Operating Instructions – Part 2


(Revision 2 – 12 April 2014)


 1.1 Before any operation commences each crew comprising an engineer and a conductor should familiarise themselves with the overall arrangement of yards and stations, making  a sequence list, if necessary. They should also note the passing siding lengths in relation to the length of their train. This yard/station sequence while also be displayed on the "white board". The "white board" will also indicate which end of the setup is defined as the "western" and "eastern" terminal point. Other junctions will not be given cardinal points at this stage.
1.2 Each crew must familiarise themselves with the car-card/waybill system. Each yard and station should have three boxes for car-cards, labelled "Pick-ups West", "Set-outs/Empties etc" and "Pick-ups East". Station owners may create boxes for a specific industry if they so desire. Pick-ups east or west are cars that have completed their assignment at the specific station and are ready to be picked up and conveyed further along the system in the direction indicated. "Set-outs" are cars that have not reached their destination in the station, and might be "Off-spots" (no space is available in their assigned siding), empties, or bad order cars (breakdowns like a hot-box, dropped couplings, etc).
1.3 All empty cars set out at the start of an operating session must have its own car-card in a yard's or station's "Empty" box.
1.4 Waybills will be randomly drawn and allocated to the appropriate car type (e.g. gondola, reefer), initially in the staging yard and/or interchange (White or Glow Yard). Depending on the number of operators, additional randomly drawn way-bills can be allocated to appropriate empty cars in the various stations.
1.5 Cars destined for stations not included in the session set-up should be sent to either of the allocated staging yards. This allocation will be displayed on the "white-board" at the start of a session.
1.6 If sufficient crews are available, crews could be assigned trains from any station operating as a turn/way-freight. They should make up their train based on the cars and the waybills in the yard and block as appropriate before departure.


2.1 Each crew of Engineer/Conductor will be assigned a train of cars in the staging or interchange yard. They should examine the way-bills, and if time is available before their departure, block the cars in accordance with the yard/station sequencing. They may also write out a separate switch list if they have the time and so desire.
2.2 Before commencing switching a yard/station, the crew must review all the car-cards in the boxes and in their train to determine which they are going to pick up, set out or leave behind.
2.3 Once a train arrives at a yard the crew must examine the "Pick-ups" and "Empties" car-cards of cars in the yard to see if they can add any to their train after making their "Set-outs", bearing in mind the length of their train and the length of subsequent passing loops. The maximum train length is ten cars excluding the caboose.
2.4 Once a car has been set out the crew must turn the waybill over to display the next sequential movement and place the car-card in the appropriate "Pick-up" box. Should the waybill have reached the end of its sequence of set-outs, it should be removed from the car-card and returned to the stock of unused waybills at the end of the session, The car-card must be placed in the "Empties" box.
2.5 Any set-outs at yards without passing loops should only be done for trailing turnouts/sidings. This will result in leaving part of the train on the main line while shunting the yard. All pick-ups on the trailing turnouts/sidings shall be removed (if you have sufficient space in your train) including those going in the opposite direction. They should be dropped off at the next yard and their car-card placed in the appropriate "Pick-up" box for the next crew going in the opposite direction to pick up. On arrival at the next yard or station, these cars should only be left in the appropriate siding and not on the main or passing loop.
2.6 On departure from a yard the crew must ensure that no cars are left on the main or passing siding and that all car-cards are in the correct box.


3.1 All crews will bw assigned an approximate departure time in an attempt to eliminate crowding or congestion of stations. All trains operate as "Extras" with no classification initially. At a later stage we will introduce higher priority trains, including passenger trains operating to a time table, and the "Extras" will have to observe classification rules, which will be defined later.
3.2 Before leaving any yard or station the train crew of an "Extra" must get clearance from the despatcher. On arrival at a yard or station the crew must advise the dispatcher of their arrival time. At this stage no written train orders will be made, only verbal orders. All communication must be limited to the minimum. All trains should have a trailing caboose when moving between yards or stations.


The following whistles or horns must be used on the occasions indicated below:
Short Apply brakes/stop
Long-long Release brakes/proceed
Short-short-short Reversing/backing-up
Long-long-short-long Approaching grade crossing,
tunnel, obstruction, etc
Long Approaching station, yard,
junction, etc
The bell should be rung when approaching a grade crossing or a passenger depot.


The following speed limits shall be observed at all times:
In yards 15mph (approx 12 secs/metre)
Outside yards 25mph (approx 8 secs/metre)
Cars must not be coupled at a speed in excess of 4mph (walking speed)
6.1 Note that the waybills do not distinguish between ice and mechanical reefers.If you have a mechanical reefer and the waybill directs you to an ice-track, skip that spot and go direct to the next set-out.
MER April 2014