have posted this in my Wallace Creek thread so apologies if you have already read it. Now for me this is the whole point of the layout and my philosophy was always something that was going to be challenging and fun to operate. Now firstly I must acknowledge that I am lucky enough to have a decent space to operate in. I was always worried that if I did build a railway I’d lose interest too quickly. Naturally some of us have different philosophies – my mate Nick for instance likes to set a train going and then crack open a bottle of something appropriate and watch his trains going round although I am opening him up to the concept of freight operations WC style! Not that I’m against that as one of my operating scenarios is the “and a half”. Basically my trains go from one side of the garage to the other, so rather than just a short run trains do at least one and a half circuits. More if I have something appropriate (so not Victoria Bitter). At least one time during a session I have three trains out and will run them around the layout one and a half times until all possible combinations have been looped at Mowarra Junction (2 trains can pass) and Wallace Creek (3 trains can pass). The start of each session consists of two moves – a freight train moves from the fiddle yard to the loop at Mowarra Junction and is held. A short time later a passenger train follows and calls in the platform and then departs for Wallace Creek. Passenger trains are normally formed of a carriage (yes really!), a second carriage or a mail van and a brake van. On arrival the loco runs round and then one of the Wallace Creek local instructions kicks in. The purpose of these local instructions (see sketch above) is to make operating the locations more interesting. This particular instruction states that the brake van must always be at the back of the departing service (which departs in the opposite direction). It’s rare for a passenger service to depart straight back so the brake van is shunted to the carriage (Silo) siding followed by the other vehicles. At some stage the previously recessed freight generally runs through Wallace Creek, and then the passenger locomotive works light engine to the MPD at Mowarra Junction. Another working instruction limits the number of wagons that can be shunted via each end of the station (6 SLUs with a GY wagon being 1 SLU). After that, in a freelance sessions, it’s a question of what stock is out and following a logical (?) sequence of events. Now when I say logical of course let’s remember it’s a model railway so a freight train that has run round the layout one way might reverse direction at Wallace Creek, change locomotive at Mowarra Junction, recess for an opposite direction or as described above a same direction pass or just stop for a crew change. When I started the layout I was planning to run block trains only. The lure of the mixed goods has proved too much, so sometimes its mixed goods only, other times block trains only and but generally it’s a mix of both. I don’t have enough brake vans for all trains so generally block trains have no brake vans and mixed trains do. That may change (he said eyeing the SDS models page). I do have a “timetable” which has been designed around freight and passenger flows. Taking each wagon set (and including two mixed sets) a sequence was worked out with a number of trains operating each hour. Its not a real time Timetable but rather an order of operations and whilst I tried to ensure all locations had enough capacity to deal with their trains. There are a couple of conflicts in the timetable which means the operator has to think on his feet which adds to the fun. I also have a number of scenarios that I run that makes things more interesting. These include:- · Surfing Festival – 2 passenger trains operating to Wallace Creek at once whilst maintaining regular freight services. · Grain season – all three grain trains run · Victorian only – Victorian locos only · NSW only · Focus on steel, oil, intermodal etc · Mixed train only Another constraint which adds to the challenge is the mix of coupling types – Kadee and Powerline/Lima types. I have experimented with supplying locos and stock with couplings at each end but it does not really work operationally. So this is an additional complexity in WC operations. WC is coming up for 10 years old now and I still find different combinations and trains to run and get a lot of enjoyment out of it.