Wednesday 2 April 2014


After last Wednesday's post, I had some questions percolating in my mind over the Train Orders described in the text.  Sure enough, my nagging hunch proved to have some foundation.  After a close examination of dispatching documents and queries to our resource person, the result is this partial revision of the previous post.  I should mention that this format is somewhat simplified and adapted for Model Railroad application.  It is not exhaustively prototypical but more than close enough.

Extra 3747 West is waiting "in the "hole" for Extra 5101 East.  It is early evening so the headlight of Extra 5101 East is displayed but dimmed (Rule 17).  Since the two trains are running as extras without the benefit of a schedule, some sort of arrangement must have been made for this meet.  In fact it was the Dispatcher in a little office 132.7 miles away in Penticton.  He telephoned his Station Operators at Odlum and Brookmere.  After both Operators came on the line, he issued Train Orders through them for the 3 train crews involved in this meet.  The first crew was the Conductor and Engineman of Extra 5101 East who received their TO's and Clearance at Odlum.  Copies of the "flimsies" were also given to the Conductor of the Extra East intended for the Pusher crew on engine 3629 which had been waiting at Hope to assist the Extra East.  Finally, copies of the TO's were issued to the crew of Extra 3747 West at Brookmere, their Originating Terminal.  On our layout, we have three Opr's who are the eyes, ears and hands of the Dispatcher.  Their activities are quite realistic during an operating session and the Dispatcher's job even more so. 
Here we see Train Order No 211, as written up by the Odlum Operator.  In the address is to be found the Road Engine 5101, which receives the order at Odlum.  Conductor Green who is in charge of the Extra 5101 East, will carry copies for the pusher Engineman waiting at Hope, a few miles to the east of Odlum.  A second order will also be given and a clearance card.  Here is the Clearance for Extra 5101 East. 

Turning to the other train involved in the meet, here is the same order as written up by the Brookmere Operator.  The Body of the order is the same but the address is different.  Below is the Clearance Card that that was issued to the Extra 3747 West with copies of Train Orders 211 & 212.  (Order No 212 is not illustrated here).

The next item is the relevant page of the Train Dispatcher's Record where one can see these orders from the Dispatcher's hand.  This is a revision of the page from the Dispatcher's Record of last week's post.

The first entry is the "19" order creating Extra 5101 East.  It is TO No. 211.  This is called the "run order" and is addressed to:
  • ENG 5101 at Odlum (J) (J is the station call sign for Odlum as noted on the Timetable)
  • ENG 3629 at Hope
  • Westward Extra Trains at Brookmere (call sign BR)
The wording of the orders is the same as that found on the pink Form 19's shown above.  The order is signed "MJC" which are the Dispatcher's initials giving the order its authority.  In this case, the eastbound has "Right Over Westward Extra Trains" and that is why the Westbound is in the hole for the meet.

The second TO is No. 212 and is addressed to the same trains.  This order creates Extra 3747 West (the run order) and includes a "meet order", telling the two trains concerned to meet at Romeo. Finally, two of the three red boxes at the bottom of the page are a record of the Clearance Cards approved by the Dispatcher which a crew must have before they can leave the station where they received the orders.  In this case, all three crews received orders 211 and 212. 

Going back to the beginning of this train's run, we see the Extra East which is pulling up to the Hope depot where Engine 3629 has been waiting on the siding.  The train will proceed further up the track so that the pusher can tack onto the rear of his train.   We can assume that the board is down to protect a previous Eastward train, maintaining the required 20 minute interval between trains (rule 91).   By the time the pusher is cut in, the board will have been cleared to enable Extra 5101 East to begin the arduous climb up the Coquihalla Canyon.

This green page is an extract from the Dispatcher's Train Sheet of the operating session on which is recorded much of the information relevant to the movement of the trains across the subdivision.  This side of the Sheet covers all the Eastbounds on the Coquihalla Subdivision.  We see that Extra 5101 East is entered in a far right column leaving Odlum at 17.05.  Note that Pusher Engine 3629 is entered in the next column, accompanying 5101, both departing Hope at 17.45.  The pusher cuts off at Coquihalla as indicated by the lines drawn across and above it.  Extra 5101 East continues on up the canyon (and the column) arriving at Brookmere at 21.10.  Note that there is no time entered for Romeo because it is a "dark station" without a resident Operator to advise the Dispatcher of the passing trains.
Finally we give the Eastbound a wave as she leaves us and start to "PK" the Westbound as she gets underway.

This post was motivated by recent articles in the hobby press which addressed the subject of TT&TO operations.  Most recent is in the MRH issue for April in which Jack Burgess illustrates how the Yosemite Valley RR did it many years ago.  And of course, Mark Dance has two articles in the latest issues of RMC.  I thought that I might add a little to the pool of knowledge.  The next post will continue with model railroad operations under timetable and train orders. 

Coquihalla Man.


  1. Anthony,
    Thanks for sharing another interesting article about operations on the Kettle Valley Division of the CPR JHG.

  2. Well thank you, gentlemen. There is more to come on this. I am working on a second post with more detail on the dialogue between the Dispatcher and the Operators. There is some self-interest with this as I hope to recruit more MR's into the ops side of the hobby for our operations sessions. Personally, until 10 years ago, I had no idea how interesting and fun it is to make a layout run like the prototype while working the Dispatching side of things. 19 East, copy two.