Developing Operations and Employee Timetable for Indy Junction

With just three weeks to go to Indy Junction, it’s time to establish the final Employee Timetable (ETT) so that HAVOC can host operation sessions during the show. If possible, we’ll provided guest operators with the ETT as a souvenir to take home. I have kept the ETT’s I’ve obtained over the years, as they provided insight in developing my own ETT’s and developing operations on layouts.

We have developed an executed TT&TO operations for several layouts. One of those, the B&O Chillicothe Sub was quite extensive, running three 8-hour tricks, running extras and 2-3 sections on trains, with Dispatcher and two operator potions. HAVOC operations are going to be a simplification of the Chillicothe Sub’s operations.

ROLES OF HAVOC

  • Chief Dispatcher – HAVOC member
  • Dispatcher – Can be an experienced guest, otherwise a HAVOC member will serve as Dispatcher.
  • Station Operator
  • Boylan Yard Master – HAVOC Member
  • Boylan Yard Switcher – Guest position, switches the yard and may Boylan industries. Works under Boylan Yard Master
  • Harding Yard Master – HAVOC Member
  • Harding Steel Mill Switcher – Guest position, switches the yard and the steel mill
  • 2-3 Road Crews to run schedule trains and extras. Preferably guests

Assignment of Roles

Roles will be assigned in following order

  • 2 road crews
  • switchers
  • dispatcher and operator

Minium Crew is 5 – dispatcher/operator, Boylan switcher, Harding switcher, two road crews.

Maximum crew is 9+ (plus 2-3) for multi-man crews. A group of 2-3 could operate a single train or switcher if they want, just to have fun, provided all other positions are covered.

RAILROAD MAP

HAVOC connects West, North, East, South Ohio through Central Ohio. The map below is for the portion of the railroad being displayed at Indy Junction in May 2022.

  • Traffic on the Division goes East/West
  • Through passenger and freight trains go from East/West (Parkersburg to Hamilton/Cincinnati) or North/South (Toledo/Detroit to Southern Ohio)
  • Coal moves North
  • Ore moves South

THE SCHEDULE

For TT&TO operations, a schedule of regular trains is required. These are the trains that run on a regular time. Here requirements for the HAVOC schedule

  • Simple – This is an introduction to TT&TO
  • Educational – Teach the basics of TT&TO. Class, Right, Direction, Extras, and possibly Sections. Additionally teach about CC&WB
  • Repetition – By repeating the same base session again and again the members of HAVOC can become sufficiently trained to be the trainers. Sessions too complex will become too much of a challenge. Our guest operators will only operate 1 or 2 times, so they will not get bored by the repetition of trains running in the same sequence.
  • Flexible – Depending on the experience and desire of the crews we want to be able to flex the number of trains and the complexity. Flexibility will be in the form of extras as it is extras that add the most complexity and fun to the operations
  • 24 hour tricks to meet the needs of the Steel Mill in Harding and it means that the Train Registers will need to be checked by crews. Some trains could be later from a prior session and the crews should validate that before they depart.
  • Fit into a clinic time slot. By fitting into the same time slot as clinics, guest operators can choose a clinic or HAVOC operation. Guests will only miss one clinic to operate.

Decisions in making the schedule

  • 6:1 fast clock will be used – At 6:1, 6 hours of fast time will complete in 50 minutes (roughly the time of a clinic). Since only 6 of the 8-hour trick will occur during the session, all scheduled trains must fit into the first 6 hours of the trick.
  • Passenger Trains – One passenger train each way during the session.
    • NO 1 and NO 2 are limited to only one stop each way
    • Others stop make additional stops
  • Freight Trains – One scheduled freight train each way during the session
    • The scheduled freights all stop at Boylan Yard for drop offs and pickups
  • The scheduled passenger and freight trains are scheduled for the same relative time in the session during each trick. This ensures that the members of HAVOC have a good idea when train are supposed to be running in each trick, they do not have to remember unique aspects of each trick.

Proposed schedule

Click to see full size

THE TRAINS

Scheduled Passenger Trains

  • Odd Trains NO 1, NO 11, NO 21 are Westward and depart ES staging. Find your train there
    • The Flyer – The limited stop westbound train has combined cars from Parkersburg and Pittsburg, and goes to Hamilton and Cincinnati
    • The Bearcat – The general passenger train from Parkersburg to Cincinnati
    • The Mudhen – The passenger train going from Southern Ohio cities to North at Toledo
  • Even Trains NO 2, NO 12, NO 22 are Eastward and depart ES staging. Find your train there. These are the most superior of all trains.
    • The Buckeye Limited – The limited stop west bound train combined from Cincinnati and Dayton going east to Parkersburg and Wheeling
    • The Muskie – The passenger train going from North at Toledo to Southern Ohio cities
    • The Bobcat – The general passenger train from Cincinnati to Parkersburg
  • Follow the schedule, it tells departing times and required stops.
  • You can be late, but you can’t be early!

Scheduled Freight Trains

  • Odd Trains NO 83, NO 91, NO 97 are Westward and depart ES staging. Find your train there
  • Even Trains NO 84, NO 92, NO 96 are Eastward and depart ES staging. Find your train there. These are the most superior of all trains.
  • Sections of the above trains are found in the same staging yard.
  • NO 96 and NO 97 are priority. They only receive closed cars. Open top go on NO 83, NO 84, NO 91, NO 92.
  • Follow the schedule, it tells departing times and required stops.
  • You can be late, but you can’t be early!
  • All scheduled freight trains stop in Boylan Yard on the A/D track to be worked.
    • Cars are added or removed from the train at the drill track end of the train
    • While yard crew works the train, fill the locomotive with water at the tank
    • Sections only stop at Boylan if there is work to be done. If no work is being done, fill water on the main.

Local Extra

  • Originates in Boylan Yard
  • Departs in same direction as locomotive is facing
  • Crew hostles engine to the train
  • Do not sign train registers

Loaded Ore Drag (Eastbound Extra)

  • Originates in WN Tower
  • Do not sign train register
  • Runs to Harding
  • Drop cut of ore cars for mill
  • Proceed with remaining loads (or light) to ES Tower staging

Loaded Ore Drag (Westbound Extra)

  • Originates in ES Tower
  • Make sure all cars are empty (if not ask a HAVOC crew member for help)
  • Do not sign train register
  • Runs to Harding
  • Pickup empty ore cars
  • Proceed with remaining loads (or light) to WN Tower staging

Loaded Coal Drag (Westbound Extra)

  • Originates in ES Tower
  • Make sure all cars are loaded (if not ask a HAVOC crew member for help)
  • Do not sign train register
  • Runs to Harding, picks up empties from transfer track
  • Runs to Boylan, Boylan switcher will add empties to drill track end if they have them
  • Drop cut of ore cars for mill
  • Proceed with remaining loads (or light) to WN Tower staging

Empty Coal Drag (Eastbound Extra)

  • Originates at WN Tower
  • Do not sign train register
  • Runs to Harding
  • Pickup empty ore cars
  • Proceed with remaining loads to ES tower staging

RULES FOR TRAIN CREWS

The following is a basic set of rules that are needed to run trains on HAVOC. Most are common sense.

RULE 20:  HAVOC does run sections.  All sections except the last one will display green signals (if possible). If you’re a crew member of a section that should display signals, inform other crews you encounter and be sure to record the signals in the registry.

RULE 21: Extra Trains display white signals (if possible). If you’re a crew member of a section that should display signals, inform other crews you encounter.

RULE S-70:  First Class trains are superior to Second Class trains and extra trains.  Second Class trains are superior to opposing extra trains.   Eastbound schedule trains are superior to westbound scheduled trains of same class.  Extra trains are not superior to other extra trains by direction. Dispatcher may use orders to specify superiority differently than schedule.

RULE 82: Timetable schedules for trains are in effect for 12 hours after their time at each station.  Scheduled trains more than 12 hours behind schedule loose both right and schedule.  They require order to get them moving again. You may run late, but not early!

RULE 83:  A train must ascertain if all trains due have arrived before passing a train register location.  The registers are on clipboards at or near the location.

RULE 83(A):  All scheduled trains must sign register after ascertaining they are clear to depart a register location.  Registers are located at WN tower, ES tower, and Boylan.

RULE 83(B): A train must not leave its initial station without a Clearance form A which must include the OK.

RULE 85:  Two or more sections may be run for the same train schedule.

RULE 86:  Unless otherwise provided an inferior train must be in the clear of following first class trains by the time the first-class train would depart the previous station to the rear.  Extra trains may run ahead of second-class trains

RULE S-87:  An inferior train must clear the time of opposing trains by no less than 10 minutes.

RULE S-88:  At meeting points between extra trains the order must specify which train will take the siding.

RULE S-89: Unless otherwise provided by order, the inferior train must take the siding at meeting locations

RULE 91:  Trains or sections must follow no closer than 10 minutes to train ahead.    Look ahead for opposing trains too. Never have run into another train even if you think you have the rights to the track. But before making taking actions to correct a situation, try to figure out what went wrong, so we can all learn. It could be crew error, operator error, or dispatcher error. Noone will learn if we do not stop and discuss. This is a teach layout and even the host members make mistakes and need to learn. Someone may get a new nickname in the excitement!

RULE 93:  Yard limits are indicated on the timetable and via sign on the layout.  Within yard limits the main track may be used, clearing first class trains when due to leave the last station where time is indicated in timetable.  Yard crews and locals, this means you must be out of the way of first-class trains within yard limits! Second class, extras, and yard engines must move within yard limits at restricted speed ready to stop.

RULE 97:  Extra trains must be authorized by order and receive clearance form A at originating location. 

RULE 99:  When a train is moving in manner that another train might unexpectedly encounter it, the train must dispatch red flags.  For example, a crew might flag for an opposing train on single track, or first-class train in yard limits.

RULE 104:  Crews must return all mainline turnouts to normal when finished using them. For mainline turnouts align to main (light colored ballast). For siding align to the through tracks not a spur.

Hand Signals for Switching

For HAVOC we use finger versions of the hand signals. These smaller finger versions are sufficient. Hand signals are used between engineer and conductor or switch crew and yard master. This emulates the signaling that crews did in 1923 between crew in the engine and crew on the ground. Embrace the time!

Engineer should stand 5-10 feet beyond the engine. Look at conductor/breakman not at coupling points or switches. Engineer does what conductor signals, Engineer is not thinking or trying to outthink the conductor.

Conductor/Brakeman should stand at the point of action and direct the engineer. Conductor holds car-cards and makes final decisions.

Here are the hand signals.

The above hand signals were documented by Barry Cott and available in his operations primer available from the Op Sig.

Whistle Signals

Advanced, use if you like. Maybe just try road crossing signals. If your engine does not have a sound decoder do not bother.

The following comes from this Trains.com link. The primary used are in bold. Use as many as you can, notice that some can be used in conjunction with hand signals.

The General Code Of Operating Rules, used by many railroads, contains the following list of whistle signals and their meanings:

Note: “o” denotes a short sound; while a “-” is for a longer sound.

– When stopped, air brakes applied, pressure equalized.

– – Release brakes, proceed.

0 0 Acknowledgement of any signal not otherwise provided for.

0 0 0 When stopped, back up; acknowledgement of hand signal to back up.

0 0 0 0 Request for signal to be given or repeated if not understood.

– 0 0 0 Flagman protect rear of train.

0 0 0 – Flagman protect front of train.

– – – – Flagman may return from west or south.

– – – – – Flagman may return from east or north.

– – 0 – Approaching public grade crossing.

0 – Inspect brake system for leaks or sticking brakes.

A series of short blasts is sounded in an emergency.

Bell Usage

  • When moving past depot on adjacent track to depot.
  • When switching near another train that is stopped
  • In Boylan when moving on engine ready track.
  • 15 seconds when starting to move while departing a town/location
  • 15 seconds when arriving any location where train as train comes to a stop.
  • The full duration of moving hot metal cars at the Steel mill
  • Yard engines do not use bell when switching, that becomes annoying to listen to.
  • Never use in staging

OPERATIONS DEPARTMENT TRAINING

Operator and Dispatcher instructions will not be in the ETT, but in separate operations manual only given to those that take those positions.

STATION OPERATOR

Duties

  • OS trains as they pass open train order stations (see instructions elsewhere)
    • Always when a train is leaving OS as caboose passes depot
    • If a train is working or meeting in town, then OS when train arrives or starts working
  • Set Order Boards in boxes at designated locations
  • Copy Orders from dispatcher and Repeat order back to dispatcher
  • Write Clearance Card Form A and dictate to dispatcher
  • Clear order boards after trains crews get orders (Local Yard Master may help with this)

Order Stations

  • Review time-table and track what stations are open by day/night hours. Operator serves all open train order stations (Dispatcher can assist with this or Yard Masters, get confirmation at beginning of session)
  • WN Tower, ES Tower, Boylan, Harding (Rigling Mills does not have a Train Order Station)

How to Prepare a Clearance

Every train must have a clearance form to go past a Red order board (Every train leaving the staging yards or originating at Boylan or Harding require a clearance before they can move).

The clearance is prepared by the station operator and approved by the dispatcher.

Train is at initial point of departure

Before a train departs, collect the following information and provide to the Dispatcher.  Try to do this 1-2 hours before expected departure.  Get information by looking at trains in staging or going to the location and asking the yard master.

  • Train Number
  • Engine(s) (first to last)
  • Conductor
  • Time on duty
  • Length in scale feet (including engine and caboose)

Operator: Record this information on the OS sheet

Operator: Connect with dispatcher and inform him when you have all of the information.  “ES Tower has train information for NO 1”  If the train is an extra use the train’s nick name such as “Loaded Ore Drag West or “Local Extra West”

Dispatcher: Record information into Dispatcher Sheet for tracking OS’s

Preparing a clearance

Operator:

  • Record the information on the clearance form
  • Wait for the communication line to dispatcher to be open.
  • Contact Dispatcher, and announce actual location of train and purpose of communication.
  • “ES Tower has one train to clear up”

Dispatcher:

  • When ready
  • Use stamp and make make impression into the train order book
  • Respond: “Go ahead ES Tower”

Operator:

  • “To C&E EXTRA 4614 West at ES Tower…I have 2 orders for your train Order NO 3 and NO 6…and 0 messages…OPERATOR DCK”
  • The operator dictates his initials at the end.  Messages do not get repeated.  Although the dispatcher may ask what they are.  Messages are not numbered and could come from Dispatcher, Operator, Yard Master or Superintendent.

Dispatcher:

  • Dispatcher records and confirms the clearance.  Here is how it might look:
    • CLEAR TO C&E  X4614  WEST AT  ES TOWER
      I HAVE  2  ORDERS  3, 6
      AND  0  MESSAGES
      OPER  DCK
  • Dispatcher must review and ensure the number of order and the order numbers are correct.
  • If not correct, than the correction must be made and the clearance repeated again.
  • If clearance is correct the dispatcher OK’s the clearance and dictates the OK back to the operator while entering it into the order book.  The “M” in PM or AM is provided in the stamp, so the current time must add the P or the A.  The month is always September and the year is always 1923.  But the day can change.  The Dispatcher includes his initials, in this case TRP (for Tom P).
  • “OK AT [current time]M  SEP 7 1923 DISPATCHER TRP”

Operator:

  • While dispatcher is dictating the OK, the operator writes the time and date into the top of the Clearance form.
  • Then operator responds.
  • “Train EXTRA 4614 Clear at [time and date from dispatcher]”
  • Now that clearance is approved
  • Staple the listed orders and messages to the back of the clearance form
  • Deliver the Clearance and orders to the crew.  There are boxes near the order boards.

Notes:

  • Dispatcher can delay the approval of the clearance.  Possibly it’s better or more important to clear another train first.
  • Dispatcher may have additional orders to add.
  • A train can only be given one clearance at a location.  Once given it’s not possible to stop a train, as the train has approval to go past the order board.
  • Once a crew sees a red board, the train must get a clearance even if the board is cleared while the crew sits there.

How dispatcher issues orders

Orders are dictated by dispatcher to station operators.  The operators write the order on the form 19 and deliver them with clearance to the crews.  Orders are dictated to all locations at once.

Here’s how the orders get to the crew:

  • Dispatcher: “Boylan, copy one 19 east, set order signal”
  • Boylan operator: “Boylan eastbound signal set, go ahead dispatch”, operator prepares order pad to copy only one order.
  • Dispatcher: “ES Tower, copy one 19 west, set order signal”
  • ES Tower operator sets the eastbound order signal to red.
  • Boylan operator: “Boylan eastbound signal set, go ahead dispatcher”, operator prepares order pad to copy only one order.
  • ES Tower operator: “ES Tower eastbound signal set, go ahead dispatcher”, operator prepares order pad to copy only one order.
  • Dispatcher dictates the order; as he records the order into the order book while he dictates while station operators copy orders onto Form 19 (or possibly Form 31). Writing while dictating slows down the dispatcher making it easier for operator to copy. If dispatcher is not confident to do both at once, writing it first then dictating is acceptable, but go slow!

ORDER NO 3
TO C&E 815 (eight-one-five) EAST AT BOYLAN
TO C&E TRAIN NO 21 (two-one) WEST AT WN TOWER
EXTRA 815 EAST MEET TRAIN NO 21 EAST AT HARDING
EXTRA 815 TAKE SIDING. (say period) – Saying “period” informs operator the order is finished
[Dispatchers initials] – Saying initials completes the order.  Initials are written at the end of the order.

  • Operators: Each operator repeats order to the dispatcher
    • The operator addressed first in the order, repeats first.  Same for remainder of operators
    • On HAVOC, we have one operator for multiple locations.  The operator may repeat once for all locations of responsibility.
  • Dispatcher: While order is being repeated, underline each word of the order in the order book (if two operators repeat, then underline twice)
  • Once all operators have repeated
  • Dispatcher states: “order NO 3 make complete at [current time]”
  • Operators: finish the form 19’s by filling in
    • Make complete Time [time from DS]
    • Signs  his own initials
  • Operators: Can begin to prepare clearances for trains.  See How to Prepare a Clearance.

Notes

  • In general, it is NOT legal for an order to be dictated to one location, then dictated to another location at a different time.

DISPATCHER

Guidelines

  • Work ahead
  • Some orders and clearances may be written before you start your trick. Do not be offended, you’ll be writing orders for the following trick before your tick ends!
  • Be safe
  • Do not write overlapping orders
  • Minimize having multiple extras on the line at once (simply insufficient time to write all the orders)

Train Orders – The Language (Forms)

The language of a train order must follow one of the specified forms.  Each form has specific verbs and order of working.  Do not confuse these form with the paper form 19 or form 31.  The orders in language form are written on form 19 or 31 paper.  The most commonly used language forms of HAVOC are listed below.

Create an Extra train

ENG 6414 RUN EXTRA BOYLAN TO ES TOWER

ENG 6414 RUN EXTRA BOYLAN TO ES TOWER AND RETURN

Meet Forms

NO 12 MEET NO 1 AT HARDING

NO 12 MEET EXTRA 6414 EAST AT HARDING

EXTRA 6414 EAST MEET EXTRA 7558 WEST AT HARDING EXTRA 6414 TAKE SIDING

Passing Forms

EXTRA 6414 EAST PASS NO 12 AT HARDING.

Multiple Sections

ENG 6414 DISPLAY SIGNALS AND RUN AS FIRST NO 96 WN TOWER TO ES TOWER

ENG 6414 RUN AS SECOND NO 96

ENGS 6498, 4590, AND 1405 RUN AS FIRST, SECOND, AND THIRD NO 96

Run Ahead

EXTRA 6414 EAST RUN AHEAD NO 96 HARDING TO BOYLAN

Right Over (Same and Opposing Direction)

EXTRA 6414 EAST HAS RIGHT OVER NO 96 ES TOWER TO WN TOWER AND WAIT AT RIGLING MILLS UNTIL 9:15am HARDING UNTIL 9:30am BOYLAN UNTIL 9:45am

Right Over (Opposing Direction only)

EXTRA 6414 EAST HAS RIGHT OVER NO 97 BOYLAN TO HARDING

Run Late

NO 12 RUN 1 HOUR LATE WN TOWER TO ES TOWER

ENG 6414 RUN EXTRA ES TOWER TO WN TOWER LEAVE ES TOWER10:05 AM LEAVE HARDING 11:20 AM LEAVE BOYLAN 11:55 AM.

Wait

NO 96 WAIT AT ES TOWER UNTIL 9:01AM HARDING 9:15AM BOYLAN 9:55AM

Waiting for another train

ENG 6414 RUN WN TOWER TO BOYLAN AFTER NO 1 ARRIVES

Holding a train (given at a station)

HOLD EXTRA 6414 WEST

Let Train go by annulling order or by go order.

EXTRA 6414 WEST MAY GO

Annulling an order (any order can be annulled or a train can be annulled)

ORDER NO 10 IS ANNULLED

NO 12 DUE TO LEAVE ON APRIL 1 IS ANNULLED ES TOWER TO WN TOWER

Check for Trains

ALL SUPPERIOR TRAINS DUE AT HARDING BEFORE 650 AM HAVE ARRIVE EXCEPT NO 96

Work Extra is provided to a train to work a span of track for a period of time.  During that time, no other train can occupy the track unless otherwise required.

ENG 6414 WORK EXTRA 2:15 PM TO 4:45 PM HARDING TO RIGLING MILLS

Restrictions

ALL TRAINS NOT TO EXCEED 10MPH OVER VALLEY TRESTLE ACCOUNT OF REPAIRS

TURNOUT WEST END OF RIGLING MILLS SIDING OUT OF SERVICE

BOYLAN YARD TRACK 4 OCCUPIED WITH 3 CIRCUS CARS

Notes:

  • Some forms of orders can be combined.
  • More order forms are available for use.  See page 41 of the Condensed Code of Operating Rules.
  • An order must be addressed to all trains that may be affected by the order.
  • The orders are to be written in multiples by using the carbon paper.
  • Generally, the dispatcher combines forms to minimize the number of orders.
  • The goal is to be concise and clear.

Indy Junction – HAVOC has been accepted!

HAVOC is going to be operating at Indy Junction NMRA Super Regional. Back in March, we got accepted to display in an 18×45′ configuration as shown below. We are committed to hosting “mini-operations” for all to come and join in. We’ll operate in 3 modes, so join in a mode that suites you.

  1. Run a train in display mode – Guest operators can take the throttle and run a train/yard to according to car-cards and waybills
  2. Sequence op-session mode – Guest operators can work the throttle or be conductor for a train/yard when layout is being operated as a sequence. Sessions will be around 45 minutes and fit in time slot of a clinic
  3. TT&TO op-session mode – Guest operators can be station operator, engineer or conductor within TT&TO operating session. Sessions will be around 45 minutes and fit in time slot of a clinic.

Check back for more information about our operations. All information should be posted by the first of May or sooner. Checkbox for progress!

In mean time we are working on modules to ensure all is running well and looking good. Checkback for progress reports!

Hopefully we see you in Indy!

18×45′ layout selected by the Indy Junction team.

Eastern Loggers Layout – Goes to a museum

The founding members of HAVOC all met as members of the Eastern Loggers. In late 2021, the Eastern Loggers Layout was donated to the Pennsylvania Lumbering Museum in Galeton, PA. The layout will likely be a static exhibit used to show off aspects of lumbering that are not well represented by existing exhibits. For instance, the museum can display models of the different types of geared locomotives (Shay, Climax, Heisler, Dunkirk) on the layout. So the layout will complement existing exhibits that include a Sawmill, Shay Locomotive, and Barnhart Loader. If you’ve not been to the museum, the annual Bark Peeler’s Convention is a must attend event for the lumbering enthusiast.

John Burchnall deserves credit for getting the layout to Galeton. He made all the arrangements with the museum and participated in the transport. John always promoted the layout and provided a home for the layout. It’s a great honor have the layout in the museum. A layout we havoc members or part of for more than 25 years (I started working on it when I was just 14). A few videos of the layout have appeared on youtube.

In addition to the layout, Jerry Stangarity’s logging diorama will also be on display. The diorama was the subject of a series of articles that appeared in Railroad Model Railroad Craftsmen in the late 1970’s and early 1980’s.

Here is an article form the Museum’s new letter the Woodchip

Iron Town – Track Planning

Like all great model railroaders who have never gotten around to actually building a layout because they have spent too much time planning, I too am guilty (the over planning part, not the great model railroader part). So below I will set out where we have been with this planning. (Spoiler) All but one of the modules is assembled with a wiring bus so planning might actually be at an end and laying track hopefully commencing shortly.

First Draft

So it all started as a straight idea. My past experience with XTrackCAD had left me wanting so I put down my first ideas on SCARM to see how well it and I played together. Like XTrackCAD there was good and bad but I got a first draft of ideas down on paper.

First draft of iron town track plan

Wants

I had seen Larry Manson’s and Bill Cramer’s modular steel mill at the 2016 National Convention and then again at the 2018 SMMSIG Convention and had decided I did not want to dedicate all my modular space to just the steel mill. Even with building facades and backdrops I was not willing to use 10′ of modules for the furnace and finishing mill complex. I had seen lots of 1920’s steel mills where they were smack dab in the middle of town and I wanted to portray some of that if possible.

Obviously I wanted a blast furnace. Nothing screams steel like the furnace, but I had to start researching what other structures have impact and provide operations possibility. The coke plant is another obvious building. In 1923 there is the option to still do beehive coke ovens or the more modern style. I like the beehives, but by having them off-site provides more operation. I’m modeling a time frame where interesting outdoor Bessemer furnaces are still “possible”, but a BOF buried in a building or an open hearth with some stacks, for me, do not carry the impact without doing a large hearth or a not-so-prototypical open front BOF. None of the processing mill buildings exit me. They do provide some operations possibility, but I’m not sure it is worth the blandness in my limited space. Going to ingots provides interest and provide operations.

Feedback

The next step was to take the prints to the group, hand out a copy to each person and see what they had to “say” by way of markups. Because the group is not shy, this is where lots of ideas started to brew. The architect in the group even did a velum drawing in color! This round fleshed out a lot of ideas on the yard, the passing siding and keeping the mill track separated from them.

Markups ideas from the group
The architect even did a 3D mock-up as well!

Club Desires

One of the other ideas that came up at this point was that the HAVOC layout would benefit from more curved modules. Free-mo allows a lot of flexibility in layout setups, and curves help that even more (See some of the possible arrangements for the layout here). So we started adding a 90° bend to the design. The bend added some potential issues for the tracks that were making elevation changes, but added some interest and helped break up the scenes. As a bonus, the curve idea would also allow the modules to fit on the wall in a corner of my basement, giving me the ability to keep them connected and functional at home.

Tapping velum over the straight design to add the bend
Of course the architect built another model. Including the concept of non-modular pieces on the basement wall that the modules would fit against to expand the scene for my home enjoyment.

Mostly there

So the picture below is not 100% but it is close enough to start laying track. I’ve decided that the mill stub module will contain the blast furnace, some representation of the materials yard, a portion of a slag dump and a blower house if I can fit it. Since silvery pig iron was popular in Jackson Ohio, the blast furnace will have 5-6 ovens and the only processing will be a pig caster near the bend. There appears to be room for a depot, a freight house, some other industries and company housing. One big thing that seems to help track flow was mirroring the blast furnace from the Walthers design so that the high line is on the opposite side. Seems possible to kit bash it this way, but time will tell.

2021 NMRA DIV Show

HAVOC made its third appearance at the fall train show.  We showed of new scenery and the Turtle Creek Bridge module.  We had plenty of space and got lots of interest.

A train rolls through Rigling.

Photos, plan, and YouTube video links follow.  Enjoy!

The above plan was used, but rotated 90 degrees counterclockwise within the space
Paul with the new Turtle Creek Bridge.  This skewed bride is inspired by a bridge the crosses the Turtle Creek just South of Lebanon, Ohio.
Swanson Bluffs is freshly sceniced
The interurban crossing.  The interurban still needs some paint.  This module is due for upgraded scenery.
Phil operated a train at Boylan Yard. Chris has started adding structures and scenery.
Rigling Mill wall the most popular railfan location during the show.
Scenery has been started on Swanson’s Homestead module.

If you enjoyed the photos, have a look at the YouTube videos below.

Module Status Sept 1 2021

All through COVID we the members of HAVOC have been working on the modules. Much of the work is scenery related as most modules have have been in operation.

Paul’s skewed bridge module has a completed bridge, ballast and is sporting new trees.
Skewed bridge module just needs some water.
Don’s feed mill module has gotten land forms and ballast. Scenery will be coming soon.
Paul’s interurban crossing module. As you can see the mocked up road will be concrete. The concrete highway is putting the interurban out of business.
Tree’s are being tested on Dave’s curved cut module.
Ballast has been completed on the yard module. Chris can only setup two modules at a time in his home, so there is no way to see the whole 5 module set at once.
Chris is playing with structures to serve as the industries at the yard. Some of these may be stand ins while he hones his skills.

Indy Junction 2022?

HAVOC is proposing a road trip to the Indy Junction NMRA Super Regional. Here are a few of the track plan ideas to be sent to them. They all include the in-progress Steel Mill module. It should have all track, basic scenery, some structures and mockups of the Steel Mill by the time of the convention.

The additional of the Steel Mill will significantly enhance our operating potential. CC&WB’s are used to forward freight and TT&TO will be used during operating sessions. We hope to have some during the show.

The S “Super Man” HAVOC setup. It’s a bit bulky at 35’x30′. The public could walk around all aspects of the layout. To save space, the top or bottom could be pushed against a wall.
U-Shape at 18×45′. We like U shapes because both loops are next to each other for easy running. In a setup like this, the public could walk inside the layout. One side could be against a wall.
This pinched U shape is only 17’x45′. The public would not be allowed to walk inside the layout. This would be a bit tight for our own operation within the layout, but would make it easy to run for 1-2 people
Slightly shorter at 22×42. As drawing the public would not be allowed inside. Removing one module would open the entrance more so that the public could enter. If the public enters, than the bottom could go against a wall.
A big “L” shape. This layout is roughly 50×50′ It could go around the outside of another layout.
The I formation. At roughly 10×100′ this setup is intriguing to consider. It could wander down a wall.

All of these are potential setups for 2022. Interestingly, each of the setups takes between 800 and 1000 sqft. Possibly that means the modules can be squished into any shape of that square footage. Hopefully we’ll go to Indy Junction and see you there….Come help us run trains!

Proposed 2021 Fall NMRA Show plans

The setup we had for 2019’s fall show did not contain the skewed bridge module. So I’ve drawing up two new plans to utilize the bridge module and fit in roughly the same space.

By adding an additional curve to the bottom then the bridge, the lower loop fits into the original space without blocking the doors or human access.
This plan swaps the location of the yard and feed mill modules. A bit of a twist of the layout keeps the layout in the original space (or near so).

2019-2021 Track Plans

As the groups grows our potential track plans change. For 2019-2021 here are a few of the ways HAVOC can be setup. We hope to use one of these in for the 2021 October NMRA show.

This U shaped plan got used in the 2019 NMRA Fall Show.
Another U-shape that was a candidate for the show.
A pinched U-shape
A narrow U-shape (or is it a J or G?).
Clearly a J-shape
Opened up to a L-shape
Linear or I-shape. The curves and loops ensure the setup is stable. At nearly 65′ long, this could be hard to fit into spaces that have access doors and fire codes.