When I started this layout, I really had not thought about the “purpose” of it.  I guess it really never occurred to me there could be more than just running trains in circles thru cool scenery.  After visiting a friend’s layout during an operating session, I realized there could be a purpose behind running trains.  So I went back to the drawing board and rethought what I could do.  While there have been many iterations, this is the latest version.  Here are my thoughts and plans for how I plan on running this railroad.

I can see a couple distinct ways to operate, with smaller ops options within each.

  1. The first is the obvious loop.  The mainline runs a full loop with two sidings on opposite ends.  Two operators could run thru trains and have meets on the sidings.
  2. Eastbound and westbound locals.  Each of these has the same principle but provide a completely different feel.  For this to work, one must imagine the south yard  (bottom) and the south passing siding are on opposite ends of the line.

Here is an example of how I envision a possible operating session could happen

One operator can run switching at the south yard.  When I train is assembled another operator can bring power around and take the local westbound (left) out of the yard.  This operator can do the switching at the various industries along the way.  Another operator, or even the first, can do some light switching at the UP interchange yard (top left corner) preparing cars for the local when they arrive.  The local continues around the entire layout until it reaches the south passing siding where he can run around his train and head back around the layout switching at the remainder of the industries.   When everything is done the local would end up coming back into the yard on the west end.

Obviously there are many options.  Yet another operator could be running a run thru coal train around the loop just to keep things interesting for the local (duck into the clear).  A partial local could be run (run around and come back from the north siding), or even two locals, one headed out of the yard in different directions.

Anyway you look at it, there could be multiple different ways to run an operating session.  I know, right now many of the industries all face the same way.  I need to change some and/or add some more.  What I have drawn in currently for industries is more ideas than final.

Here are a couple track diagrams showing what the east/west bound trains would encounter.

Thoughts or opinions, I am always open to listening!

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