Simple Switch List

    In terms of operations, the layout configuration was designed with switching in mind.  For the Foss Junction switching area, we first tried a simplified switch list similar to the one used by the Pines and Prairies S Scale Workshop

Switch List

   Create a switch list similar to the one shown on the left. This can be done on a computer or drawn by hand. The list notes if there is a car to be a picked up or set out. In the “Customer/Track” column, identify the appropriate location. With the car type you may, if you wish, put in the car reporting marks and number as well as the contents.
   Next, make up a four car train using staging tracks or the fiddle yard (see track layout). Have the train arrive from the left <South> and perform the switching duties.
    Users can also make this into a contest, trying for the least amount of time, or the least number of moves (each change in direction is a move). The “Brakeman-Beginner” takes about 10 to 20 minutes to complete.

Simple Card SystemCard System

    Later, a refined card order system was installed, using playing cards as described in the Clark Fork layout of John Flann (Great Model Railroads 2000 by Model Railroader).

    One will need a deck of playing cars and some labels. Using the labels, make one for each car, The label should include the reporting marks, car type and number. Also, one should indicate if the car is to be picked up by a Northbound or Southbound train. About half the cars should be Northbound, the other half Southbound. There should only be one car for each of the industries spots.
    To start an operating session, fill about half the spots with cars (leaving the corresponding card near that industry). Using another deck of cards, randomly select a number from 1 to 8, and make up a train using that same number of cars (the cards go with the train)
    The train will set out ALL the cars in the train, and a Northbound train will pick up any Northbound cars.  Likewise, a Southbound train will do the same.

Motive Power

Diesel Power - Click model image for larger photo!

D&M GE U23B #4501


D&M #4501
GE - U23

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D&M #4502
GE - U23

Detroit & Mackanic #468


D&M #468
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  PM SW1 # 11


PM #11

PM NW2 #62


PM #62


Ann Arbor GP35 #388


AA #388
EMD - GP35

TSBY GP35 #389


TSBY #389
EMD - GP35

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JBX #81

Steam Power

FJ 0-6-0



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  PM 1225



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Lima - 4-8-4

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D&M #150
Baldwin - 2-8-0

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PM #727
ALCo - 4-6-2