Josh Clark

Realistic Model Railroad Operations

Josh Clark
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  • In-depth Instruction; over 83 mins
  • On-demand video access anytime
  • Bonus downloadable PDF resources
  • Access to class Q&A
  • Available for purchase: $39.99
We will begin by covering the basics – how to operate your trains at realistic speeds and use the sound functions like the prototype. We will also briefly discuss the overall goal and purpose of how and why railroads operate the way that they do.
Understanding the potential in a layout that you have already built, or designing a new layout with operations in mind, is the first and most important step to designing and implementing realistic operations. This session will cover the basic and fundamental aspect of a layout and how the apply to realistic operations.
There are many different types of trains that run on a railroad, like freight trains, locals, freights, single commodity trains, passenger trains, etc. This session takes a deeper look at each type of train that you will see in real life, and then how to accurately model those train types and movements on your layout.
Switching out an industry or railroad customer is one of the most basic elements of operations. This session will focus on how to realistically switch out an industry, and will conclude with an example of how we run a local during our own realistic operating sessions.
Rail yards are a key aspect of every railroad. They are the hub of every railroad and the origin/destination for many trains. This session will teach you how to organize your yards like the prototype, and how realistically operating yards can add a lot of interest and fun to your operations!
Once we have covered the types of trains and how they operate, we will look at how each engineer receives permission to move his train over the railroad. This session covers track authorities and signal use on railroads, as well as how it can be modeled on your layout.
This session is a continued discussion of train dispatching, with a more specific focus on communication between different trains, dispatchers, and railroad workers. We will look at steam era ops and train orders/timetables, as well as modern radio communication methods.
In this session, we’ll put everything together. Each of the aspects covered in the class will add to the realism of your operations and, when combined, will allow you to set-up a comprehensive and realistic operating session.
We have shared many of the things we’ve learned throughout many years of modeling, and they may seem overwhelming. Remember to apply them step-by-step and keep things fun in your model railroad operations!
In this bonus class session, Josh shares a few personal ideas and examples from his own operating sessions. You’ll learn how to implement “unexpected” or unique scenarios so that you can add even more fun to your operations!
10 Lessons
1  hrs 23  mins

Model railroading is an incredible hobby, that can teach you multiple skills, techniques, and tools.

Aside from scenery and model building itself, operations is another aspect of the hobby that can open up an entirely new frontier of fun and realism for your railroad.

In this class, your instructor Josh Clark will discuss prototype rail operations, applications to your layout, and how to design an operation session. This class is designed to apply to modelers of all skill levels and layouts of any size. Whether your layout is 4’ x 8’ or is a 40’ x 80’ basement empire, this class will have something for you. If you are still in the planning stages of your layout, you will also learn about designing a layout with operations in mind.

Throughout the class sessions, you’ll learn about how prototype rail companies organize and operate their railroads. We will talk about applying aspects of real railroading to your modeling so that you can add a new sense of realism to your layout.

We’ll also cover several examples of an operating session, following specific trains as they switch out an industry or make their way over the railroad. Additional resources included with the class will help you set up an operating session for your own railroad, such as blank train orders, car rosters and switch lists, and track authority forms.

Operations can be an intimidating aspect of the hobby to get started in, but this class will give you an excellent platform to get started, or continue to build on if you have already applied some aspects of operation to your existing railroad.

In addition to your video instruction, you’ll get a helpful Class Guide PDF that you can print out and use as a reference as you plan for, and incorporate, realistic operational functions into your layout, as well as several downloadable resources that will help you manage your operations like an actual railroad.

Josh Clark

Josh Clark grew up in the mountains of Western North Carolina and has shared the hobby with his father since he was very young. Together, they have spent 12 years building a modern Norfolk Southern layout, which can be seen in many of Josh's videos. The layout is loosely based on the rail lines of North Carolina, and he enjoys modeling many of the scenes and trains that he saw growing up. By day, Josh is a medical student at the Medical University of South Carolina. One of the big reasons he loves this hobby is that it gives him an escape from long hours of working and studying. Whether it's building a locomotive in the evenings or finishing scenery on the layout back home with his father, Josh finds the hobby to be a great source of relaxation, friendship, and skill that can apply to many other areas of life.

Josh Clark

Bonus materials available after purchase

Realistic Model Railroad Operations Purchase this class for $39.99.