train. This accompanied with a system map on the back of the schedule (thanks Steve Holzheimer for the suggestion) will assist crews and quickly identifying where to route cars.
Below is a photo outlining a few examples of the new format.
This evening, I separated the 600 or so waybills and sorted into my tray. A baseball card sorting tray works well for organizing waybills.
Later this evening, I began re-staging the layout. Actually, I started Sunday. This evening, I continued the process, but implementing the new waybills. I get excited staging Ottawa. Ottawa/LaSalle is like a railroad within itself. It is very exhilarating to see how the next session will shape up. I truly believe the new waybills will make a big difference for operators.
I've also noticed when staging the layout, freight that I had scheduled to move last session made it to its destination. That is always satisfying to see a job well done by the crew.