Sample Operations Training slides

Discussion in 'Operations' started by friscomike, May 15, 2009.

  1. friscomike

    friscomike Administrator Staff Member Administrator Supporter


    Every year the Texas Western Model Railroad Club conducts classroom and practical training for the club's model engineers and conductors. To get this section started, I've attached the club's Powerpoint presentations (and PDF for those who don't have Powerpoint) used this year for refresher classroom training. The practical training involved hands on running trains with a coach. I'll profile it in a separate post.

    The TWMRC uses ProTrak operating software, so the switchlist reflects the version printed by ProTrak.

    Have fun,
  2. Sirfoldalot

    Sirfoldalot Supporter Supporter

    Holy Queen Posts, Batman ...
    My 747 Manual was not that complicated!
    Just Kidding, Mike.
    Awesome stuff, nicely done.
  3. friscomike

    friscomike Administrator Staff Member Administrator Supporter


    What we discovered at the club, was that members came had different operating experiences from clubs all over the country. No two thought of operations the same way, so we needed to teach folks the Texas Western standard way of operating.

    Another thing we learned was that it wasn't so important to focus on car cards, paper TO, or a full featured transportation system simulation like ProTrak, but to focus on operations basics. Though the slides may seem sophomoric, students really had more fun when operating, because they understood what real railroads did in the 1945-1959 era.

    Our practical training centered on what a prototypical engineer or conductor would need to know. An engineer needed to know the layout, backwards and forwards, to know and use signals, to know how to use a throttle and control the train. We conducted hands on practical training on each of our five divisions, with members tutored by our most experienced members. We followed with similar conductor training, centering on the trains and their respective origin, destinations, and reporting points. Each conductor student performed activities dictated by a switchlist on each division including turnout control, facing point switching, etc.

    All in all, it was loads of fun, measured in the smiles on member's faces. (I haven't told our heavily oriented ATSF and T&P members, that I used Frisco rule books to develop many of the practical training points or they might not be smiling). They'll never know anyway...LOL.[FONT=&quot][/FONT]

    Best regards,
  4. yardmaster

    yardmaster Administrator Staff Member Administrator Supporter

    Mike -
    As a somewhat amateurish model railroader but a professional trainer by trade, I applaud the club's efforts!

    From my limited club/guess operator experience even a "boot camp" goes a LONG way toward maximizing the experience, ensuring a smooth operating session and encouraging repeat visits.

    And, from a training standpoint, "continuous education" (or CE as the insurance industry calls it) is a critical component in maintaining the competency of the professionals on the front line. I would suspect a model railroad should operate no differently-especially a large, more complex club layout!

    Thanks for sharing a bit of your club's philosophy.

    Best Regards,
  5. FriscoFriend (Bob Hoover RIP 4/12/2018)

    FriscoFriend (Bob Hoover RIP 4/12/2018) Passed Away April 12, 2018 Supporter

    Mike and All:

    Really good material and very profesionally done. For those of you that have never visited the Texas Western, it is well worth the trip to Ft. Worth to see it. Maybe Mike could arrange a Frisco Operators Weekend someday soon. Hint! Hint!

    Bob Hoover
  6. Rick McClellan

    Rick McClellan 2009 Engineer of the Year

    Wish I would have had something like his 25 years ago. I wouldn't have looked quite a goofy.

    One of the key things I have learned about operating over the years is that no one is the expert, even those who work on the railroad. Like so many things in life, there are many ways to get the work done. The key is to relax, have some fun and never admit guilt. Oh and be ready to fire back at those who might criticize. They usually dish it out and don't know how to handle incoming fire. It's really quite funny to watch them squirm.

    Nicely done and I may just plagarize these things in the future for operators that are really new.

    Ship IT on the Frisco!

  7. friscomike

    friscomike Administrator Staff Member Administrator Supporter


    Thanks for the comments folks. Since a club is even worse than friends getting together to operation as far as the "right" way to do things, we wanted to standardize on the Texas Western Way. That got rid of the "that's not the right way" comments.

    We do chide unmercifully if a crew runs into another train, runs a grade crossing without blowing a signal, has sound set too high or goes to the wrong yard. In fact, it usually winds up in our newsletter, photos posted on our clubs forum, and is brought up repeatedly when we eat together.

    I have heard that we have a guy who sits up in the loft above the layout (next to the dispatcher) scans the layout isles with a paintball gun and patiently waits for an infringement of the Needless to say, I'd never wear good clothing to operations nights!

    To pile on Rick's point, it is ALL ABOUT HAVING FUN.

    This is our third year of training, so I guess this training could be considered Continuing Education. After all, we slept since the first class, thus forgot it.

    Best regards,
  8. Rick McClellan

    Rick McClellan 2009 Engineer of the Year

    My favorite part was "never admit guilt."

  9. meteor910

    meteor910 2009 Engineer of the Year Staff Member Supporter

    Rick - That part, in particular, is very prototypical to real RR practices!

  10. John Markl

    John Markl Member

    I've visited that layout almost annually for several years. I'd love to participate in an op-session there sometime.
  11. friscomike

    friscomike Administrator Staff Member Administrator Supporter

    Howdy John,

    It is my intention to have a Frisco operating session at the TW sometime this year. We'll run our normal operations, but with Frisco locos and cabooses. Perhaps we'll team a Frisco visitor with one of our members who know the layout. The visitor can bring the Frisco equipment they want to run. Anyway, it is in the planning stages.

    While our layout does not completely represent Frisco territory, we could still have some fun. Stay tuned.

    Best regards,

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