Operations on the Kansas City Subdivision

Overview | Cars, Driving and Traffic Control | Railroad Jobs

Updated 18 August 2015

How cars move from place to place.

Railroads exist to move freight from one point to another point. These points may be simply a location, or be the loading dock of an industry. The Kansas City Subdivision moves cars by means of waybills. The waybill specifies where the car is to go and what load it is carrying.

  1. Waybill

    1. Car Type
    2. To: Town
    3. Industry
    4. Optional VIA line
    5. From: Industry
    6. Lading:
    Car to KCS

    Let's take a look at each of these parts. Part 1 is the Car Type, which is taken from the American Association of Railroads car code register. All you need to know about this code is that it should match the code on the car card. The code in our photo is "LO" (Covered Hopper). More about the car card later.

    Part 2 (To: Town) tells us which Town where the car will be delivered, Part 3 tells which industry will receive the car. This information is used by the Yardmaster to determine which train will deliver the car. This car is going to Kansas City and Blacker Milling.

    Part 4 tells us that the car may be delivered to it's ultimate destination VIA another railroad company. For example, we want to send this covered hopper to Kansas City - Blacker Milling but that city is not on the layout! The load is sent VIA the KCS Railroad. The KCS will deliver the car to its final destination. As far as we are concerned, we are done with the car once it reaches KCS staging in Kenoche Yard.

    Part 5 tells us where the car came from, in this case, the Coburg Elevator. This information is mainly for the Layout Owner to reconstruct where the car came from in the slight possibility cards were not updated correctly.

    Finally, part 6 tells us what the car contains, e.g. Frozen Food, Peanut Butter, Lumber, Fertilizer. This particular load is Wheat.

    Waybills will send a car to one of two places, either an industry on the layout or a foreign railroad company. Here is the basic movement pattern for all cars.

    Transfer train => Coburg Yard => Local Turn train => Industry => Local Turn train => Coburg Yard => Transfer train

  2. Car card

  3. The Car card shows the Type, Road, Description and Number of the car for which it is issued. Car cards have a pocket on the front to hold the current waybill for the car. Car cards stay with their cars at all times. Car cards are kept in boxes nearby where the Car is sitting. Bensenville Staging has a 3 slot card holder. Centropolis has a 3 slot card holder. Hill Side Lumber and Standard Oil have a 2 slot. Team Track and Stone Manufacturing have a 2 slot holder and Rock Hill Gravel and KC Scrap have a 2 slot. Foreign Roads have their cards nearby the Foreign Railroad staging yards. All industry card holders are clearly labeled for their industries. If the car is in Coburg Yard, its card will be in the Yardmasters card holders.

  4. How to exchange cars

  5. Whichever cars are in the train, each one will have a car card and waybill. Find the Industry where the car is to be delivered and if there is a car in that spot already, it should be picked up, then the car in the train delivered. Pick up all the cars at the Industries then drop off the cars for the Industries.

  6. Summary

  7. The Waybill tells the operator where the car goes. The Car Card identifies the car and holds the Waybill. Car Cards stay with their cars wherever they go, but waybills can be changed as needed.

Rules for movement by CTC

From The Consolidated Code of Operating Rules (1980)

We have attempted to model "Centralized Traffic Control" (CTC) closely to the prototype Rules. The movement of all trains operating over the Kansas City Subdivision is monitored and controlled by the Train Dispatcher using CTC.

Coburg Yard, Centropolis, Bensenville, and West of Broadway Tower are all within Yard Limits and movements should be made at restricted speed while looking out for other train movements.

CTC rules are in effect from Southwest Junction to Broadway Tower. All train movements in CTC territory are made on signal indication. The Kansas City Subdivision uses a simplified Red - Green signal system. In accordance with North American prototype practice, signals governing a track will be set to the right hand side of the track. See the Guide To Signals for more information.

How to drive trains

The Kansas City Subdivision uses EasyDCC with wireless throttles.

To select a locomotive, press the hash key (#). The Forward and Reverse lights will both illuminate. Key the locomotive number e.g. 7 1 0 then the hash key (#). The Forward light will be on steady. To test that you are controlling the locomotive, press the 0 key to control the headlight. Turn the knob clockwise to increase speed and counter-clockwise to decrease speed. To change direction, press the large red key just below the knob. The lamp shows the current direction ( R or F ). F0 corresponds to the 0 (zero) key on the throttle. Other functions (F1-F8) correspond with their respective key on the throttle. When you are given your assignment, select the locomotive by keying it's number on the throttle. Press # (hash) key, then both direction (R/F) lights will turn on. Key in the number, e.g. 3 5 0 and then press the # key again. To test that you have the loco, press F2 to sound the horn.

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