I pondered the idea some more and came up with a color operating scheme. I then worked on crew instructions for the Tab-on-Car Forwarding method. I created the tabs, which surprisingly enough, didn't take much effort or time.
This weekend, I worked on painting some c-channel styrene strips. I then cut them into 1 cm lengths and decaled all the local Ottawa (white) and Gray (LaSalle) local industry tabs. The others will simply be color coded with no text.
I will try the tab-on-car method the next session to see how it works. I predict crews will like this method better, but time will tell. I will report my findings.
Some sample pieces I cut up and labeled last week.
White indicates Ottawa Terminal and OS4 indicates Ottawa Silica Track 4.
The tabs are cut 5 scale feet or roughly 1 cm long.
A sample tab on a random freight car.
I used black on clear 1/4" labels (trimmed down) using a Brother Label maker.
I spray painted 3/16" C-Channel Evergreen #266 14" Styrene Strips various colors.
Green - Burlington Northern
Black - Peoria
Orange - Silvis
Blue - Blue Island
Yellow - Council Bluffs
Gray - LaSalle
White - Ottawa
As you can see, nice contrasting colors for my colorblind self.
I used 1/4" Black on Clear Label Tape (Brother Label Maker) set to 3 mm font to print the lettering on the tabs.
Some tabs on sand hoppers at Ottawa Silica.
Looking down on the tracks at Ottawa Silica.
All of these cars will stay on the respective tracks.
I don't find them distracting at all.
The bagged sand loading tracks. Six of these cars will be pulled.
A cut of Ottawa Agent cars that are ready for service when the industry requests them.
You also see the void of track where the crossover between tracks 4 and 5 (Arrival / Departure) tracks at Ottawa Yard.
A N&W Hopper loaded with sand bound for Peoria to interchange with the Norfolk & Western.