Mark Dance

Farron summit train order station showing train order panel and phone to Dispatcher (and Digitrax radio throttle). An Eastbound has the Board set against it but it looks like the crew have already picked up their orders and pressed the "acknowledge button" to let the Dispatcher know that the order has been properly received and understood.

Farron summit train order station showing train order panel and phone to Dispatcher (and Digitrax radio throttle).  

An Eastbound has the Board set against it but it looks like the crew have already picked up their orders and pressed the "acknowledge button" to let the Dispatcher know that the order has been properly received and understood.
Mark Dance, Apr 30, 2011
    • Cajonpassfan
      Mark, this is fabulous (as is the rest of your awesome layout). I am working on something similar and wondered how to get the TO's to the crews...I presume the crew calls the DS for orders if a TO board is set againt them? If so, why an "acknowledge" button? Or do you have a way to "pick up" the TO?
      Beautiful layout!
      Regards, Otto Kroutil
      Modeling Cajon Pass circa 1950
    • Mark Dance
      Thank you very much for the kind words Otto.

      As luck would have it I just deleted a couple of photos of the "pigeon hole board" I made up so the dispatcher can pass the orders and clearances to the crews. However you can see it hang below the second level benchwork, and above South Slocan, at the entrance to the train room in this photo:

      http://www.trainboard.com/grapevine/picture.php?albumid=1412&pictureid=18937

      In practice, a Dispatcher wishing to pass an order to a crew sets a board against the crew at the desired TO station (there are 6). This sets a red LED at the train order station and throws a relay as well - which some day will drive a nitinol-powered train order semaphore.

      The JMRI/Panelpro panel used for this is shown here:

      http://www.trainboard.com/grapevine/picture.php?albumid=931&pictureid=18279

      A video of a prototype semaphore is shown on my Youtube site as well as one of the Panelpro operation.

      The Dispatcher situated just outside the train room writes out an order and puts it in the correct slot in the pigeon hole board. The crew stops their train and proceeds to the pigeon hole board to pick up their orders from the designated slot. Once they have read the orders they press an acknowledge button at the TO station and only then can the Dispatcher clear the board against them. If the crew is unclear they can use the phone at the TO station to call the Dispatcher for clarification. We toyed with the idea of an automatic timer set to the fast clock to protect the rear of the train by "lowering" the board behind the train and raising it 20 mins later but the complexity and confusion were deemed unwarranted.

      In effect we have tried to split the responsibilities of a Train Order station agent equally between the crews and the dispatcher as I have neither the physical room nor the interest to introduce these positions.

      Hope that makes sense. Please let me know if anything needs clarification

      md
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  • Album:
    C&W Operations
    Uploaded By:
    Mark Dance
    Date:
    Apr 30, 2011
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