Applying Rules of Model Railroad Operation

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Now that we’ve gone over some of the basic rules of model railroad operation that are essential for using a timetable train order system, it’s time to put these rules to use. To do this, we head back to Paul Dolkos’s model of the New Hampshire stretch of B&M Railroad, and observe one of the day’s extra model railroad operation procedures at Groveton Turn.

Model railroad operation rules: adding an order

If you’ll recall, in standard model railroad operation, “extra” trains are trains that have not been listed in the railroad’s daily timetable, and therefore any run an extra train makes must be called in by the dispatcher via a “running” or extra order.

For today’s schedule, the dispatcher needs to add three running orders to the timetable in order to have two engines meet at the same station. Extra 1535, a northward train, and Extra 1561, a southward train, are ordered by today’s dispatcher to meet at Wells, but in order to make the timetable work, the dispatcher must submit the orders in the proper sequence. You’ll see how he handles this situation and learn what can happen if said proper sequence fails to be followed.

With Extra 1535 North and Extra 1561 South on their way to station at Wells, Steve King teaches you how to apply a number of the important model railroad operation rules that govern a timetable train order. He discusses certain scenarios that arise when extra trains are out on the main line, including what should be done when a superior train is headed in an opposing direction to an inferior train, as well as how to utilize operational or “slow” orders to mandate a slower speed for all trains currently out on the main line.

As an added bonus, near the end of the video you’ll see how the dispatcher handles a unique situation in which one of the current model railroad operation orders is delayed and the opposing extra trains are required to divert their meeting point to a new station.