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Freight Yards: What Are All Those Tracks?, Part IIIJul 22, 2000Rick Lake by 0 CommentIn the last article I wrote about the three different types of freight hauls that are sent out from a yard, through freight, way freight, and local. Making up the east or westbound through freight is probably a good job for a new operator on an unfamiliar layout as long as the demands aren’t for too many through freights in very limited time.
This can be a much more complex switching operation depending on the number of stops and the number of industries served at each location. Since the layout my wife and I will have is still in planning stages, our operating experience has been limited to other modelers’ layouts where it seems that usually one crew is assigned to operate a yard.
Option Two: Stage the yard prior to the actual operating session with both through and way freights sitting on designated tracks ready to go. Option Three: Another option which would be very much like the prototype in operation would call for as many as four crews to set up through and way freights.
I started this article with the intention of discussing all three types of freight operations, but I really think this article is long enough and so I am going to save local freights for another time. Rock IslandAbout the AuthorRick Lake models the free-lanced transition-era HO scale El Dorado and El Reno Railroad, running from Lillie, Louisiana, through Arkansas to El Reno, Oklahoma. If you want your map featured in issue #12 of the America’s Army Comics you can make it fit the theme. Anyone that is at least 18 years of age and not an employee of the Army Game Studio can submit maps. Warrington trainyard is located just west of Tenpenny Tower and north-west of Warrington station in the southwest corner of the game map.
To the northwest, just over the ridge, is a Dot's Diner, however, it has no notable loot of any kind.
If Broken Steel is installed one will sometimes find a feral ghoul reaver, an unpleasant surprise for low level characters mainly due to their large health and better attacks. This seems like a good time to discuss prototype and model operation and to focus on the task of the yard crews in getting each type of freight train ready to depart. Through freights are trains which travel nonstop (barring meets with passenger trains or engine servicing) from one yard to another. The yardmaster provides a switch list which tells what cars to pull from arrivals, interchange and local service.
Given a good switch list, a clear yard lead, the safety regulations for car placement within the train, and enough time, this is a pretty simple switching job. These trains serve wayside industries and smaller towns and cities which don’t generate enough traffic to have a yard and local service. The crew putting together a way freight needs more time to assemble the small blocks of 1, 2, and 3 cars and put them into the best sequence for the road crew to do its job. This works when the yard crews know the yard, and the overall scheme of the layout, but there are number of different options which can be used depending on the number of crews available and their familiarity with the layout. The yard crew’s job is to get the motive power and the caboose onto the specified train, set up clearance out of the yard and then pass the train on to the road crew.
The local freight is a real operating challenge for yard crews and road crews and it would be a shame not to give a full article to the local.
The presence of logos, URLs or other information identifying private companies or other non-federal agencies does not constitute an endorsement by the Department of the Army or the Department of Defense. There is a Type B random encounter location just west of the diner, at the radioactive pools.

Westbound service on the CRI&P from Armourdale to Herrington, Kansas is the example I knew well since I worked this job several times each of my two summers on the fireman’s extra board in Armourdale. These cars are already waiting in the designated train yard tracks or will be delivered there by other yard crews. If the yard tracks are clearly identified by name or number and there is an empty departure track, then the crew just has to make sure that all the cars in a block are in the correct block within the train. A typical way freight on the CRI&P might run westbound from the Carrie Avenue Yard in St. This would mean that more operators would be needed but no one crew would have to do it all. This option also allows a fairly inexperienced crew to keep up with the job pretty readily. Louis Community College–Florissant Valley, Rick worked part-time as engineer and dispatcher on the St.
This trainyard is an entrance to the area in which Roy Phillips and his ghoul friends are living. The train left Armourdale, traveled the UP mainline to Topeka, Kansas, where it switched over to Rock Island trackage and completed the run in Herrington. The cars going into the westbound for Herrington will be blocked according to destination or interchange road.
There is nothing that will make the crew in the next yard meaner than having to re-switch blocks to correct another crew’s sloppy work. In fact, this is exactly what I had the opportunity to do on Pete Sanborn’s Sierra Central on the Wednesday night before Thanksgiving. The hostler would take arriving trains power to the servicing facility and bring the assigned power to the outbound trains.
The winning map will be brought in house and worked on by our art team to enhance the look and feel of the map, as well as the performance.  After this process it will become an official map, and it will be featured in the America’s Army comic book series, issue 12. Feral ghouls are seen wandering the wasteland within the compound of the station, day or night. My main task as fireman was to check fuel and water gauges on the motive power just before Topeka since that was the only place we could take on water or diesel fuel on this particular run. All cars to be delivered to industries in and around Herrington will be in one block within the through freight. How much time depends on how well the crew knows the yard layout and how scattered the cars are to be assembled into this train. There was plenty to do to especially when the foreign road trains arrived from staging with the need to swap the head and rear end foreign equipment for Sierra Central equipment before the train could be passed on to the road crew. The only time we ever made a stop on that trip was on the night the load of reinforcing bars shifted while we were crossing the bridge into Topeka (but that’s another story). Two of the industries are reached via facing point switches while the others are all trailing point. And just as things seemed to settle down, trains begin to arrive in the receiving tracks which meant more moves with head and rear end equipment to be pulled for servicing facilities and the rest of the train to be relocated into the yard to clear the receiving tracks for later arrivals. Additional blocks will be set up for cars bound for other roads but not every city with a yard had interchange. If there is only a single yard with a single lead track (which is what most of us have to do because of space limitations), then it should be clear that putting together one or, at most, two way freights during an operating session will keep a crew occupied.

One yard crew was all that was needed to do this but it kept us busy for nearly every minute of the four hour operating session. A fourth crew could be used to make those odd job moves that always seem to be needed such as bringing in the last car or two from an in town industry that is supposed to go out on the next available train. Lake, Jr., worked for the Rock Island Railroad, and his family lived in 8 towns in 7 states in the system, including El Dorado, Arkansas, and El Reno, Oklahoma. In some cases a block of cars for local delivery was set out, motive power was serviced, and a new crew took over the train for the next leg. Somebody, in some article, in some magazine stated that model railroad switching and prototype switching really tend to take about the same amount of time.
This crew would also take care of putting the caboose on the outbound and taking the inbound down to be serviced before the next turn. The train might go out to Eldon on Monday and make an eastbound return trip on Tuesday, skip Wednesday, and make another out and back on Thursday and Friday. The 22 cars for delivery must be blocked within the way freight in a manner that makes it possible for the train crew to do its job quickly and efficiently. It is fine to run a fast clock on the trains to produce realism but running a yard on a fast clock is more likely to make yard crews crazy trying to keep up and train crews unhappy because of delays in getting their assigned trains.
The crew boards the motive power in one yard and passes the train on to another crew several hours later in another yard 200 miles or so down the line. Take blocks of cars and assemble them into the departure track in the order set up by the yardmaster.
The frequency of east and westbound way freights depends on the amount of traffic being generated by the industries served. This means the yard crew needs a very detailed switch list identifying each specific car to be added to the way freight and specifying its location within the train. The only factor this crew has to consider beyond getting the right cars in the right blocks is the safety issue.
Here too the rules for crew safety must be observed which may mean placing a car loaded with hazardous materials within the train in the less than optimum position for on-line servicing. Cars carrying combustible materials, explosives, or other hazardous materials had to be placed a set number of cars away from the engine and the caboose for crew safety. Going west, the way freight would set out loads and empties that were needed by the industries served and pick up only those cars which had delivery destinations further west. It is not the yard crew’s responsibility to know things like the length of spurs, sidings, run-around capacities or which industries are facing and which trailing point. They are simply going to put the cars together in the order specified by the switch list given to them.
Building a way freight takes the yard crew as long or longer than putting together a through freight because the way freight involves many moves of two and three cars at time as opposed to the larger blocks which make up the through freight. If the traffic on a segment served by this way freight was really large on a daily basis with a considerable number of cars with both east and westbound destinations, it is entirely logical for there to be both a westbound way freight departing Carrie Ave.

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