Anyway, I did get some time on the weekends and completed the trackwork in Rico; it's completely done now, including the Enterprise branch, turnout controls, the whole deal.
Next up is adding boxes for car-cards and waybills, and alongside that is finally figuring out my operating scheme (at least a 1st draft), adding at least markers for each of the buildings, etc. I've decided to take a somewhat non-typical approach; if you're reading this feel free to comment on the validity of the idea.
Here it is:
I want to make operations a bit more flexible, so operators feel a little more like they're responding to the current situation on the layout, rather than following a tight script of events. Perhaps this won't work, but my idea is to use only 2-cycle waybills, and to mostly keep the waybills stored seperately from the car cards.
We play a good number of board games around here - Rail Baron, Empire Express, Silverton, etc, and most of those function w/ some type of random demand request, which is then fulfilled as efficiently as possible to make money. Of course, ops on a model railroad have a different focus, but I've been wondering if I could borrow some of those game concepts, and see how that might work.
The sequence would be something like this:
- At the spur (factory, mine, stockyard, etc) there are a bunch of waybills in a pocket, available for use. Each lists the type of car needed, and a destination. So, a mine shipping lead has a card saying it needs to ship a load of lead to Grand Jct (which is a staging location).
- The operator grabs the waybill, walks to a yard where empties have been returned, finds an appropriate car, and loads the waybill, empty-side up. This becomes a waybill to move the empty to the mine.
- The car is routed to the mine w/ this waybill, sits for a while, and is magically loaded.
- The waybill is flipped to reveal the destination (Grand Jct staging in this example).
- The car is then routed to that location, via a scheduled or extra local, or whatever else.
- Once arriving in staging, the waybill is removed.
- The empty car-card has instructions for where to return the car, and it's returned. Alternatively, another waybill could be inserted before it gets back to its home yard.
So - what da ya think?