Operating Sessions are held twice a month.
Model Railroading Is Fun!

Queens County Model Railroad Association

Empire Valley Railroad



Preliminary Operations Plan


Operations are going to be phased in as follows:


1) Through Trains. Operate from one main yard to another main yard. This will allow members to become familiar with the layout and locations on the layout.


2) Unit Trains. Operate from one main yard to another main yard, secondary yard and/or local industry.


3) Yard Master/Yard Crew. Break down through and unit trains and assemble into blocks of cars for either local, additional through or unit trains. This will also include car float operations.


4) Local Trains: Operate from main yard to local sidings. Switch local industries as follows:

            a) Car-for-car switching. Train will be made up of cars that will be switched out on a car-                              for-car basis. Example: Bring in a boxcar, reefer, and tank car. Only switch out a                                    boxcar, reefer, and tank car.

            b) Switch list. As the layout operational characteristics develop, a switch list will be                                    generated to assist in switching local industries.

            c) Waybills. Further along in the development, waybills in addition to switch lists will be                               employed.


5) Passenger Trains. They will start out as through express trains. Later commuter and/or locals will be developed. Operational characteristics of the layout will need to be known so that effective and useful schedules may be used.

Crewing of Trains


There are several thought on how this should be done:


1) First-come, First Served. Sign up for trains as the member arrives. The member picks from a list of scheduled trains that will operate.


2) A Seniority List. The list will be based upon who operates every session and if the person is in good standings with dues. A member in good standing and who attends every operating session will advance up the list (overall seniority in the Club will act as a “tie-breaker”). If a member misses a session, they move down one position in the list. For visitors and new members, a few positions may be left open on the list.


3) Points System. Members move up and down the list through the accrual of points. Points are awarded for the completion of each assignment by an operator. (Adapted from the NEB&W)

Train assignments are divided as follows:

000-100 must qualify for road assignment

100-200 Yard crew, local and through passenger trains

200-300 Through freights trains, unit train

300-400 Local freights, car float operations

400 + Yardmaster, Dispatcher


These points are awarded as follows:

            +100 Awarded for basic knowledge of the layout and ability to successfully                                     operate a train.

            +50 Awarded for first assignment as yardmaster dispatcher

            +35 Awarded for repeat assignment in a 400 level position.

            +35 Awarded to first time yard engine crew.

            +20 Awarded for first time road crew assignment.

            +20 Awarded for repeat yard engine crew.

            +10 Awarded for repeat road crew assignment.


Points are deducted for the following violations:

            -2 Mis-spotted car needing corrective switching by others

            -10 delay of another train by 5 minutes.

            -10 Negligent derailment e.g.: misaligned switch

            -10 Excessive speed in slow order area.

            -10 Excessively late into station without cause.

            -15 Missed station stop by passenger or freight train.

            -25 Not checking train makeup (leaving with the wrong train/cars)

            -50 Not following orders of dispatcher/yardmaster/timetable.

            -50 Not contacting dispatcher before departure from station.

            -20 Improper operation of radio headset or throttles (including leaving                                              throttles on layout).

            -100 Homicide, any fatality cause by anyone in any position.

Rules Of Operations


This section provides basic rules that are to be followed by all operators. These rules are designed to limit wear and tear on the equipment and to ensure all have a good time while running the trains.

1.       Trains or engines are never to be left on Main Line or Passing Sidings

2.       Train lengths are never to be over 30 cars.

3.       Trains must be attended at all times.

4.       Throttles must be turned off when a train is not in use.

5.       Throttles should not be set on scenery.

6.       Operators should use Emergency Stop only for Emergencies. An Emergency Stop Command can be issued from the throttle by pressing and holding the Direction Key until both direction LED’s begin to flash. The Command Station will show “ALL STOPPED”. Only the throttle that issued the Emergency Stop Command can clear the command. The system will remain stopped until the direction key is pushed on the throttle that issued the command.

7.       Engines wheels must be cleaned at the start of operations.

8.       Throttles must be turned off when not in use.

9.       Consistent derailments and major wrecks will result in an operator losing their privilege to run trains unsupervised.

10.   Throttles are the responsibility of their owners.

11.   All trains must get Dispatcher and Yard clearance before entering Main Line.

12.   All switches must be returned to main line after use.

13.   Throttles must not be placed on the layout. If the throttle has a clip on the back, you may clip it to the Plexiglas, masonite, or waybill racks.

14.   Do not drop throttles. An occasional drop is considered an accident, but consistent dropping will mean the loss of your operating privileges.

15.   Clean engine wheels before your first run and whenever necessary. Cleaning supplies are provided.

16.   All damaged equipment is to be written up and placed in the appropriate location.

Any abuse of the equipment by any operator will result in the revocation of all operating privileges.