Re: Freight TRAIN Consists

Tony Thompson

Tim O'Connor wrote:
Ten years ago or so I fooled around with software that combined an amount
of randomness coupled with a number of 'rules' and I ran thousands of train
consists . . .
Unfortunately, layouts that use car cards are not amenable to this approach,
unless you want to deal with printing new waybills all the time. Car cards are
very labor intensive if you want to operate realistic and variable consists for
hundreds of cars. Also, variability means you have to have extra storage or
staging to handle all those 'occasional' cars.
There is a simple way to do this, by creating some "random" draws of car cards, along with a pattern in most industry deliveries and shipments. I used to do a clinic on "realistic operation" which covered how I did this. It was not particularly complicated to devise nor at all labor intensive to implement.

On the other hand, rules for oddball cars should ensure that they do not show
up all the time. Some may only be seen once a year.
I worked up some of these "oddball" appearances, though none so rarely as "once a year!" Now that's a rare car, but of course realistic in a sense.

Tony Thompson Editor, Signature Press, Berkeley, CA
2906 Forest Ave., Berkeley, CA 94705
(510) 540-6538; fax, (510) 540-1937; e-mail,
Publishers of books on railroad history

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