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Discussion Starter #1
Hi all,

Not sure if something like this exists. I am looking for a checklist of items that need to be completed in order to get a train going. Similar to aircraft checklists, but for trains
 

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If there is one at all it would be vastly shorter for such a comparatively uncomplicated machine.

I've seen videos of them firing up a German electric locomotive without a scrap of paper in sight.
 

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It gets easier and easier to have a model train hobby.

Nothing complicated.

All you need is, perhaps, an oval of track, possibly
sectional, or better flex track that you can bend to
your own design.

Then you need a power source. For N and HO that
could be either, a DC power pack, or a DCC controller.

And lastly, you need a train. Again, there is the choice;
DC or equipped with a decoder to run on a DCC track.

It is advisable that the track be attached to some stable
base, often a 1/4" or better plywood.

You can even find complete train sets available. They
include all of the above (except the plywood).
Often, tho, the quality of
these are not as good as the parts you buy individually.

Our members can help you with every step of the
way toward getting your trains running. Just ask.

Don
 

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He's looking for an operation checklist as you would find to set up and operate an aircraft.

Not how to build a model railroad.

 

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Discussion Starter #7
Thank you all. Michael that's what I'm looking for. Just want to add some realism when operating my model railroad.
 

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Not really a standard practice in the railroad industry. There are things that have to be checked and completed, but it isn’t up to one individual to assure said items are done. Inspections and mechanical tests are recorded on a card, which placed in the cab of the locomotive. The engineer basically must insure the card is completed as per company rules before departing a terminal...

Tom
 

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Back when steam locos were mainstream there was quite a checklist. Probably it was written down somewhere but I recall it was memorized by guys like my uncle and others who operated them. Took three or four hours thought, to go through before the loco could be run. Dozens if not hundreds of things.

This article talks a bit about it in passing about starting a steam loco . . . . Every lube joint and ever fitting to be checked to see if it was tight was in some list, but the crew k new it by heart and never used it.

http://www.trainweb.org/lunarlight/Gresley/Gresley.htm
 

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First flight of the day for a 727 checklist is about three hours. No one ever wants the first flight.
 

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"First flight of the day for a 727 checklist is about three hours. No one ever wants the first flight"

Well, I don't think train engineers were like that, at least way back when. For the last few years he worked for Santa Fe, into the late 1950s, my uncle had beaucoup seniority and took the jobs he wanted. And started locos from cold and then turning them over to others to run was all he did - check them out, get them warm and up to pressure, filled with oil and water, and all readd to go. He could do only two a shift, I recall.
"Firing from cold" and prepping a big steamer like a 2900 Northern might not have been fun work, but it had a big advantage to him that took precedence over everything else by the time he was in his early sixties, that he always talked about: he was home and slept in his own bed every night!!!
 

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There really isn't a good comparison to be drawn between "getting prepared for the trip" on the big trains, vis-a-vis getting a train ready to go on a model railroad.

Most of the prep work on the big trains involves activities with the employees, rather than the train. Such as, getting the bulletins and paperwork that you need, getting in-synch with the other members of the crew (nowadays they call that "job briefing"), talking to the dispatcher or operator if needed (on Amtrak the conductor would call for any "Form D's", the rough equivalent of orders).

For freight, it would involve getting the train together (often the province of the yard crews), then inspecting the train (duties of the car inspectors). When the road crew couples on, then there's an apply/release brake test, and off they go. At outlying points, the conductor will inspect added cars and check the brake application/release, etc.

For a model train, you'd want to be sure that all couplings are made ("give it a stretch"), switches are lined, headlights lighted, etc. Not much else beyond that.
 

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For a model train, you'd want to be sure that all couplings are made ("give it a stretch"), switches are lined, headlights lighted, etc. Not much else beyond that.
That depends. If you're running by yourself on a home layout, definitely.

If you're part of an operating session at a club or larger home layout, there may in fact be some train orders to check and a call to a dispatcher to make.

However the type and detail level of orders and other paperwork will vary wildly between different layout owners/organizers.
 

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The top book is the entire manual including performance charts.

The bottom two binders is the training syllabus for the 727 course given by TWA.

 

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I'm sure the guys who did the checklist from memory are the main reason we have extensive written checklists now.
 

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There's just way too much to remember to be able to make certain you've covered everything.

We had checklists too, for starting up and shutting down Minuteman II. Those had to be followed to the letter or bad things could happen.
 

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I'm sure the guys who did the checklist from memory are the main reason we have extensive written checklists now.
Yep, things grew too complicated and the consequences of failure too unpalettable to leave it to informal processes.
 
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