Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Progress Report 05.01.12

Greetings fellow Rock Island fans...

I apologize for not posting more, but I have been suffering from a nasty sinus infection that just doesn't seem to want to go away.  Progress has been slow on the layout.

The only reportable progress recently is the paving and painting of the roads and industrial parking areas in Blue Island.

I have placed red flags (red thumbtacks) across the layout to be used by crews for flag protection on the next op session.

Recently, I read an interesting article regarding simplified car routing using color dots.  I have used color dot routing on my friend Larry's Lehigh & Hudson River Railroad layout, but never thought to apply them to waybills on my layout.  I pondered the thought of implementing this on my layout.  There are definite advantages as classifying trains on Larry's layout is easy with the color code system.  It allows me to quickly identify cars and routes without having to read a waybill for each car and then process their destination.  I decided to use a two dot color system.  The dot on the left on the waybill would determine the trains destination terminal.  The dot on the right would indicate any local or subsequent train required for delivery.  I came up with 9 terminals/locals that would need to be identified with the dot labels.  Since I'm color blind, this could be an issue, but I was able to find enough contrasting colored 1/4" dot labels to make it work.

This morning, I started applying the dot labels to the waybills.  I thought it would be a more cumbersome task, but so far it has gone pretty quick.  After applying the dot labels, I went back through the trains sitting in staging.  They were classified by train, but not blocked as I have been filling out trains off and on for the last two weeks.  I was easily able to sort through all the cards and block the train by destination.  Success!  A simple idea, but it provides great results allowing crews to be more efficient.  I like it!

A preview to the How to Operate Your Model Railroad Special Issue.