Session Briefing

No matter how experienced the crew it is good to give brief (remind) them about the layout.

Props (collect and hold up during briefing)

  • Throttle
  • Train Register
  • Point to Order Boards
  • Clearance and Orders
  • Time-Table (Hand them out)
  • Red Flags
  • Radios

Where to Stand

  • Stand on Chillicothe Ramp or a box.
  • Have folks on stools and rolles in front of the desk.
  • Have other stand behind them
  • Stand back in Chillicothe and down toward Oakley.


  • Thanks for coming – It is a privilege to have you here to bring the B&O Chillicothe sub to life
  • Introduction Statement – The B&O is a complex railroad to operate, we believe that is what makes it fun and unique from other railroads.  TT&TO and clocks can be intimidating, but we feel they add to the fun and more so the authenticity.  Additionally, switching cars can be intimidating.  But we feel we have jobs for everyone or that pairing up can ensure we all have fun.
  • Find a name tag – Clip on name-tags have been provided, please use them.  Not everyone knows your name.
  • Who’s new? or occasional, introduce them.
  • Know the owner – Paul Miklos
  • Progress and Maintenance on Railroad – <different every session, might be nothing>
  • Throttles – Instructions are on the back.  Do not hit red button once operating.  Clock is in the throttle.  Contact Paul if you have any problems
  • Turnouts – Always be returned Green after passing through them.  Most important turnouts are Loveland going to/from double track and Cincinnati Yard.
  • Lanyards – A lanyard for every train, should be warn by engineer.  The lanyard colors indicate they type of train
  • Flags on Trains – Most road engines have flags, beware of the color (goes with lanyard).  Green means more sections coming!
  • Train Registers – Are located at 4 locations:  Cincinnati, Loveland, Midland City, Chillicothe.  ALL SCHEDULED TRAINS SIGN THE REGISTER
  • Before Passing Register – At every register, VALIDATE THAT IT IS SAFE TO PROCEED.  Use the flow chart to help you.  If it is not safe to continue, wait!  If you think someone forgot to sign register, do detective work and find out who and become a whistle blower!
  • Orders – Augment the time-table, they are not full right!
  • Clearance – All orders come stapled to a clearance.  Clearance is required to pass a red board.
  • Order Boards – Are the two black and red triangles leaning against the layout.  The one you encounter first in the direction your going is the one for your train.
  • Red Order Board – If you see the order board red, you must stop, even if it goes clear.
  • Clocks – One above Chillicothe, One above Loveland and dispatcher has one and every hammer head throttle has a clock in the screen.
  • Schedule – Everyone MUST HAVE ONE.  Even Yard crews.  This informs you when every scheduled train is to run, it’s class and superiority. The Best Yard crews need it to protect against first class trains.  Additionally the time-table includes yard limit indications and station hours.
  • Eastbound Superior – Westbound trains must wait for eastbound.
  • 10 minutes before – Clear superior trains by 10 minutes
  • 12 hours – Trains have schedule for 12 hours.  Do not assume a train has passed through based on time, confirm by observation – visual or register.
  • Sections – We run sections they follow no closer than 10 minutes.  If a section has green flags/lanyard another section is coming.
  • Yard Limits – There are 4 yard limits.  Chillicothe, Midland City, Blanchester, Cincinnati Terminal (start east of Oakley and go through St. Louis staging)
  • Yard Limit Speeds – 2nd Class and Extras, proceed at restricted speed prepared to stop.  First class trains proceed, yard switchers/job must protect against first class.
  • Yard Jobs – Must get verbal clearance from Yard Master and Station Operator.  Verbal clearance does not mean you have right to main line, check time-table too!
  • Red Flags – Can be used to get work done, by protecting against other trains.  See rules.
  • Lanyard instructions – Basic instructions on how to operate the train.  Trains do work at a town according to the lanyards.  READ THEM AND TRY TO FOLLOW THEM!  Ask Paul if you have questions.
  • Waybills – Do not flip waybills.  Contact Dave, Phil, or Paul if you have questions.  Report waybills without dots to one of them.
  • Dots – The dots on the waybill direct car for movement.  See lanyard or Job description information.
  • Car-Card Boxes – There are sets of boxes at every location and some locations there are multiple sets.  Be sure to use proper set.  If you have questions, contact Paul.
  • Car-Car Box usage – Setout is for the card of cars you located, pickup is for cars to be picked up by train – pick up to your load limits as listed in lanyards.  Most boxes are only served by a single train.  If you have any questions ask Paul.
  • Two-Man Crews – We encourage two man crews on all unscheduled trains.  If your not assigned a two-man crew, and you see crew member without an assignment, suggest they notify the crew caller of their availability and then ask them to join you.
  • Hand Signals – It’s 1958, no radios in use.  If your operating as a two man crew, use hand signals during switching.  Engineer stay with or beyond the engine so your forced to follow signals.  When train is on the move, Engineer follow engine and take the lead, conductor follow behind with caboose and make sure order board does not change before caboose passes.  Likewise in the yard, when collaborating with Yard Master, Hostler, or other Crews use hand signals to guide engine movements.
  • Dispatchers – Do no write overlapping orders
  • Radios – Are used to communicate between Dispatcher and Station operators.  It represents the party line used on real railroads.  Preferable to add crew caller.
  • Dispatchers, Yard Masters, Station Operators, Crew Caller – Work ahead 1-2 hours to be prepared!
  • Station Operators – Your responsible to make sure all orders are correct and have the proper engine numbers in them.  If you identify an order is wrong during it’s dictation, stop it and get a new order issued.
  • All – Have fun, Learn from your mistakes and be ready to take a ribbing!


  • What is the Date and Time?
  • What is moving on the mainline this trick?

Job Assignments

  • Dispatcher
  • Cincinnati Yard Master
  • Station Operators – Loveland and Chillicothe
  • Crew Caller (usually Paul but could be other)
  • Hostler
  • Brighton Yard (preferably has experience in yard)
  • Mill Creek
  • Road Crews
    • Trains on the line (Must assign first)
    • Next trains in sequence/schedule (ensure crews for highest priority trains first)
  • Chillicothe YM.