The VBR&S, like many of today's model railroads operates on a Time Table/Train Order system much as did the real Southern Railway in 1956. Naturally some applications have been simplified so as not be too overwhelming to our operators who are here to have fun, and not face a rules exam before each operating session. There are however rules, which if observed will make the operating experience more enjoyable to all. Therefore I have created these pages on the VBR&S web site for all operators to review before attending a VBR&S operating session. Each page is printable, and if reviewed as intended, there should be no need to explain things before a session. This is difficult anyway, since it's impossible to review, much less remember eveything in the few minutes before a session begins.
Most of this material is on the VBR&S Timetable, but here I will go into a bit more detail, and sometimes explain my thinking behind the procedures.
This is directional double track terratory. All trains keep to the right. Track no. 1 (East track) is the Northbound main and track no. 2 (West track) is the Southbound main. (Remember that you are always faceing west on the VBR&S. North is to your right, South to your left)
Clearance Card Stations
Clearance Cards are required of all trains before departure from Rio, Montview, and Monroe. (Clearance Cards are shown and explained further on a later page)
Trains Registers are located at Rio, Montview and Monroe. C&E's must sign the train register before departing and after arriving at these locations. (Train Registers are shown and explained further on a later page)
Official clocks are located above Monroe, Rockfish, Rivermont, and Arrowhead. (There are the digital fast clocks located on the fascia above these locations.)
Charlottesville, Va. C&O Railway Tye River, Va. VBR Railway Lynchburg, Va. (via Old Main Line) N&W Railway Lynchburg, Va. (via Old Main Line) C&O Railway (These are given for general knowledge as local freights will interchange at these junctions)
1) All trains should operate at Reduced Speed between Charlottesville and Covesville. All Trains should operate at Yard Speed within Yard Limits at Monroe and Charlottesville. (In these locations you should go even slower than normal, the first because of mountainous terratory, and in the yards for safety) 2) Engines or Trains which must operate against normal traffic direction must contact station operator or dispatcher before entering track for train register information. (You have a timetable, but need to know which trains have passed, hence you need the register information.) 3) Engineers must watch track ahead for mis-aligned turnouts and other potential problems. (Mistakes will be made, turnouts will be left set wrong...we don't want locos and cars on the floor.) 4) All turnouts must be lined for the main after use. (Please try to remember.) 5) Trains may arrive at any station early, but they may not leave any station before their scheduled departure time without a Train Order allowing such a movement. (a real railroad rule that must be followed) 6) Passenger trains arriving at a station late must remain stopped for at least 5 minutes. (gotta load those passengers and packages) 7) All trains diverging from the Main Line when entering Monroe must stop throw turnout and then proceed. 8) Locomotives may operate on the wrong main within yard limits after making sure no northbound or southbound traffic is due within the time needed for the movement. (A real railroad rule. Trains listed in the timetable always have priority over those that arn't listed.) 9) Southbound crews must contact Montview Tower before departing or passing Kemper Street Station in Lynchburg. (This is so a holding track at Montview can be assigned or selected.) 10) Northbound crews must contact JC Tower before crossing the C&O diamond in Charlottesville. (This is so a holding track can be assigned or selected. Very important that this happen before train makes station stop. Since train must clear the C&O crossing, locos will already be in selected hidden track when rear clears crossing.) 11) When runs have been completed, engineers must turn off all locomotive lights, make sure throttle is completly turned down, and cleared of all addresses. (This is so headlights don't burn all the time, trains don't creep forward and the address slots don't fill up.)
The information above is from the VBR&S Timetable, which is designed to look much like a typical Southern Railway Timetable of the era modeled. The explinations below each should further explain the reasons behind the rule. One rule not mentioned, since it was not on the actual timetable was Train Class. In the VBR&S Timetable all passenger trains are considered 1st class, and some freights are listed as first class. These trains have rights over all others. Direction is not an issue on the VBR&S since we have directional double track. 2nd Class freights running late would have to allow 1st class trains on schedule to pass them, and all locals are considered 3rd class, and may never be in the way of any scheduled train. Local crews must have a timetable, and consult it before occupying the main line.