First, the revised track plan. Many thanks to Sheldon Frankel, the owner of the Q&NE, and a professional civil engineer who happens to have worked for the railways. No better person to take my previous mess and clean it up with some good, practical, prototypical track design.
You can view the revised track plan as a more detailed PDF here.
Now for some thoughts on Operations…
Thanks to the wonder of Facebook I was able to connect with some kind (and very knowledgable) folks on the Genesee & Wyoming RR Fan Page who shared the current QGRY schedule with me. This has led me to the beginning thoughts for a proto-freelance operations plan:
Train 1. Train 726: Ste-Therese (Montreal staging) to Trois-Rivieres Yard
Train 2. Train 728: Trois-Rivières Yard to Triage Henri IV (Quebec staging)
Train 3. Train 729: Triage Henri IV (Quebec staging) to Trois-Rivières Yard
Train 4. Train 727: Trois-Rivieres Yard to Ste-Therese (Montreal staging)
Train 5. Train 28: Trois-Rivières – Joliette and back to switch Bell-Gaz
Train 6. Train 33: Trois-Rivières – Shawinigan and back (to Quebec staging to simulate CN interchange)
Train 7. NOT a prototypical train BUT I will create a local that runs Trois-Rivières – Paper Mill and back to switch the Paper Mill and other industries
Train 8. NOT a prototypical train BUT I will create a local that runs Trois-Rivières – Ciment Quebec and back to switch Ciment Quebec and Marmen
While this train list makes sense to me, I have NO IDEA what order to run the trains. For example, should the local trains run before or after the east/westbound mains? Not even sure how to determine this… any thoughts are very welcome!
Still pondering JMRI computer ops vs. car cards and waybills, but think that I will try JMRI first and then move to CC & WBs if I don’t like the computer-generated switchlists.
One of the things that I’m targeting is more frequent but less time consuming operating sessions. I want to be able to pop down to the basement and run a couple of trains either by myself or with a couple of people. Partly this is because I have two young boys who want to ‘play’ and partly because I just enjoy frequent sessions that last no longer than two – three hours.
That’s my current thinking for now and no doubt that it will change/evolve as I learn more about the real QGRY, meet new people, ask more questions and continue this fun and fascinating journey!