Rules, rules, rules!

2016 CTGSo I finally went out and bought myself a copy of the 2016 Canadian Trackside Guide. The book by the Bytown Railway Society is “the comprehensive listing of Canadian railways including their US-based operations. The 2016 edition features the latest updates (to end of February) to all the sections including motive power, industrial locomotives, preserved equipment, passenger equipment, work train equipment, subdivision details, radio frequencies and more.”

The reason I wanted The Guide was to gain insight on how trains operate on my prototype (the QGRY). I had hoped to find a timetable of trains and gain insights into operations, and while I was unsuccessful in this regard, I did learn something new.

Beside the listing of subs and milemakers I found the initials OCS which I learned stood for OCCUPANCY CONTROL SYSTEM. The QGRY operates in what is known as “dark territory” and no signals are used to govern train movements. All movements must be authorized by the dispatcher, who verbally instructs the train to proceed, usually by radio. The dispatcher selects the stations or mileposts between which the train may move – a segment of track known as the authority limit. In the US this is called Track Warrant Control.

Googling ‘Occupancy Control System (OCS)’ lead me to Transport Canada’s Canadian Rail Operating Rules – an amazing resource that I will attempt to digest and understand. You can download the entire PDF doc here:

Not sure yet how this will inform my plan for operations, but at least I have learned that I don’t have to worry about installing signals on the QGRY.





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Spent yesterday in Cobourg, and caught a very interesting show at the Art Gallery of Northumberland on the 3rd Floor of Victoria Hall. MICRO MACRO features the amazing photographs of Toni Hafkenscheild.

Thought this would be of interest to all of the prototype modelers out there. We spend so much of our time trying to make 1/87 scale look as real as possible; and here is a photographer whose works go the other way and capture reality in a way that makes it look toy-like.

Toni Hafkenscheid is a Toronto-based photographer originally from Amsterdam, the Netherlands. In 1989, he graduated from the Rietveld Academy in Amsterdam and shortly thereafter moved to Toronto. He has exhibited in solo and group shows throughout Canada, the US and Europe, and he has taught photography at York University, OCADU, Ryerson University and Sheridan College.


Using traditional Tilt Shift analog photographic techniques, Hafkenscheid manipulates his camera to narrow the depth of field in his images, resulting in a visual sleight-of-hand that suggests model train sets, toy buildings and miniatures of all kinds.

This idea occurred to him on a summer trip to British Columbia a few years ago. How bizarre and almost fake the landscape looked. Train tracks were set in an artificial plain of faux cotton trees, plastic buildings, and cardboard mountains, with suggested men and women walking, shopping, etc.

Check out this GlobeandMail article for more on this amazing photographer.