$DLRR Mechanics

Throttles are SAT 8s. These are Bruce Lindsay's Smooth Action Throttles designed for N scale trains. They have a rotary for speed control, a slide switch for direction control, and a rotary for setting the type of momentum desired. I suggest you leave the momentum off until you get really good at running the railroad but it does provides some unique challenges for the advanced operator.

These are walk-around throttles; you can move the plug while your train keeps moving. If it takes too long to replug or if you do not plug firmly enough, your train may reverse direction. Plug and unplug assertively.

Each throttle has a colored dot on the top. The dots tell you which throttle outlet to plug into. If you accidentally plug into the wrong outlet, you will have no control over your train and you may find yourself controlling someone else's train. Watch your color!

Power Routing is by block control and turnout direction. The rotary switches on the control panels have colored dots that match those on the throttles. Set the rotary to your color to get control of that block after checking to be sure no other train is using it. When leaving a block, turn the rotary to the far left to remove control from your throttle in case someone else should wander into that block accidentally giving you control of a train you don't know about. Setting the rotary to off also assures you that when you move on to the next train, you won't still be running the previous train.

Power is also routed through the Peco turnouts. If your train tries to travel into a block it cannot get out of because of a turnout set against it, it will stop. If a train stops without apparent explanation, check the settings of the turnouts. This can also work for you. For instance, right now Middleton is all one block. When you park a train there, set the turnout away from the track so the next person who selects that block will not be accidentally running a previously parked train.

When parking a train in Westwood, be sure to turn off your throttle . It is so easy to forget this since letting go of the forward switch stops your train. If you don't turn off the throttle, when you get back to your throttle, the train on that block will take off without you!

Train descriptions are in the 3" x 5" plastic pockets. These tell you what train goes where on what schedule.

Load cards tell the freight trains what work needs to be done. The load cards are in the car cards in the card boxes. Every town has a set of boxes. Every industry and holding track has its own box. Every car has a car card located in the box that matches its current location. Every car card has a load card except for the hoppers for the power plant. (The coal trains have special instructions for the power plant.) The load cards tell you the destinations of the cars. If the load card says it is going to the industry it is already at, leave the car there. If the load card says it is going to a different industry, pick the car up and put it in your outbound train.

The car cards move with the train to tell the next conductor what to do.

That's it. The load cards and car cards tell you what to move, the train description tells you when to do it, and the throttle lets you move the train.