Impediment to Operations | In Progress

Milroy Secondary

Lewistown (LN)

switch machines, power frogs, control panel, car card box, filler ties, paint ground, paint track, cinders, ballast, backdrop, ad hoc scenery

Lewistown (3902)

power frog, land forms, paint ground, cinders, ballast, water, fascia, car card box, backdrop, ad hoc scenery

Menzies (3903)

backdrop buildings, ad hoc scenery

Burnham (3904)

EAST - re-seat turnout, fix crossover throw bar, power frogs, filler ties, paint track, land forms, paint ground, cinders, ballast, water, ad hoc scenery

WEST - t/s turnout, power frogs, filler ties, paint track, land forms, paint ground, cinders, ballast, ad hoc scenery

Yeagertown (3905) and Standard Steel (future)

re-seat turnout, t/s turnout tickets, power frogs, paint ground, cinders, ballast, ad hoc scenery

Mann (3906) and KV Junction

t/s sticky turnout, power frogs, control panel, trim backdrop, ad hoc scenery

Reedsville (3907) (future)

Honey Creek (3908) (future)

Shraders (3909) (future)

Naginey (3911) (future)

Milroy (3912)

re-seat turnout, power frogs, fix crossing hump, move backdrop, ad hoc scenery

Lewistown Secondary

Lewistown (LN) and Furnace Branch Siding (future)

switch machines, power frogs, control panel, car card boxes, sort rail, filler ties, paint track, cinders, ballast, ad hoc scenery

Juniata Bridge

 land forms, backdrop, water, replace fascia. ad hoc scenery

Lewistown Junction (XA)

scale track project

track power, switch machines, power frogs, control panel, roundhouse track, track power, filler ties, paint track, cinders, ballast, ad hoc scenery

Main Line

WALL

re-certify turnout wiring and operation

Lewistown Junction (XA)

power frogs, land forms, paint ground, cinders, ballast, ad hoc scenery

Roundhouse Road

switch machines, power frogs, control panel, ad hoc scenery

LEWIS / Granville Bridge

re-glue switch machine, power frogs, filler ties, paint track, joint compound, backdrop, land forms, stain bridge, paint ground, cinders, ballast, water, ad hoc scenery

Ryde

ballast, ad hoc scenery

JACKS

re-certify turnout wiring and operation

Pennsylvania Midland Railroad

Northward Relay Yard

subroadbed, track, track power, switch machines, power frogs

Everett

subroadbed, roadbed and track, track power, switch machines, power frogs, control panel, filler ties, paint track, cinders, ballast, ad hoc scenery

Black Valley (future)

Southward Relay Yard (future)

Flintstone (future)

Cumberland (staging) (future)

Supporting Infrastructure

Juniata / Kishacoquillas Helixes Occupancy Panel

LEWIS PanelPro panel

JACKS PanelPro panel

WALL PanelPro panel

JACKS repeater panel

WALL repeater panel

Milroy Secondary magnet board

Everett PanelPro panel

Mount drawings on yard pit wall

Phone system

Everett window finishing

Shenware's MiTrains is used to manage the fleet and print car cards. All locomotives and rolling stock are issued a car card prior to placement into service on the railroad.

For rolling stock, the car card bears the AAR type, the reporting marks (and verbose name of the railroad), the road number, the home road's class (if different than the AAR type), and the color (optional).

When the car card lacks a waybill, it is empty. Foreign road car cards will have instructions for disposition of the empty car -- East to Enola, West to Altoona, or East or West:

car cards

Home road cars, unless assigned to a specific service, do not include Empty Car instructions. Local yardmasters may hold the empties for future customer fulfillment and assign as needed, when needed. Yardmasters must maintain an inventory of empty cars of various types, ordering empties from Enola or Altoona when needed.

For locomotives, the car card is similar except that the AAR type describes the model of locomotive:

loco cards

Prep Cards

Initially, all car cards receive the addition of a "Prep Card" which tracks various preparatory tasks the locomotive or rolling stock requires. Once complete, the Prep Card is removed.

prep cards

DCC Function Cards

A DCC Function card is included in the Locomotive Card of the lead locomotive in a consist. The card documents the DCC address of the consist as well as the primary functions.

dcc cards

Bad Orders

When a locomotive or rolling stock develops a mechanical issue or a breakage, please remove it from the railroad and complete a Bad Order form. On the form, include the nature of the problem and the location from where the locomotive or rolling stock was last assigned.

bad order

Control Panels

At each local switching location there is a fascia control panel with a diagram of the local trackage. Industries are labeled alongside their corresponding sidings. 

The current route of switch is indicated by an LED on the closed route of the switch on the diagram. "Touch" the LED and the switch will throw and the LED will change color. A green indicates the switch is normal; red indicates thrown. (Unfortunately, the LED colors do not photograph well.)

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Locations with only a switch or two may have recessed "cup" toggle LED's in lieu of a control panel:

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Crews shall always return switches to their normal positions prior to leaving the area.

Sort Rails

At each local switching location there is a sort rail upon which crews may sort car cards/waybills and plan their switching moves.

sort rail

Car Card Boxes

At each local switching location there is a car card box with three slots -- labeled Inbound, Load/Unload, and Outbound. A PRR Keystone emblem contains the designation of the switching location from the CT1000: List of Reportable Locations.

Switch crews shall place into the Inbound slot the cards for cars that they have delivered to the destination customer indicated on the waybill.

Cars for delivery may include a dedicated less-than-carload car for delivery to a local freight station or public delivery track -- treat it as above. If there is not a dedicated LCL car for the location and the train is carrying a "roaming" LCL car, check its LCL waybills for any deliveries for the location. If there are deliveries, there will be an unloading time indicated on the waybill; that dwell time should be simulated. The LCL waybill should be removed from the car card and be placed in the Inbound box; the car card and other LCL waybills stay with the train.

Between shifts, the Freight Agent will move car cards from the Inbound slot to the Load/Unload slot where they will remain while the car is loaded/unloaded. The Freight Agent will also move car cards from the Load/Unload slot to the Outbound slot once they are fully loaded/unloaded and are ready for pickup.

Switch crews shall pickup cars whose cards are in the Outbound slot and shall add the cards to their train packet. 

Cars for pickup may include a dedicated less-than-carload car from a freight station -- treat it as above. If there is not a dedicated LCL car for the location and the train is carrying a "roaming" LCL car, check for LCL waybills in the Outbound box. If there are outbounds, there will be a loading time indicated on the waybill; that dwell time should be simulated. The LCL waybill should be added to the car card with other LCL waybills and stay with the train.

If the number of pickups exceeds the limit for the train, the priority of pickup shall be loaded cars (perishables first), foreign road empty cars, then home road empty cars.

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Throttle Holders

Velcro throttle holders are located at many places on the fascia, typically with throttle jacks: 

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Drink Holders

Please do not place drinks on the surface of the model railroad. Fold up holders are available on the fascia:

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Shenware's Waybills is used to generate multi-move waybills. Waybills contain the information that you would expect: the shipper, the destination, and the contents (which may be "Empty for Loading"). They may also contain special instructions, such as icing a reefer prior to delivery.

Inbound Traffic

Inbound traffic will arrive to Lewistown Junction yard by way of Altoona, Enola, or Northumberland. Cars will carry loads except for any empty cars previously requested by the Yardmaster.

Under the supervision of the Yardmaster, cars will be classified by destination routes. The title bar of the waybill is color coded for the convenience of the Yardmaster. The color is an indicator of the destination of the shipment, making classification easier. The waybill may also include specific routing information.

Waybill Color Codes for Destinations:
Route East (Enola)
Route East (Northumberland)
Route West (Altoona)
 Newport Turn (LE)  
 Mount Union Turn (LW) 
  Lewistown Junction (XA) 
 Lewistown Secondary (LN) 
Lewistown Secondary
Furnace Branch Siding (LNFB)
 Milroy Secondary (39) 
Milroy Secondary
Stone Turn (ST11)
Milroy Secondary
Steel Turn (SS05)


A local crew will take all cars for a specific route out for delivery and follow the instructions on the Local Switching page.

Outbound Traffic

Outbound traffic will be initiated by a waybill (not in a car card) arriving to the Freight Agent requesting a car "Empty for Loading".

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The Freight Agent works with the Yardmaster to assign the waybill to a car (via car card). Empty cars should be chosen in this order: foreign road cars in the same general direction as the shipment's destination, then home road cars. If not utilized for outbound shipments, foreign road cars should be sent home empty after a reasonable time to minimize "per diem" fees.

If a car is not available, the waybill is held until such time as a car is available. The Yardmaster can order empty cars from Altoona or Enola to maintain a supply on hand.

Once assigned, the car will be classified accordingly and sent out on the next local and delivered for loading. It will later be picked up and forwarded to its intended destination. It will then be routed through Altoona, Enola, or Northumberand.

Less Than Carload (LCL) Traffic

An exception is made for LCL traffic, which is handled differently than car load traffic. Jeff Wilson's book, "Express, Mail & Merchandise Service" (Kalmbach), is an excellent read on the subject. Some excerpts follow. As specific prototype information is lacking for Lewistown, what follow are the LCL practices that have been established for the PRR Middle Division in HO Scale.

"Railroads handled a significant amount of packages, crates, and other shipments that didn't take up an entire boxcar. This is most commonly referred to as less-than-carload (LCL) traffic, and is also known as merchandise, package, and break-bulk freight."

"To efficiently handle merchandise traffic, railroads used a system of local depots, small-city freight houses, and huge freight terminals and transfer houses."

"Individual boxes, crates, and packages are collected at small depots, local freight stations, or large terminals. They are shipped to the closes large freight house and offloaded. There, shipments are combined for common destinations, reloaded in boxcars, and routed to large transfer stations near their destinations."

"There, the process goes in reverse, as packages are unloaded, sorted, and reloaded for their final destinations, eventually arriving at a local freight station or depot, where shipments would be loaded on trucks for final delivery."

Wilson also discusses the roles of various cars used in LCL service...

"A package or merchandise car usually refers to cars being handled on-line -- among freight houses, transfer stations, or combination depots on the host railroad."

Scheduled LCL exchange service (merchandise cars) is established between Lewistown and Altoona, Harrisburg, Northumberland, Newport, Mifflin, and Burnham. Multiple cars may be assigned to protect each schedule, as needed.

IMG 2069

"A peddler or waycar were used to distrinute LCL to multiple stations along a route. They would be loaded at a larger freight house or transfter station. Peddler cars served stations too small to warrant receiving their own LCL car. The local may pause at a station for the peddler car to be unloaded; if the train had other work to do in town, the local would set out the peddler car at the depot until it was ready to depart and then pick it up."

The Newport Turn, Mount Union Turn, Milroy Turn, and trains S-70/S-71 each carry "peddler" LCL cars and pickup/deliver LCL traffic en route. These cars are all be routed to the downtown Lewistown freight station for shipment sorting. The process runs in reverse as well.

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 "A trap car was a car loaded with LCL items by a shipper on a rail siding at its own factory or warehouse. The shipper would load the entire car (or multiple cars), but the items were all individual shipments heading to multiple customers. The railroad would pick up this car and bring it to a nearby freight terminal, where it would be unloaded and the individual parcels sorted to their ultimate destinations."

Dedicated LCL cars (trap cars) are provided to Standard Steel Co. (Burnham). These cars are all be routed to the downtown Lewistown freight station for shipment sorting. The process runs in reverse as well.

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LCL Waybills

LCL waybills look much like regular waybills. However, they only have one cycle, from shipper to receiver. The header is color coded like regular waybills, but reads "LCL WAYBILL". LCL waybills are also a half inch shorter than regular waybills.

Below is shown the box car assigned to Burnham for regular Merchandise LCL service. At right are three waybills for shipments destined for offline customers in Burnham. When this car is loaded at the downtown Lewistown freight station, the LCL Waybills are placed into the car card for the Merchandise car.

IMG 2072

When a location has an assigned Merchandise car, all of its LCL waybills are inserted into the Merchandise car's car card. The approprite local will deliver the car to the destination (Burnham in this case). Between sessions the LCL waybills will be removed and outbound LCL waybills inserted. The car card will then be moved to the Outbound pocket for pickup and the return trip. The process repeats.

IMG 2073

For locations that do not have a dedicated Merchandise LCL car (most), outbound LCL waybills will be placed in the Outbound bin. When a local comes by with a Peddler LCL car, it will pick up the outbound LCL waybills and place them in the car's car card. The local may also be dropping off inbound LCL traffic and would put the inbound LCL waybills into the Inbound bin. The Peddler LCL car routes through the downtown Lewistown freight station for sorting, with the various shipments being moved to cars appropriate for each shipment's routing.

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THE PENNSYLVANIA RAILROAD
MIDDLE DIVISION
43rd SUB-DIVISION

EMPLOYEE ORIENTATION

FOR OPERATIONS ON
JERRY BRITTON'S
PRR MIDDLE DIVISION IN HO SCALE

EFFECTIVE AUGUST 6, 2017

Welcome

Welcome to the Pennsylvania Railroad's Middle Division! Congratulations on signing on; we wish you the best during your tenure as an operator on the line.

A few house rules:

  • No surprise visits! If you would like to operate on the railroad, please gain permission in advance.
  • If you have to cancel your attendance at a session, please do so in a timely manner so that an operator on the stand-by list may be offered your position.
  • Please plan to attend the entire session as an early departure may adversely affect the experience of the other operators.
  • Please do not bring guests without first gaining permission.
  • No children under the age of 16.
  • You may park in the street or the driveway. Limit parking in the driveway to the left hand side, as far forward as the lamp post; do not park on the right side.
  • The powder room is on the first floor, opposite the door to the basement.
  • Soft drinks are available in the train room's refrigerator, please help yourself. A recyclables container is located opposite the foot of the stairs.
  • Handle locomotives and rolling stock with extreme care. They are not only expensive, but have very delicate parts, including but not limited to, grab irons, brake wheels, etc.
  • Hand throws on switches are for decoration only! All switches are powered and are operated either by a tower operator or via toggle switch on the fascia.
  • When switching within an area, “normalize” all switches when leaving the area. The switch is in the normal position when the toggle is in the down position.
  • Have fun!

Human Resources

The Middle Division maintains an Employee Directory, a Seniority Roster, and confers the status of Seniority Roster upon employees that meet the criteria. 

Operating Philosophy

Source Documentation

The operation of the PRR Middle Division is intended to adhere to prototype practice where possible and reasonable. The following are links to prototype documents for reference.

The Rules for Conducting Transportation (a.k.a. Book of Rules) is the general “rule book” for the entire railroad.

The Eastern Region, Middle Division, Employee Timetable #7 includes rules specific to the locations depicted as well as timetable schedules for passenger and freight traffic.

The Makeup of Trains includes the specific consists of all of the passenger trains passing through the locations depicted.

The Through Freight Train Schedules Between Principal Points includes the blocking information and makeup of all freight trains passing through the locations depicted.

The Appendix to General Notice No. 234-B: Local Arranged Freight Train Service, Eastern Region provides information on intradivisional local freight service.

Scenarios

Operating sessions run on a 2:1 fast clock and alternate between two scenarios:

  • The First Trick scenario depicts a 7:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. shift. All scheduled trains are run plus local service on the secondary lines. Mineral trains and other extras are operated as capacity and crews allow.
  • The Second Trick scenario depicts a 3:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. shift, with a break, and resumes at 3:00 a.m. to 7:00 a.m. All scheduled trains are run. In addition, non-prototypical local service is operated on the secondary lines. Mineral trains and other extras are operated as capacity and crews allow.

The schedule is derived from the prototype Employee Timetable and provides target o/s times at LEWIS. The ETT provides times at LEWIS for passenger trains. The ETT provides start and end times between Altoona and Harrisburg/Enola for freight trains; time at LEWIS is interpolated.

As it is impractical to separately model each and every train on the schedule, the approach is to group trains by typical consist and create a model consist for each group. These "composite" trains then run multiple times, but as different symbols (freight) or named (passenger) trains. You may view the representative and prototype consists by clicking on the train symbol on the Sequence of Trains document.

Movement of Freight Cars

The Middle Division uses a "car card and waybill" system for freight car movements. The system is described on the following pages:

Car Cards

Waybills

Local Switching

Movement of Trains

All trains run as extras per prototype practice. The employee timetable does not provide timetable authority.

Movement of trains is based on a Sequence of Trains table. Sequences for each line are independent from one another.

Main Line Operations

Crews follow signal indication and operate their trains out of staging, proceed through Lewistown, and return to staging.

Some trains will originate or terminate at Lewistown. Crews will follow signal indication to/from the yard.

Secondary Line Operations

All non-main line trackage is categorized as secondary lines. Secondary lines have no passenger traffic (or they would be “branches”).

Authority to proceed is granted verbally at the leisure of the LEWIS tower operator via telephone.

The LEWIS operator will grant permission between points on the secondary line. Crews must contact the tower operator by telephone to indicate that they have reached their destination so as to clear the block.

All movements on secondary tracks are at restricted speeds with crews responsible for stopping short of obstacles or other trains.

There are numerous “yard limits” along the secondary lines. Movements within the yard limits are coordinated among affected crews.

Train Order Cards

A Train Order card is included at the front of every train packet. The card provides the train symbol, the train name (if one), the class, the origin, and the destination of the train.

An Instructions area provides information such as stops or work to be performed during the course of operation of the train.

train orders

Roles and Responsibilities

It takes many people to run a railroad. Roles and Responsibilities are covered on a separate page.

Throttle Instructions

ut4

Digitrax Throttles

The PRR Middle Division utilizes a Digitrax digital command control (DCC) system. Operators are encouraged to bring their own Digitrax throttles. Wireless throttles are supported.

A limited number of Digitrax UT4 throttles are available for those who do not provide their own throttles.

 Digitrax UT4 Series Throttle Manual

SmartPhone ThrottlesiPhone 5 Throttle

To use your iPhone, iPad or iPod Touch with JMRI as a throttle, you run the WiThrottle app on the iPhone or iPod Touch. The basic application is available for free download from the iTunes store.

To use your Android device with JMRI as a throttle, you run the Engine Driver program or Digitrains on the Android device. These free apps are available from the Google Play Store or the EngineDriver site.

Follow the configuration instructions for the respective application. The wireless network SSID is PRR and the server to connect to is Lewistown. (The Supervisor will provide the password on-site.)

Web Browser Throttles

webThrottle runs on the most recent browsers on computers, smartphones and tablets. The device and browser must support HTML5 and websockets.  It has been tested on Safari, Firefox and Google Chrome running on Windows, MAC, iPad/iPhone and Android - it should run on Internet Explorer 10. There is nothing to install on the device! webThrottle is completely resizable and it ajusts automatically to the size and orientation of the device screen.

The wireless network SSID is PRR and the server to connect to is http://10.0.0.2:12080/roster. (The Supervisor will provide the password on-site.)

Telephone Instructions

Mainline crews communicate with tower operators, when needed, via train phone. Train phone is simulated via lineside telephone.

Secondary crews communicate with tower operators via lineside phones. Locations of lineside phones are indicated on fascia control panels and represented trackside; locomotives/cabins should be stopped close to lineside phones for the convenience of the crews.

Until such time that lineside phones are implemented, crews shall walk to the tower operator to communicate. The act of walking to the tower operator shall simulate the act of walking to the lineside telephone. FRS radio shall be used temporarily between the yardmaster and the tower operator.