You are invited to become a crew member of the Midland Industrial Railroad. The next crew training session is scheduled for:
Training is given at company headquarters [address and directions]. A welcome sign will be posted on the door.
If you cannot attend your scheduled session, please call [phone number] between the hours of 10 am and 10 pm to reschedule.
When entering headquarters the coat closet is in front of you. Downstairs the training room is to the left, the crew lounge is to the right, and the refreshment stand is left of the lounge. Soft drinks are always available. Munchies are available on a random basis. Bringing munchies to share is encouraged.
The training room is climate controlled year round but the lights generate heat making this room warmer than others in the building, including the crew lounge. Short sleeves with, perhaps, a light jacket are recommended.
Radios are not required for training personnel.
During crew training you will be operating trains on a scale model of the Midland Industrial. Becoming familiar with the following items will help.
The operating system is CTC80 command control using an interface adapted by Dave. Locomotives are assigned to and released from throttles using the computer. Use "A" to assign, "R" to release, and the arrow keys to move to the appropriate throttle, locomotive, and direction of locomotive. Any throttle can then be plugged into any outlet on the layout and it will operate only the locomotive assigned to it. Memory allows your locomotive to continue moving at the same speed in the same direction while you move your throttle plug from one outlet to another. If you stay unplugged for too long a time, the locomotive will coast to a stop.
All turnouts are operated by ground throws. Please, return throws to the side painted green after passing to facilitate the smooth running of other trains.
Uncoupling of cars is done by hand. The preferred method is to reach over the car grabbing one wheel set on both sides, lift to separate the couplers, and replace the wheel set on the track a short distance away. This method is likely to do the least damage to the car as well as most likely to replace the wheels on the track. If a car derails it may be rerailed by hand. Picks are available for those preferring to use them.
If a car fails to perform properly, please, issue it a bad order card, found next to the computer. This will route it to the car shop in Franklin for repair.
Train movements are determined by train briefs. There is one brief for each job on the railroad. The briefs are stacked in the proper sequence for running at the beginning of a sessions. Please, take the next available brief, sign your name for that job on the crew call sheet, familiarize yourself with the work to be done (there is a map on the back of the brief), assign the proper locomotive to your throttle, and report for duty at the origination point. If the train originates in Franklin, tell the yardmaster you are available and wait for instructions. If it originates elsewhere, you may begin but, please, notify Franklin yard of your approach before clearing Essex if eastbound or Holmes if westbound.
Car movements are determined by car cards and bills of lading. Each car on the railroad has a matching car card. Every car in your train will have one. Most of them will have a bill in the pocket. The bills tell you where to deliver cars. If there is no bill, instructions for where to deliver the empty car will be visible through the empty pocket.
When you deliver a car, put its matching car card in the set out box of the location's card boxes. At each location you work, check the pick up box and pick up and bring with you any cards/cars there as you complete your route as specified by your train brief. Always be sure that car cards make the same moves as their cars. Otherwise, please do not move cards or you will confuse the Freight Agent. Yards and interchanges have boxes labeled for specific trains; pick up or drop off those cards appropriately.
While running your train, you may encounter another train. It is the crews' job to manage these meets and passes. The BN coal trains and the mail trains have priority so clear a through track when one approaches.
When you finish a train, place the train brief face down next to the others, release the locomotive from your throttle, take a break if you need one, take the next train brief, and begin again.
There will be a short break halfway through the session while yardmasters and freight agents do end of shift turnover.
Do not hesitate to ask questions. It is better than causing an accident. Some answers can be found on the bulletin board. While it is human to err, it can be expensive to do so.
Relax. Enjoy. Railroading is fun!