I thought I would do a short piece here on my waybills  that I use when operating. When building my layout I read many articles and books written on waybills, timetables, train orders, switchlists, etc. Having worked with both on the prototype, I wanted something I thought would add more realism to the layout. In other words, realistic looking waybills.

What I came across in the February Model Railroader was an article by Ted Pamperin on his system, which is illustrated above in my waybills. I liked this system, and it looked realistic, yet small enough to fit in the Micro-Mark bill boxes I had already ordered for the layout.

I use the system simply as a two-sided waybill. When the car is loaded at an industry, it faces outward with its printed side showing. The next operating session, the waybill is turned over on its blank side to signify an empty car ready to be picked up. When a loaded car is in Dickinson yard on a specific track (and I have specific tracks for specific cars), the cards and corresponding cars are pulled by the yard crew in the order they’ll be spotted down the line. Of course, the waybills in the yard are turned over accordingly, as to whether the car is loaded or empty.

Speaking of specific tracks, many railroads have specific tracks for either certain cars, or certain blocks that make up each train. The prototype Dickinson yard is no exception. It had certain tracks that were “leased” by the chemical companies up and down the valley to store or “hold” tankers until they were needed. My yard follows this practice.

When a road freight or local is about to depart, the crew takes the stack of waybills for their train and carries them along down the line, replacing each “load” and “empty” waybill as they go about their switching duties (local turns). The loaded waybills are then of course turned over at the start of the next session. Next time I’ll talk about the switchlist I use to tie in with these waybills….

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