SLSF Kansas City Sub

An Operating Model Railroad featuring the railroads in Kansas City in the 1970s


Kansas City Subdivision

Rules & Regulations Regarding the Movement and Handling of Trains

Effective January, 2010

Revised May 24, 2019

Ron White

Division Superintendent

                                                                              Section 1 – Crew Preparations Prior to Operating a Train

1.1 Necessary Paperwork

No train may occupy any Main Line Track without having ALL of the following items.

1.1.1 Train Packets. Each train has a Train Packet that contains several items you will need to run your train. If your Train Packet is not located next to your train, or in a CardBox at the Staging Track, it is located with the Dispatcher.

1.1.2 Train Card, this is a description of what the train is to do on its route, where it starts and where it ends its run. Read and understand this form carefully before attempting to move your train.

1.1.3 Engine and Caboose Cards list the engines in your consist and what functions they respond to on the throttle, and the Caboose connected to your train.

1.1.4 Carcards and Waybills for the consist. Each car has a car card with a pocket identifying the road name, number and type of car. In the pocket are waybills with the destination for that car

1.1.5 Clearance Forms. This is your authorization to be on the Main Line. The Clearance Form lists the Train Symbol, start time, and the beginning and ending points on the main that your train has authorization to occupy.

1.2 Throttles

We use two different types of throttles, Digitrax Duplex and Roco These are wireless walk around throttles.

1.2.1 Duplex Throttles Acquiring an Engine.

  • Dial in the engine number with the number dials
  • Plug in
  • You will get a green light indicating you have control of that engine.
  • If no green light, plug in, push SEL Dispatching and Engine.

  • Dial one of the Engine numbers back to zero.
  • The LED will turn red indicating you are no longer connected to that engine.

1.2.3 Direction of travel is controlled by the toggle switch on top of the throttle. When not moving, keep the toggle switch in the center. When you want to move your train to your left, move the toggle switch to the left. If you want to move your train to the right, move the toggle switch to the right. Occasionally the radio reception will not receive your change in direction command. You will need to repeat the action. Watch your headlight to know if the direction of your consist has changed.

1.2.4 At the beginning of the session, throttles should already be assigned to your train. Locate your throttle. Then find your Train Packet. Turn on or off the headlight to be sure you have control. Then put the loco in reverse and creep backwards to put in full slack until the caboose or rear car moves slightly. Then reverse and pull out all the slack, making sure everything is coupled

1.2.5 Roco Throttles

  • For instructions to operate a Roco Throttle refer to the Roco Throttle Instructions Booklet

1.2.6 Lanyards are available. Use of Lanyards is preferred to minimize the possibility of a throttle hitting the floor.

Once you have tested your throttle to see that you have control of the engines, WALK YOUR TRAIN. Check to see that you have a Carcard for each car in the consist.

                                                                               ection 2S – Running a Train

2.0 Departure of trains – Clearance Form

Dispatcher authorization is required to occupy the mainline between Control Points (CP) to perform


Once you have your Train Packet, have tested your engines, walked your train, and understand what your train is going to do, obtain a Clearance Form from the Dispatcher. When he knows you are ready to leave, he will set up your route. Watch for your signal to turn green authorizing you to occupy the Main Track. Follow all rules and signaling devices on the occupied dispatcher controlled track. If you have a sound unit, ring the bell, and give two short blasts of the horn before increasing the throttle to move your engine. Cut off the bell once you are moving.

2.1 Arrival of Trains

Once you have finished your run, return your Clearance form to the “Completed Runs” box in the Dispatchers Office, and let the Dispatcher know you have completed your run.

2.2 Staging Yards

Tracks in the Staging Yards are not powered until the Dispatcher throws the turnout to line that track. Exception: Tracks 1 & 2 in Ft Scott and Track 9 in KCT are runthrough tracks and always powered.

2.3 Momentum & Braking

2.3.1 Most Main Line Engines have had momentum added to simulate real locomotive performance. If you are unfamiliar with running an engine with momentum, make a few starts and stops when you first run on the Main. This will give you an idea of how long your train will take to stop. The engine will take longer to start, the sound spools up before the engine will move. Likewise, the sound will spool down before it will stop and before you can change directions. Patience!

2.3.2 If you need to make an unrealistic stop, you can press F6 to activate the brake on some engines. Check the engine card on the lead engine of your consist to become familiar with the type of brake on your train Some are on/off function while others are a gradual application function.

2.4 Running on the Main

2.4.1 Control of Turnouts. When running a train on the Main Track, the dispatcher will control the turnouts and signals for the route your train will take. As the operator of the train, you are responsible for looking ahead to be sure the track is clear. Even though you are on the Main Track controlled by the Dispatcher, there are a few turnouts to local industries that the Dispatcher does not control. Check to be sure all the turnouts ahead of your train are lined for the Main.

2.4.2 Signals are found at every switch controlled by the dispatcher. Solid red is a stop signal. Do not enter a section of track (either in a forward or reverse direction) that is protected by a Red Signal. Solid green is a proceed signal. Yellow is a proceed at restricted speed signal, prepared to stop. There are signal repeaters in the fascia for signals that are difficult to see.

2.4.3 Occupying the Main. Authorization to occupy the main is given by the Dispatcher and authorizes a train to proceed in the direction away from the originating point towards the end point of the authorized block of track. If it becomes necessary to stop or to back up on the Main, first contact the Dispatcher to obtain authorization to be traveling in the reverse direction.

2.5 Track & Time

2.5.1 Asking for Track and Time (Track Authority)

Asking the Dispatcher for Track & Time allows you to work within a certain section of track without restriction. Call the dispatcher. Request permission for Track and Time between the Control Points (CP) you need to get your work done. The signals at those Control Points will flash yellow, indicating local control in that area. The signals on either end of the track connected to those Control Points will show Red. While Track Authority is authorized, crews also have permission to use the mainline switches in the manual mode.

2.5.2 Releasing Track and Time

When you have completed your work, return all Switches to normal. Call the dispatcher. Tell him you are releasing Track and Time between the Control Points you requested initially. The dispatcher will return the signals to normal operation.

2.6 Industry and Yard Switchers

Industry and Yard Switchers do not need Clearance Forms to run on industrial and yard trackage. Each train that has to use the Main Track will need to have a Clearance Form from the Dispatcher. Obtain a Clearance form when traveling from the Industrial trackage onto the Main Track. In addition to the Train Card, Industry Jobs have a detailed job description that outlines the responsibilities for that position. When traveling on the Main Track, Industry trains shall attach the caboose at the end of the train. Yardmasters will contact the dispatcher when your train is ready to leave to get authorization from the dispatcher for your train to enter the Main.

2.7 Turnouts

Any time you see a small sign with the letter H on it, that denotes a hand thrown turnout. These are found mostly in yards where there are a combination of motor controlled and hand controlled turnouts. Always return a turnout to the normal position.

2.8 Uncoupling cars

The preferred method to uncouple cars is to use the magnets where they are provided. However, they may not always be in the best place for you to uncouple your car. In those instances the preferred method is to use an uncoupling pick to either pull the trip to the side or to insert between the couplers and twist. Picking up cars to uncouple is discouraged.


2.9 Cardbox Usage

Cars that are located in an industrial area have carcards that have been placed in the card boxes located on the fascia in the industrial area. Work these cars first before working the cars in the arriving train for each industry.

Section 3 - Communications

3.1 Each yard has a phone to use when contacting the dispatcher. When calling the dispatcher give him your train identification number and your location and where you are going. If the dispatcher does not answer the phone, he is busy talking to another train crew. Hang up and dial again after a few minutes.

3.2 Road Crews will have radios to use to contact the Dispatcher. First listen to be sure no other crew is talking to the Dispatcher, then press the Talk Button and address the Dispatcher, For Example, “Dispatch, Train 38”. Wait for the Dispatcher to respond.

Section 4 – Types of Trains

4.1 - Locals & Turns – These trains begin at a yard, run to assigned tracks to switch cars and returns to the originating yard

4.2 – Transfer – begin at originating yard, run to other carriers yard, exchanging cars according to waybills , and returns to the originating yard

4.3 – Run-Through Trains – passes from one carrier or yard to another with no change or very minor change in consist

4.4 – Switchers – work at assigned industries with occasional trips to the home yard to exchange cars according to waybills

Section 5 - Operator Etiquette

5.1 Handling Equipment

5.1.1 Treat rolling stock and other equipment with care. These represent a substantial investment by the layout owner.

5.1.2 Try not to handle the cars or engines. But as derailments due occur occasionally, if you need to pick up a car, pick it up at the wheels. Engines can be picked up at the wheels or fuel tank. Never pick up equipment by the sides of the unit.

5.1.3 Report any equipment that malfunctions to the superintendent. Bad order forms are located around the layout to help in identifying problems. Please fill one out even if the Superintendent has been notified.

5.2 Running a train requires some level of concentration and attention, especially for yard crews and zone crews. Be courteous and minimize distractions caused by visiting with operators who are working other trains.

5.3 Stay with your train, Monitor the activity at both the front and rear of the train

5.4 Always check the track alignment around your train

5.5 Check car cards to the cars in your train before leaving an area.

5.6 Drinks should not be placed on the layout. Shelves have been provided for this purpose.

5.7 If you don’t know, ask.

5.8 Suggestions are always welcome. Your suggestion could make the next crew’s experience operating your train more enjoyable.

Crew Positions

Dispatcher - Responsible to manage the safe

and efficient movement of all railroad traffic over the Kansas City Subdivision

19th St Yard Master - Manages all operations in the 19th St Yard. Classifies arriving trains, prepares trains for departure, assigns tracks for arriving and departing trains, prepares paperwork, and supervises the 19th St Switch Crews

19th St Switch Crew – Switches local industries. Runs transfer trains to Neff Yard and Rosedale Yard. Works inbound Transfers at the direction of the 19th St Yard Master

Rosedale Yardmaster – Manages all operations in Rosedale Yard. Classifies trains, prepares trains for departure, assigns tracks for arriving and departing trains, prepares paperwork.

Neff Yardmaster – Manages all operations in Neff Yard. Classifies trains, prepares trains for departure, assigns tracks for arriving and departing trains, prepares paperwork.

Centropolis Turn – Switches all cars in the Centropolis Industrial area. Works with the Armco Switcher to pick up outbound cars from the Armco Plant and set out inbound cars. Makes run to Neff to interchange cars

Armco Switcher – Switches all cars in the Armco Steel Plant.

General Mills Switcher – Switches all cars in the General Mills Plant. Makes runs to Neff Yard to interchange cars

Road Crews “Extra Board” - Receive work assignments from the Dispatcher. Road

crews run through-trains and transfers over the division. Road crews also may be assigned

small switch jobs, such as:

Rodney Milling – Switches all tracks within the Rodney Mill area

SLSF Zone 1 Turn – Switches all customers between Rosedale Yard and Merriam

SLSF Zone 2 Turn – Switches all customers between 19th St Yard and Rosedale Yard

Bonita Switcher – Switches all customers in the Bonita Industrial District

SLSF West Bottoms Local – Switches all customers in the West Bottoms on SLSF Tracks

MP West Bottoms Local – Switches all customers in the West Bottoms on MP Tracks

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