This page describes the use of the Card Cards and Waybills on our home road.
On the Quaker Valley, each town and yard location has a slot for each track or industry. We do not use the Setout/Hold/Pickup rules for car cards and waybills. The car cards for the cars located on the railroad are stored in the appropriate slot. I have assembled these from pine lattice boards and masonite. The 1-1/4” pine lattice provides a uniform size for the sides and bottom of the card box. Masonite panels are glued on front and rear. I use drywall screws to attach these multiple slot boxes to the railroad fascia. Labels identify each industry or yard track. What you see pictured here is the town of Moss Creek. Industry tracks (in red) are for Reading Bone Fertilizer, Cyphert Machine and Goodwin Brick. The two tracks identified with the QV logo are the mainline and a passing siding. The two track boxes to the right are for B&O staging tracks which join the QV mainline just east of Moss Creek at Twin Rocks.
Some folks try to make using car cards and waybills much more difficult than it really is. The waybill in the car card box tells you where the car should be when you are done working that track, station, yard or industry. If the car isn't where it is supposed to be; move it to or towards the desired location indicated on the waybill. Crews do not change the waybill during an operating session. They just "read and heed" as a real railroader would do when looking at an actual waybill.
When picking up a train in staging or at a yard, the crew will check the car cards against the train and make sure they have all cards and are in order. A count of cars should be noted.
When a local crew enters a town for switching, they check all track bill boxes to see what cars are ready to be picked up. If a bill reads TO the town they're in, obviously it's not ready to be picked up yet. So a car dropped off a few minutes ago still says TO this town, and the bill is put back in the box.
If the bill reads TO another location, then obviously the car is to be picked up. Thus one bill box does the work of the three bill boxes in the old scheme.
Since there is a bill box for EVERY track in town, if a car cannot be spotted because that spot is occupied by a car not ready to be picked up yet, the car is left “off spot” on a storage track or another open industry track. The car card/waybill is put in that track's box. The next local crew working that town will come across that bill and car and spot it if the spot has since been cleared.
Car cards from the local train that are set out are placed in the appropriate industry box as the set outs are made.
Car cards for the pickups are placed in the pack for the local train in the same order as the cars in the train.
When a train enters a yard, the yardmaster will exchange with the crew all cars and car cards that match.
When a train terminates in staging, the crew will place the car cards in the appropriate staging track box backwards to indicate the train has run that session.
Between sessions, the way bills are cycled by the layout owner. Waybills for cars that are located at their destination “TO entry” industry MAY be cycled for their next destination on the 2 or 4 sided waybill. Some waybills are removed revealing the “When Empty Return To xxx” instruction on the car card. I often will purposely leave a car at the industry for an extra session and have the rear car ready to pickup to generate additional switching by the next local crew.
Waybills and car cards for cars that are “off spot” are left alone.
My industry at Goodwin Brick generates request(s) for empty boxcars from the Lynnsburg yard. There is a stack of waybills in the box at Moss Creek for this industry. When restaging, I randomly select 0, 1 or 2 waybills and place them at Lynnsburg yard. The yardmaster needs to find suitable empty box cars and send them to Moss Creek on the next Costello Turn.
Car cards for equipment that reaches the Costello yard (the furthest north modeled area) which are destined for Buffalo and Rochester will also be cycled. Waybills still to be delivered locally are left alone.
Trains in staging are usually run out into the open and waybills are cycled. I have many cars that remain on the train and never are switched out. The waybills for these cars may have 4 eastbound sources and 4 westbound destinations, and even though they are different, stay in that train. Waybills for cars that were picked up are cycled and the cars may be physically moved in the train to block the setouts for the Lynnsburg yard at the front for Eastbound trains and at the rear for Westbound trains. I insert a separator card to indicate the setout pint in the pack of car cards.
Through hopper trains on the double ended Conrail staging tracks may simply have the car card/waybill pack turned around in the box to be ready for the next session. This keeps empties moving west and coal moving east.
Trains headed into stub end staging are usually just run backwards between sessions to return them to their starting point for the next session. Cars may be physically moved between trains or back to the yards to create some variety. For trains like the ore train, this precludes the need to load and unload individual open cars.
Using the four-cycle waybill may therefore require five or six sessions to cycle back to the original bill. By then, no one will remember that a particular car was spotted at a specific place, so there is no need to ever remove a waybill from its card card for the sake of variety. I also use quite a few 2 sided waybills to run a car or group of cars back and forth between two locations. This is very prototypical.
WAYBILL and TRAIN CARD FORMATS from the Waybill Program
We have printed our own waybills using our own program, but these can be reproduced with any spreadsheet today. We use 2, 3 and 4 sided waybill forms. The form above shows side 1 and 2 and the card is flipped for sides 3 and 4. The waybills are inserted into a pocket on the car card formed by folding up the lower 1.5" and taping the sides together. Between operating sessions, the waybills are flipped to show the next car destination. Our Waybill program also prints a Train Card to describe the work accomplished during an operating session.
CAR CARD FORMATS from the Roster Program
Our Roster program includes a channel number for DCC or Command Control locomotives. It also has a revised format for the Car Card and Loco Card which eliminates the unit cost and other model related information. Only the data required for operations appears on the card. These cards are compatible with those from Old Line Graphics as shown.
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