Timetable planning is probably done by computer these days, but the FCPyF is firmly rooted in the steam era and its timetable paths are done the old fashioned way by drawing them out as a graph.


Through trains

Passenger trains between Cuarto de Pulgada and San Fernandez in both directions (1/2 and 4/3) reverse and have a loco change at Centrales.

Local trains

Railcar services operate one turn between Centrales and CdP (6/5) and two between San Fernandez and Centrales (8/7 and 10/9). Local freight services operate on both subdivisions (14/13 and 12/11).


Additional passenger trains, when run, will usually consist of a railcar following as the second portion of a booked train. Extra freight trains may be more random and run outside the normal operating day as late night or early morning trips.

Cuarto de Pulgada yard limit

CdP has three loop tracks and a freight siding, plus a short loco spur off the turntable. This is ample capacity because the operating sequence does not call for more than two trains in the station at any given time. The railcar working diagram 6 is turned on arrival at CdP and must await the arrival of freight 12 before departing as local 5. The freight train is then turned and shunted as required before awaiting the arrival of passenger diagram 4. Passenger 4 is turned after freight 11 has departed, then has to wait for passenger diagram 2 to clear the single track from Rio Paleta before it can depart as the last train of the day.

Centrales staging

Centrales has two full length tracks and a loco spur located on an off stage traverser, these can each access either the upper or lower levels of the layout but the freight siding can only be reached using the middle track or the loco spur. Passenger trains (1/2 and 4/3) run via Centrales by reversal with a relieving engine. The relief loco must be stabled on the departure track ready to back onto the incoming train. Centrales is used as a British style fiddleyard with trains being turned, made up, or broken down as required off-stage during a running session.

San Fernandez staging

The staging yard at San Fernandez is formed by a three track traverser. The timetable does not call for more than three trains at once in San Fernandez with manual intervention during a running session being confined to replacing the loco of train 1 at the departure end, ready for dispatch as train 2, and turning the railcar of train 7 so that it can work train 10. This apart, American style staging practice is used at San Fernandez with trains 9, 13 and 3 being turned and having cars swapped as required between running sessions so they are ready to depart as trains 8, 14 and 4.

Running sessions

A running session, as referred to in the staging paragraphs, means a full run through the sequence of diagrammed train movements. This may be done in one intensive session or it may be done in real time spread over the course of the day, with trains 1 and 8 departing while breakfast is being cooked and trains 9 and 3 arriving back at San Fernandez in time for bed.

A running session may even be spread over a couple of days, it will all depend upon how much time I have available to play trains, as long as a part-run sequence is picked up where it left off the trains will still end up back where they need to be for the start of another session.

Motive power allocation, Cuarto de Pulgada sub

The FCPyF uses its heavy moguls on the steep gradients of the Cuarto de Pulgada sub. Loco 42 is based at CdP and works two turns (1/12 and 11/2) to Centrales and back. Loco 7 is based at Centrales and works one turn (4/3) to CdP and back. Railcar 20 is based at Centrales to work the CdP local (6/5).

Motive power allocation, Resurreccion sub

Easier gradients and lower altitudes mean that diesels and smaller steam locos can be used on the Resurreccion sub. Railcar 21 is based at San Fernandez working two turns on the Resurreccion local (8/7 and 10/9). Loco 8 is based at Centrales and works one passenger trip (1/2) to San Fernandez and back. Loco 2 is based at San Fernandez to work the freight (14/13) to Centrales and back. Passengers 4/3 are worked by a diesel, usually 15 but occasionally 29 or the Peru Rail loco, based at San Fernandez.

Sequence of operation, upper level

  1. Diagram 1, loco 42/passenger, CdP to San Fernandez
  2. Diagram 6, railcar 20, Centrales to CdP
  3. Diagram 12, loco 42/freight, Centrales to CdP
  4. Diagram 5, railcar 20, CdP to Centrales
  5. Diagram 4, loco 7/passenger, San Fernandez to CdP
  6. Diagram 11, loco 42/freight, CdP to Centrales
  7. Diagram 2, loco 42/passenger, San Fernandez to CdP
  8. Diagram 3, loco 7/passenger, CdP to San Fernandez


Sequence of operation, lower level

  1. Diagram 8, railcar 21, San Fernandez to Centrales
  2. Diagram 1, loco 8/passenger, CdP to San Fernandez
  3. Diagram 14, loco 2/freight, San Fernandez to Centrales
  4. Diagram 4, loco 15/passenger, San Fernandez to CdP
  5. Diagram 7, railcar 21, Centrales to San Fernandez
  6. Diagram 2, loco 8/passenger, San Fernandez to CdP
  7. Diagram 13, loco 2/freight, Centrales to San Fernandez
  8. Diagram 10, railcar 21, San Fernandez to Centrales
  9. Diagram 9*, railcar 21, Centrales to San Fernandez
  10. Diagram 3*, loco 15/passenger, CdP to San Fernandez
* During the tourist season (October-March) diagram 3 calls at all stations Centrales to San Fernandez and diagram 9 departs Centrales one hour after diagram 3 with request stops at all stations to collect stray holiday makers.

The diagramming is, as yet, untried but should work. I find this aspect of railway modelling as enjoyable as building and operating layouts. The timetable planning is a direct duplication of real railway practice and every bit as important to the smooth operation of a layout as are reliable locos, stock and track. With out such pathing of trains the staging yards or stations can easily become overcrowded and unworkable because there are no free tracks.

stop board


About Bob Hughes

Ex railwayman, life long railway modeller, lover of real ale and spicy food.
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