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I'm still in the stage of refining my track plan, and was wondering how many of you actually 'Operate' your railroad instead of running it in circles. I find from my HO days that operations are fun, but was wondering how well it adopted into G scale.
 

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I designed mine for operations and casual observing. We did ops once many moons ago. I keep thinking of trying again, especially now that I've added more spurs. Maybe one day...
 

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The OVGRS members essentially only operate. The IPP&W, the host railroad for the OVGRS (see www.ovgrs.org for details and a trackplan), was designed many years ago to be operated and has been refined over the years. Most OVGRS members have no track of their own and in fact their primary modelling scale is likely to be HO ... they come out because we operate every saturday morning.

On days that no operation is scheduled or inclement weather postpones an operation, there may be some light running but most members are not much interested in running a train in a circle.

Live steamers take part in the operations from time to time - a couple of Finger Lakes Live Steamers are regular attendees at the American Invasion event and they always run live steam in the operation. Live steam locos are definitely a bit of a challenge but all good fun.

Our normal operations feature dispatching by track warrant (the dispatcher has his own cabin) and the freight car forwarding is done using RailOp software. The schedules and train types were developed over a number of years of trial and error as we worked on a scheme that gave all the operators a challenge and that kept everyone equally busy.

For us, the biggest chore to running the weekly operation is the picking up and setting out of almost 200 pieces of rolling stock. Between sessions, these cars are stored in colour coded trays in an outdoor storage shed (we have two sheds one for narrow gauge and one for 1:29 standard gauge). The colour codes correspond to the city on the railroad where the cars are located - this facilitates their setting out for the the next operation.

As a footnote, rolling stock and trackwork must be reliable for an operation to be enjoyed. That means common couplers that function (we use Kadees) and they must be body mounted - backing talgo mounted cars around curves and through switches is not fun.

Those folks who attend the annual American Invasion get a shot at this operation - this year we ran three separate ops sessions to give all the visitors their fill. If anyone plans to be in the Ottawa area between now and Canadian Thanksgiving (the second monday of October) and would like to take part in the saturday morning ops session, just let me know. OVGRS members would be glad to have you aboard.

Regards ... Doug
 

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I spend lots of time at the Botanic where trains just run in circles and eights. I'd plan for more operations;)
 

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I don't know about Operations but I plan to have industry. Not just sitting on the porch and watching it go around in circles. Like maybe a copper mine out in the desert and a proccessing plant in town. Plus a Cattle Ranch with a meat plant in town. Mabye a huge circle with towns and sidings. Places to go get rolling stock and bring it somewhere else.
 

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Posted By up9018 on 07/29/2008 11:29 AM

I'm still in the stage of refining my track plan, and was wondering how many of you actually 'Operate' your railroad instead of running it in circles. I find from my HO days that operations are fun, but was wondering how well it adopted into G scale.


Interesting timing. With the planned inclusion of a substantial railroad yard into my system, I will finally be in a position to conduct railroad operations. It definitely takes a lot of space and track to accomplish this in a satisfying manner.  I just posted these tentative plans and will begin work on that segment of my railway next spring. I see operations as a natural, but usually long-term extension of large-scale outdoor railroading once the basic line has been laid. 
 
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