Fox Valley O Scalers Schedule

Milwaukee Road Logo Ted Schnepf
126 Will Scarlet
Elgin, Ill. 60120

Layout Briefing-Milwaukee Road- Dubuque/ Iowa and Dakota divisions


This layout is my vision of a section of real railroad brought to life by the guests operating the model trains. I ask you to work, to bring that vision to life for us.


A. Creature comforts


1. Hang coats on hooks on wall by bathroom

2. Bathroom is under stairs

3. Refrigerator in corner by coats- sodas 50cents

4. Place drinks only on shelves, none sceniced areas of the layout or lower staging on ballast.

5. Smoking outdoors

6. Name tags


B. Running Trains


  1. Uncouple with uncoupling sticks in bill boxes
  2. Carefully rerail cars to protect fragile grab irons and stirrups (Intermountain/Red Caboose cars)
  3. Push cars to clearance point as marked with white dots on ties. (avoid sideswipes)
  4. Value of equipment- brass locos, passenger and freight cars can make train worth several thousand dollars. Many scratch built/ urethane cars with many hours of labor invested.
  5. Turnout frogs are electrically connected to the position of the switch points. When coming from the back side of a switch, can cause a short if route is not lined.
  6. If a short is heard, immediately pull back the engine carefully with your fingers.
  7. When train is in a siding or unattended, unplug the throttle.
  8. At end of run zero out throttle (select loco 00).
  9. Switch stands are marked with green or red on handles. Green is normal route. When leaving a siding realign the turnout for the mainline route.
  10. Calmar staging- superintendent to assist all arriving and departing trains
  11. Most throttles can use either knobs or buttons for speed control. Buttons offer more exact control.
  12. Bad order equipment- write the defect on a post it and put with the car card.
  13. Trains typically run with 2 man crews: one engineer and one conductor with paperwork. Trains can be about 25 long.
  14. Do not block highway crossings unnecessarily.
  15. When operating sound equipped engines please sound bell and whistle where necessary for crossings, yards, depots and for flagmen.
  16. Yard Limits established at Dubuque, Spechts Ferry Marquette and Calmar. Trains are not flagging in these areas. All trains except first class to proceed expecting to find the route blocked.



C. Paperwork train packs consist of:


1. Train card- tan color-tells you starting and terminating points and where work is to be done at intermediate points. Only work where told by written instructions.

2.      Red message cards- add or delete work of a train. Follow as directed.

3.      Engine card- white- make certain you always have one for your train. When engine is tied up at roundhouse, place in engine box by roundhouse.

4.      Car cards containing waybills in each pocket. There is no waybill turning. Staging is color coded.

5.      Caboose card-pink. Make certain it is in the train pack when leaving the terminal.

6.      Check car cards carefully due to similar numbers and similar reporting marks (URTX-reefers vs. UTLX-tanks) (there are almost 100 URTX reefers on the layout).


D. Layout


  1. Represents northeast Iowa. Dubuque Division is along Mississippi River. Iowa and Dakota division climbs to highlands in northern Iowa.
  2. Similar town names, but different trains and locations
    1. Calmar/ East Calmar (staging/ town with industry)
    2. Turkey River/ Turkey River Junction (town/ branchline junction)
    3. Marquette-south yard/ South Marquette (yard/ industry area)
  3. Use 2 to 1 slow clock
  4. Dubuque division-operators stand in river. Bluff track is to the back and River track is to the front
  5. Signs on facia
    1. Direction orientation
    2. Town and track names
    3. History of layout-important dates
    4. Data about structures
  6. Timeframe is early October in 1954. Harvest season is ongoing, slaughterhouses are in full production and coal mines are at full output.
  7. Observe train order signals where installed. If at stop, contact dispatcher.
  8. time of day
  9. trains on layout
  10. New trains to be run
  11. assignment of dispatcher and yard jobs
    1. Dispatcher
    2. Marquette west Yard
    3. Marquette south yard
    4. Marquette city job
    5. Marquette roustabout
    6. Spechts Ferry

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