Bibliography on operations

From LdsigWiki

Jump to: navigation, search


Bibliography on Operations


Armstrong, John. The railroad--what it is, what it does. Simmons-Boardman, 1982 o.p. Billed as "the introduction to railroading," written for the railroader, this is an explanation of today's railroad technology, the railroad network and railroad operations. A comprehensive overview of the way the today's railroad system works. Also contains a fine bibliography of suggested readings.

Barrow, David. "How to operate your layout." MR, Oct. 1995, pp. 104-109. Veteran operator distills 20 years of experience into a six page summary.

Chubb, Bruce. How to Operate your Model Railroad. Kalmbach, 1977, o.p. A broad overview of model railroad operations, starting with the prototype and covering most important topics, including timetables, switching, dispatching and freight car forwarding. Unfortunately, this book is out of print, but it is still found at some hobby shops and bookstores.

Holbrook, Dan. "TIBS, the train and industry blocking system." MR, July 1987, pp. 91-95.

Koester, Tony. "Enhanced car forwarding on the Midland Road." MR, March 1993, pp. 75-81. An up-to-date explanation of how the Allegheny Midland car forwarding system works.

Koester, Tony. "Improved handling for empty freight cars." MR, March 1994, pp. 76-79. Examines how empty cars are managed on the Allegheny Midland.

Mallery, Paul. Operation handbook for model railroads. Carstens, 1990. Reviews timetables, rights of trains, signals, car forwarding, etc. A useful study of issues in operations.

Providenza, Jim. "Operating night on the Santa Cruz Northern." MR, May 1996, pp. 72- 79. Provides a personalized view of how an operator does his or her job.

Sperandeo, Andy. "Tab on car operation." MR, Dec. 1981, pp. 84-88.


Presented in chronological order starting with the oldest layout. Each article contains a track plan except in the case of series articles, which usually contain the plan in the first article. The Allen Keller videos cost $39.95 (VHS) and $45.00 (DVD) are available from hobby dealers or from Allen Keller Productions at (615) 586-7928.

Koester, Tony. "Legendary layouts and the men who built them." MR, Jan. 1989, pp. 96+.

Frank Ellison (Delta Lines). Ellison viewed a model railroad as a stage, and the trains as actors. He was a pioneer in operations, describing one of the first card order systems, and writing articles about the roles played by various types of trains.

  • "The Art of Model Railroading", series republished in Model Railroader, August 1965 to Jan. 1966.
  • Ellison, Frank. Frank Ellison on Model Railroads. Fawcett, 1954 o.p. Hard to find. This is a reprint of articles published in MR in 1949 and 1950.

John Allen (Gorre & Daphetid RR). Set in the Akinbak mountains, the mythical Gorre & Daphetid ("Gory & Defeated") has been gone for almost 25 years, but John Allen's whimsy and vision influenced a generation of modelers.

  • Findley, Jim. Series: "Remembering the Gorre & Daphetid." Bi-monthly installments in RMC, Dec.1980 to Aug. 1981.
  • Westcott, Linn . Model Railroading with John Allen. Kalmbach, 1981, reprinted 1996.

Allen McClelland (Virginian and Ohio RR). This freelanced layout is set in the forested mountains of Virginia. McClelland is probably the most influential model railroad operator of the present.

  • McClelland, W. Allen. The V&O Story. Carstens, 1984.
  • McClelland, W. Allen. Series: "The V&O Story." Bi-monthly installments in RMC, Jan. 1977 to Mar. 1978.
  • Keller, Allen. Great Model Railroads, vol. 11: Allen McClelland [Video].

Rensslaer Model Railroad Society (New England, Berkshire & Western). The Berkshire Lines is a large club layout (33x124) featuring beautiful scenery, a realistic setting and operations based on an imaginary New England prototype. Located in Troy, New York, it is open to visitors. Call (518) 276-2764 for information. The URL for the club is:

  • Steele, Tony. "Formula for a club railroad: the New England, Berkshire & Western." RMC, December 1979, pp. 64-71; Feb. 1980, pp. 68-75.
  • Sperandeo, Andy. "The New England, Berkshire & Western." MR, Sept. 1983, pp. 58-65.
  • Sperandeo, Andy. "Historical modeling on the Berkshire Lines." GMR 1992, pp. 6-17.
  • Nehrich, John. "Update on the New England, Berkshire & Western." MR, May 1995, pp. 88-92.
  • Keller, Allen. Great Model Railroads, vol. 1: Rensselaer Model Railroad Society[Video].

David Barrow (Cat Mountain & Santa Fe). Barrow's layout is set in the wide open plains of Texas. Its continues to evolve as an notable example of operations and layout planning.

  • Barrow, David. "Cat Mountain & Santa Fe." RMC, Nov. 1979, pp. 78-85.
  • Barrow, David. "Rebuilding the Cat Mountain & Santa Fe." MR, May 1984, pp. 66-73.
  • Barrow, David. "Today's Cat Mountain & Santa Fe." GMR, 1992, pp. 26-33.
  • Keller, Allen. Great Model Railroads, vol. 17: David Barrow [Video].

Tony Koester {Allegheny Midland). The MR columnist and former RMC editor's freelanced layout is part Nickel Plate Road and part C&O/VGN. Appropriately, it connects with McClelland's V&O.

  • Tony Koester. "Introducing the Allegheny Midland." MR, Dec. 1987, pp. 88-96, and Jan. 1988, pp. 116-124.
  • Tony Koester. "A step back in time on the Allegheny Midland." GMR, 1991, pp. 52-59. Koester backdates his railroad to 1968.
  • Tony Koester. "Steam in Indian Summer." GMR, 1992, pp. 18-23. Back dated again, this time to circa 1958. Track plan not included.
  • Keller, Allen. Great Model Railroads, vol. 14: Tony Koester [Video].

About this content:
Original author: Peter Ford. Last revised in 2000.
This LDSIG article is ©2000 by Peter Conner Ford (email).
Questions/comments may be posted in the discussion tab.


  • Chubb, B (1977) How to Operate a Model Railroad Kalmbach Books, Milwaukee. ISBN 0890245282
  • Koester, T (2004) Realistic Model Railroad Design Kalmbach Books, Milwaukee. ISBN 0890245819

Magazine Articles

Web Sites

Personal tools