LCRR herald

Louisiana Central Railroad Company

Waybill Program

The railroad will utilize computer generated waybills for traffic movement.  Waybills are created by matching "shippers orders" with matching car selections.  The software to be used is currently under development by myself, and is based on an earlier DOS based program I wrote back in the early 90's.  That system was used with reasonable success on the previous incarnation of the Louisiana Central.  The program is about 75% complete, with the only timetable being to reach completion by the time trains are ready to roll.

This new Windows based software will hopefully overcome a few limitations of the original program, as well as significantly increase the flexibility and ease-of-use of the program.

Essentially the program utilizes pre-built "shippers" templates (the orders).  Each template contains the name and location of the shipper, the commodity to be shipped, the frequency and volume (number of cars) of the shipments, and the required (and acceptable) car type(s).  The template also contains information for the shipment destination and eventual return of the car to whence it came.  A total of four moves can be set up, which will handle all the various scenarios of car movement on my railroad.

There are also templates for shipments that originate off line for delivery to local industries, and templates that will generate bridge traffic across the railroad.

The program will select an appropriate car to match the template from a database of available cars using an "ordered" search.  Once the match is made, the completed waybill is generated.  Search criteria include:
Naturally, the car selection criteria for cars originating off line is a bit different:
The waybills are printed at the beginning of each session.  Each waybill will show the pickup point of the car, and the destination.  If the waybill has several destinations (most do), only the first destination shows.  Successive operating sessions will again see the waybill generated, each time with its next movement (destination) shown.  The waybill is retired after a car reaches the final destination listed on the template (its Home destination).  This can be on the system, or at an interchange point (staging) as appropriate.

The program has the ability to generate a one-time waybill manually, with either manual or automatic car selection.  The program also keeps track of whether a car is in service or "bad ordered", in which case the car won't be selected for a waybill until it is returned to service.

I'm currently working on the last (and most difficult) part of the program; the code required to have waybills automatically generated based on the criteria contained in all the templates.  The goal is to simply walk up to the computer and tell it to generate the waybills required for that days session.  Someday when I get the thing completed, debugged and working in a reasonable manner, I may share more details on the makeup, including screen shots.  I may eventually expand the program to include switch list generation, though that isn't a high priority.  "Why don't you just use one of the commercial car-forwarding programs available?", you ask.  I dunno..... I guess because I enjoy trying to "roll my own".  

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© 2006-2019 Jack C. Shall - All rights reserved. Last page update: 23 Jan 2019