Car-cards and waybills


We use the Old Line Graphics Car-Cards and Waybill system on the SW&SF. Each freight car on the layout is represented by a single buff-colored card with a pocket. Into the pocket is placed a white card called the waybill. The waybill is "four-sided", offering four different locations. The combination of car card and waybill approximates the real-life waybills and switchlists used by prototype railroads to route traffic.

The waybills are "cycled" (moved from one of the four destinations to the next) between sessions. Operators never need to deal with this "model railroad thought". For the operator, each waybill shows the destination for the car for the current session. Each destination is shown by the city or town name as well as a location (e.g., team track) and/or industry (e.g., SLC Graphics). In the simplest sense, operations on the SW&SF consists of moving cars to the destinations shown on the waybills.

For each track or industry, a paper envelope "pocket" is provided on the fascia of the layout, labeled with the appropriate name. As cars are left on these tracks, the car-card/waybill combination should be dropped in the appropriate pocket. In general, car-cards and waybills should stay with the cars.

Occasionally, operators will discover a car that is already sitting in the location called out on the waybill. For example, when the Sambone local arrives in town, the crew will check on the cars already spotted at the various industry tracks to plan out their switching moves. When checking in Del Norte track #2, they find three cars: one is bound for Portland; one for Terre Haute, Indiana; but the third is waybilled for Del Norte track #2! This simply represents a car that has not yet been loaded and which should be left in place until the next session, or if it must be moved to facilitate switching other cars, it must be returned before the end of the session.

Waybill symbols

We use symbols on the waybills to provide operators with cues as to the destination of each individual car (see below for examples). In the upper right-hand corner of the waybill is a number (1 through 4) which represents the "cycle" of the waybill but has no meaning in our operations. Cars bound for destinations on the modeled portion of the layout (currently Chico, Sambone, Los Molinos, or Red Bluff) have no additional marking. This offers the crew a reminder that these cars are bound for some track or industry spot somewhere on the visible layout.

For other destinations, a geometric symbol is added to the waybill. For traffic bound beyond the layout to the west (compass north), a triangle is added around the waybill number. Destinations off the layout to the east (compass south) add a rectangle. For transfers to the Southern Pacific and Sacramento Northern (Western Pacific), an "X" is drawn across a rectangle.

On-layout destination (no symbol)

Beyond layout west (Portland staging)

Beyond layout east (Valley staging)

Transfer to another Railroad from Orchard Yard

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