Timothy J. Horton


This page will illustrate the various documents required for operations, including the prototype documents which were used as references when creating my own for the layout. These documents are now in regular use during our operating sessions. Samples of the operating documents may be viewed via the links provided below.

In 1977 all train movements on the British Columbia Railway were governed by Time Table 3. I have created a smaller sized version of the time table to fit onto the crew clipboards which contains all information relevant to train movements on the layout, including special instructions and tonnage ratings.

In the photograph at left, an original copy of Time Table 3 is on the left, and copies of my reduction are on the right. See PDF of Time Table 3 for layout.

In 1977 the Fort St. John Subdivision and Dawson Creek Subdivision were operated under the Manual Block System. This was an alternate system of operating trains on subdivisions with lighter traffic.

A Block Bulletin listed temporary restrictions and speed limits currently in effect. In this photograph, a Block Bulletin from 1984 is on the left and my reduction for N Scale is on the right. See PDF of Block Bulletin for layout.

All train movements in Manual Block System territory required a Block Clearance. These were issued to train crews by the dispatcher prior to departure and were cancelled upon completion of the train movement.

In the photograph at left, an original Block Clearance book from 1984 is shown, as well as my versions for N Scale. The smaller pink version fits on the clipboards for train crews and the larger white version is for the dispatcher. See PDF of Block Clearance for layout.

Yard crews and train crews were issued switch lists. They listed the cars to be moved, their lading and destinations, and provided general instructions for the work to be performed.

This photograph illustrates copies of actual switch lists from Fort St. John in 1979 and 1981 on the left, and my switch lists from an operating session on the right. My versions are sized to fit on the crew clipboards. See PDF of Switch Lists for layout.

Yard crews going on or off duty signed a Yardmen's Register, and train crews originating or terminating a train at a train register station signed a train register. In 1977, Chetwynd and Dawson Creek were train register stations.

In the photograph at left, original Yardmen's Registers and Train Registers are seen on the left, and my versions are seen on the clipboards at right. See PDFs of Train Registers and Yardmen's Registers.

My train registers for Chetwynd and Dawson Creek are kept on clipboards which hang from a magnetic strip on the fascia.

In order to conserve space I have combined the Register for Departing Trains and the Register for Arriving Trains onto a single clipboard for each station.

The Yardmen's Register for Chetwynd Yard is stored on the crew clipboard for Chetwynd Yard, again to save space on the fascia.

The crew clipboards for each road job also hang from a magnetic strip on the fascia in front of the Chetwynd station and freight shed.

Seen here are clipboards for the Septimus Turn, Dawson Creek Switcher, and Work Trains.

Clipboards for the Chetwynd Yard and the VP-PV Freights are stored on another magnetic strip on the fascia near the control panels and throttle holder for Chetwynd Yard.

The crew clipboards contain the following documents:

- a switch list for that particular job (white)

- manual block clearance forms (pink)

- current Block Bulletin in effect (white)

- Time Table 3 (yellow)

- general instruction sheet (green)

- locomotive operating manual (blue)

The dispatcher recorded train movements on a train sheet, and recorded block clearances in a block clearance book. A locomotive location report listed all locomotives and their location, status or assignment for that particular day.

This photograph illustrates an original train sheet from 1982, a block clearance book from 1984, and a locomotive location report form.

The original documents shown above were valuable references in creating my own versions for operating sessions, and have helped to achieve a high degree of realism for the dispatcher position on my layout.

Seen at left are my versions of the train sheet, block clearance book, and locomotive location report for use on my layout. Clearances were cancelled with a red pencil crayon which is provided for op sessions.

I have created a Bad Order Card system for recording cars with defects. The car in question would be routed to the RIP track in Chetwynd and a card detailing the repairs required would be completed. The cards are kept on the Chetwynd Yard clipboard.

My model version of the Bad Order Card on the right was based on an actual prototype Bad Order Card seen on the left. See PDF of Bad Order Card.

The general instruction sheet (green) has been updated for the new DCC system and instructions for locomotive functions have been transferred over to a new document (blue).

My Locomotive Operating Manual is based on the prototype pocket manuals issued by ALCO and MLW to engineers and details decoder functions and how to consist locomotives. See PDF of Locomotive Manual.