| Garden State Central
Model Railroad Club
| Car Routing (1 of 4)
The railroad industry is in business to make money, not to just run trains. To generate this income, traffic is solicited. On most lines, this business was of 2 types, Freight and Passenger. Each of these was handled in different ways, simultaneously. For the moment, let us consider just the freight.
The prototype solicits business from its lineside industries and gets additional revenues by handling cars to and from other lines, via interchanges. On the model we must create a means to artificially simulate these prototype conditions in order to obtain a method of routing our cars that will appear realistic and satisfy our desires by giving our operation a purpose.
It is generally realized that much of the enjoyment of operating a model railroad comes from realisticly following the movements of individual cars, based on what the prototype does. A good balance for a model railroad is reached by having your railroad laid out so that the required moves are somewhat complicated, but not overly difficult.
In order to get a good balance and to stimulate many interests at the same time, the GARDEN STATE CENTRAL is patterned after a prototypically correct Trunk Line. Such a railroad would carry a moderate amount of traffic, operating both Local, and Through Freights. By doing so, it is required that the local (or Way Freight, or Drill--whatever it is called), will have to keep out of the way of the higher priority trains, thus adding to the interest.
Many modelers and railfans consider the operations of a local freight to be most interesting. On many prototypes, this is the only type of operation; and on even the biggest and busiest of lines, at any one location at a given time, it is the only operation apparent. So let us build our simulation from this type of operation.
A prototype way freight starts its work from a terminal, works down the line a certain distance, and usually returns to its initial terminal, most often in the same day. The amount of traffic to be carried depends on the number of industries to be normally served as well as the number of cars each industry may get. Most often, it will run from one Division Point to another, such points being located about a day's work from each other. If there is too much business for a day's work, perhaps there may be a mid-point, with a small yard, for the local to turn back at; another second local then works the 2nd half of the line. Or in our case, a 2nd drill may work only the coal traffic while the first works the higher priority freight (that generating greater revenues).
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