I wanted more than a model railroad that looked like the Colorado & Southern Railway — I wanted it to act like the C&S too. Luckily, Boulder County and the Denver area is alive with model railroad operating enthusiasts that are ready to help. Many have become good friends.
For C&S Northern Division operations, crew members sign up on the Extra Board for train assignments. Others act as Dispatcher, Station Operator, Yardmaster, Assistant Yardmasters, and Engine Foreman. Following the procedures described in the guides below, they bring the C&S Northern Division to life.
Operating a model railroad is the social side of this creative hobby. It's a gathering of like-minded friends to enjoy recreating the action of a current or historical, or even fictional railroad. It's been compared to a role-playing game, or a re-enactment, or a weekly poker game.
In alternating years, a dozen or more layouts in the Denver-Boulder metro area come together to offer an operating weekend we call Rocky Op. This is an
open event, taking signups on a first-come-first-served basis from around the country. Spreading the joy of operating on some amazing layouts is our collective contribution to this hobby.
A word about the Northern Division's operating scheme: in 1958, the C&S Ry used Time Table and Train Order (TT & TO) operation, and so does the Northern Division.
If you are new to TT & TO operation and want to know more, check out this fine Time Table and Train Order tutorial from the NMRA Gateway Division. I've also created this summary of TT&TO practices on the Northern Division to provide a quick refresher.
I send this packet to first-time operators a week before their first Northern Division session:
Some experienced operators that are new to the Northern Division may want a challenging
key job. For those looking for the thrill of running a very busy yard or
sitting in the Big Chair, I provide the following guides.
boomer DS, I'm open to those interested in dispatching this TT&TO railroad.
voice of experiencegives insight into unique aspects of dispatching this layout, along with a handy reference.