Timetabling (part 1 – setting the stage)

This can be done without causing the chaos currently evident on Northern and GTR! The starting point is to draw a diagram of the layout showing locations where a locomotive, train or freight car can be held without blocking the main lines.

The sidings (A-F) are only for individual freight cars and cannot be used to isolate a loco or full train. Not all the red berths can isolate a loco, some are used to stable trains while the loco is held elsewhere as listed below.

  1. San Fernandez staging – loco and train.
  2. San Fernandez staging – loco and train.
  3. San Fernandez staging – loco and train.
  4. Cuarto platform 1 (main) – loco and train.
  5. Cuarto platform 2 (loop) – loco and train.
  6. Grande middle road – loco and train.
  7. Grande end of track – loco or train.
  8. Grande carriage shed A – train only.
  9. Grande carriage shed B – train only.
  10. Grande loco shed A – loco only.
  11. Grande loco shed B – loco only.
  12. Grande loco shed C – loco only.
  13. Grande loco shed D – loco only.
  14. Grande fuelling point – loco only.

The next step is to “stage” the trains. I use the American terminology here because I think it best describes the way the FCPyF is operated. With the exception of autoferros running from and to San Fernandez the trains are all in position ready to run at the start of an operating session and only reversed once the session is completed. Only one train is “fiddled” during an operating session, the Grande to San Fernandez mail has its loco placed at the other end at San Fernandez, ready to return to Grande.

The Autoferros (railbuses) are “fiddled” of stage in the more traditional British operating manner and can be taken off or put on the track (but only at San Fernandez) between loco hauled trains. This enables the capacity of the staging yard to be increased as the railcars do not occupy track berths when not in use.

OK, the scene is set, now for the trains. At the start of play the berths are occupied as follows, and the trains will be back in the same places when the running session is completed. The exceptions to this are the autoferros 27 and 28, which will have swapped places.

The diagram is duplicated to save scrolling so far up and down the page.
  1. Passenger set 1 and loco 7 (San Fernandez Mail).
  2. San Fernandez freight and loco 2.
  3. Vacant berth.
  4. Railcar 30 and trailer (passenger).
  5. Railcar 21 (mixed passenger/freight).
  6. Grande station shunter.
  7. Passenger set 2 (San Fernandez Mail).
  8. Passenger set 4 (Cuarto local).
  9. Passenger set 3 (Cuarto Mail).
  10. Loco 58 for San Fernandez Mail.
  11. Loco 14 for Cuarto local.
  12. Loco 42 for Cuarto Mail
  13. Autoferro 27 or 28.
  14. Vacant berth.

You may notice that there is no longer a regular freight service on the Cuarto line. LCL for Cuarto is handled by railcar 21. Mineral traffic from Rio Paleta siding and additional freight for Cuarto is dealt with by freight extras, run as required overnight to keep the line clear for daytime passenger traffic.

Part two to follow.



About Bob Hughes

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