Fellow modeler Bill Williams and I have discussed these topics, but I’ve not said much about them with others. So I thought I would share some of my plans and ideas with the rest of you folks.
The Louisiana Central will be a somewhat laid-back type of operation. There won’t be a parade of fast-running passenger trains or long freights running up and down the mainline such as Lou Schultz has on his C&O layout. Rather, our operation will be closer to what you see on the Greenbrier subdivision at Lou’s. There will be more trains than on the Greenbrier, but the atmosphere will be similar.
In overall length, the LCRR will be about the same as the Greenbrier branch, but there will only be half as many towns (five towns actually modeled), and there will be the Spencer logging operation, which will be much more involved than the Mower operation at Cass on Lou’s pike.
The railroad is designed for a rather small crew, two to -maybe- five folks at best.
I’ll be using a Lenz DCC system for train control and all track switches will be powered by Tortoise switch motors. The Tortoises will be controlled via toggles located on the fascia (nope, I’m not interested in controlling them with my throttle).
The line will be dark territory; the only signals will be near the Little River bridge. Here the Spencer Lumber Company has trackage rights on the Louisiana Central for just enough distance to get across the river. The signals will be tied to the mainline switches at either side of the river where the Spencer line joins and leaves the LC main.
Primary operating authority will be by timetable and train orders. Actually, we’ll be using a “simplified” version of this, with a minimal amount of paperwork.
I plan to generate traffic with a home-brew software program that I’ve been working on over the years. The program is based on industries needing cars to move product and will generate waybills for each car at the start of each session. Each waybill will contain only the information pertinent to the car’s movement for that particular session, so it should be easy using them.
My general philosophy is to keep things relatively simple. I’m not adverse to computers connected to railroad functions and operations, but don’t feel compelled to use the computer for everything possible.
There is so much more to all this than what I’ve put forth here. If anyone is interested in more detail than what I’ve written or wants to discuss other aspects, just post a comment and I’ll be glad to expand on it.