From the Kalmbach book
Bridges & Buildings
Article by; Harold Schupp

 Do your operating crews know when to pick
up their train orders?
Build an operating train order rack to enhance your
train movements. It was inspired by the article written about the prototype
train order rack on the Santa Fe in Holliday KS. This rack was positioned
for West bound trains rolling out of Kansas City so they could receive any
orders as they entered the first junction heading out of the first district.
The orders where tied to a string and positioned in a wye through clips
on the order rack. A train crew member simply held out his arm on the fly
to pick them up. The orders were tied at various levels. On my model, the
wye for the engineer is centered about 1 5/8″ from the ballast so the
engineer can retrieve it. The lowest wye is about 78″ so the conductor
can reach it from the step of the caboose. One of the prototypes had places
to string orders at four separate heights.

I set up my model so the local agent can warn a train
crew to pick up orders. Situation orders can be created for different trains
to vary from normal operations. One order could warn a crew of an unscheduled
meet up ahead. My block control system could indicate a clear block up ahead
so they simply keep going and pick up the orders on the fly.


   Engineer; Ok Freddy, I,m here. Why don’t you just
hand me my orders instead of stringing them up.

Station Agent; Cut me some slack Mr. Winslow, the dispatcher
just sent them to me and I hurried here to string them up.

The wye brackets are over scale as this picture shows,
however, smaller brass wire may get bent by my operators.

The order rack is designed to swing in or out
of the way when there aren’t any orders for a train crew.
When a train crew sees the order rack swung
out, they must check the pigeon hole at the edge of the layout for their


From the Kalmbach book
Bridges & Buildings
Article by; Harold Schupp
The control tower was not part of the article but its
presents was looming in the background of the authors photograph. It was
a nice model at one time until one of my boys gave it an unauthorized paint
job. I was able to be a little scraping of the paint build-up and restore
the model later.


Ambrose the “dispatcher” might just
as well take a nap for now on our layout. All train operations are stopped
for a bit as some bench work needs to be moved around. There has been a
few important decisions made in the last few days about how the layout will
be expanded. We will stay with the old DC block control system as it will
give me the operational features that I want. This will allow me to sit
in a chair and run a couple trains over the main line. Block detection circuits
are also easier for me to build for controlling the block signals. Any areas
that have local switching chores will have throttle control right there.
When that work is finished, I’ll just go sit in my chair and do the mainline
runs, if I don’t fall asleep.