Card-Order Operations
Card-Order Operations is the organized movement of railroad cars between industries, following prototypical railroad operations, through the use of waybills, which act as a train order. In addition, passenger trains run various routes and are available to carry passengers during a card-order session.

Operations are conducted on a 35 acre site using two switching yards with the main yard located at Eagle Point having 8 single-ended tracks and the other located at Cumberland having 4 single-ended tracks, a control tower, and pneumatically controlled switches in the yard.

The railroad has over 75 industries with multiple locations for spotting cars. There are currently over 100 locations for spotting cars and some of these locations can hold 3, 4, or more cars. There is a Time-Saver switching complex at Allen that is used extensively. There are rest room, steaming water, campsite, and rest facilities at Cumberland.

There is an elevation change of about 200 feet from Sequatchie at the low point to Henley Switch at the upper point. This elevation change will be increased as connecting track is added across the county road crossing that is managed by a standard Railroad Crossing Gate.

Card-order operations utilize two divisions: one is the Upper Division that includes all industries at and beyond Cowan while the Lower Division includes everything else. The grades on the Upper Division can be as high as 2.5% and can be more than a challenge for smaller engines. The smaller engines work well on the Lower Division grades.

Description of a Full-up Card-order Session
The easiest method of learning and understanding the Card-order Operation at Eagle Point is to read and become involved in each aspect of a full-up operating session. A significant improvement was made in Eagle Point card-order by optimizing the flow of traffic in and out of the Eagle Point Yard and using the Cumberland Yard. This improvement required a completely new set of operations.

The Trainmaster resides in the Depot and is responsible for all operations on the railroad including providing authorization via radio for trains to enter and leave the Eagle Point Yard, receiving train waybills from conductors, sorting waybills for new trains, issuing new waybills to conductors, communicating with the Yardmaster in the Eagle Point Yard and the Yardmaster at the Cumberland Yard, assigning passenger trains to a schedule, and sending through-freight trains to and from the two yards.

The Yardmaster oversees all movements within the yard as directed by the Trainmaster, issues orders to the Yard Engineer and Yard Crew, and answers questions that might arise from the conductors of incoming and outgoing trains. In some circumstances…the Yardmaster can function as the Yard Engineer and Yard Crew.

The Eagle Point Yard Engineer operates the yard engine that is kept on the outside unnumbered upper car barn track. Under the direction of the Yardmaster the Yard Engineer pulls cars off trains that entered the yard and places them on the sorting track, pulls cars off the sorting track and builds outgoing train sets for the Upper Division and Lower Division industries.

The Cumberland Yard Engineer operates the yard engine that is kept at the end of the Ladder Track. Under direction of the Cumberland Yardmaster the Yard Engineer pulls cars off the inbound train places those cars on the sorting track, pulls cars off the sorting track and builds outgoing train sets for the Upper Division and Lower Division industries.

The Eagle Point Yard Crew takes directions from the Yardmaster and manually throws yard switches, couples and uncouples cars, catches humped cars, operates the yard engine, and places "Cut" signs on the 4 car cuts…Cut 1, Cut 2, Cut 3, Cut 4.

The Cumberland Yard Crew takes directions from the Yardmaster and uses the pneumatic remote control switch panel in the tower to direct cars to and from the 4 yard tracks and the turntable, couple and uncouple cars, check chains, operate the yard engine, and places "Cut" signs on the 4 car cuts…Cut 1, Cut 2, Cut 3, and Cut 4.

The Passenger Trains run on established schedules, leave and arrive on the two tracks at the passenger loading station in the front of the Depot and at the single track passenger loading station at the back of the Depot. Each train has a qualified engineer and a qualified conductor as its crew. Passenger trains may not depart or pass any station or way stop early. If the train is running over 10 minutes late it becomes a nonscheduled extra and thus loses priority. Passenger trains typically attach a Railway Express car to the end of the train and drop the car at the next yard.

The Through Freight Trains are generated by the Trainmaster and use any train crew to haul any number of cars between the two yards.

The Local Freight Trains are operated by a crew of 2 to 4 personnel, move cars according to waybill orders supplied by the Trainmaster or direct orders from the Trainmaster, and typically pick up 4 car sets at a yard and returns with 4 car sets to a yard. However, under direction from the Trainmaster a train crew can be ordered to pick up a cut of cars anywhere on the railroad.

The Local Freight Conductor keeps track of the time of day and the passenger train schedules to insure that the mainline track at the worked industry is clear when a passenger train arrives, and manages the car-card waybills insuring that the correct waybills are left in the box at the correct industry. Waybills are always left in the back of the box while waybills for cars to be picked up are taken from the front of the box. This is a requirement for playing the game.

The Local Freight Engineer follows the directions of the conductor for all train movements, makes all switching movements at low speed, makes sure all personnel are aware of pending movements i.e. use of horn or whistle, and does not move the train unless instructions are clearly understood and it is safe to move.

The Local Freight Train Crew takes orders from the conductor, can be composed of an Engineer, a Conductor, a Brakeman, and a Switchman. The Brakeman and the Switchman couple/uncouple cars, connect and disconnect chains, set and release brakes, and also act as flagmen at the front and rear of the train while switching industries.

Crews on Break can leave their engine, conductor car, and caboose on tracks #1, #2, or #3 in the Eagle Point Yard or at the Cumberland Yard they can leave the engine on a turntable engine ready track and the conductor car and caboose on yard track #4.

An Operating Session
Eagle Point Yard Description The Eagle Point yard tracks were functionally changed from previous descriptions and are explained herein. Tracks #1, #2, and #3 are reserved for engines or other equipment that need electrical power to charge batteries and as a break time location for trains composed of an engine, conductor car, and caboose. Track #4 contains sorted cars in four car cuts designated for the Lower Division. A maximum of three cuts can reside on this track. Track #5 contains sorted cars in four car cuts and designated for the Upper Division. A maximum of three cuts can reside on this track. Track #6 is a repository for Lower Division cars and Track #7 is a repository for Upper Division cars. Track #8 is a repository for cars removed from trains that finished their assignment.

The long outside unnumbered track in the upper car barn yard is used by the yard switch engine to work the yard. The covered maintenance track is used only for temporary maintenance tasks and is not a place to park trains.

Cumberland Yard Description The Cumberland Yard tracks are designated as follows: Track #1 is the inbound repository for train cars; Track #2 is sorted four card trains for the Lower Division; Track #3 is sorted four car trains for the Upper Division; and Track # 4 is for crew cars and cabooses. Tracks #2 and #3 can hold up to five four car cuts. An electric switch engine shall be available for switching the yard and kept at the end of the curved ladder track. The crew at Cumberland is a Yardmaster, Yard Engineer, Switchman, and a Tower Operator. All the switches at the Cumberland Yard are pneumatically controlled. There is a long arrival track and a long departure track.

Operations Train conductors wanting to enter the Eagle Point yard call-in at the block signal near the Interchange Track. The Trainmaster mans the radio and gives authorization to enter the yard when conditions are warranted such as clear tracks. When authorized, the waiting train enters the Eagle Point yard, stops on the grade crossing, the Yard Crew uncouples the engine the crew cars and caboose from the freight cars, and the engineer pulls the engine onto the upper leg of the wye. The switch engine couples to the freight cars and pulls them off the train. The engineer backs his engine and couples the engine to the crew cars and caboose then reverses the train on the wye while the conductor hands the waybill cards to the Trainmaster located in the Depot. The conductor asks for cars for either the Upper Division or the Lower Division. The Trainmaster selects the cut of cars (#1, #2, or #3 from track #4 or #5), radios the cut number and track number to the Yard Master then hands the waybill cards to the conductor. The conductor drops the crew cars and caboose on the lower leg of the wye while the engineer moves the engine across the grade crossing and stops. The Yardmaster tells the switch engine engineer to pull the selected cut of cars from the yard and couple them to the engine. The yard crew makes the coupling to the engine and uncouples the switch engine which pulls back onto the ladder track. The train engineer bask the train and couples to the crew cars and caboose. The yard crew makes sure that all the chains are properly connected. The conductor asks for permission to leave the yard and once given leaves. When the train leaves the yard the switch engine pulls the cars from track #8 and the Trainmaster tells the Yardmaster, via radio, where to sort the cars onto track #6 and#7. When the inbound cars are sorted to tracks #6 and #7, four car outbound trains are built by the Trainmaster by radioing the specific car numbers to the Yardmaster and the switch engineer places the cars onto tracks #4 and #5. The yard crew chains four car cuts on each outbound track and places cut labels on the first car of each cut. The labels say "CUT 1", "CUT 2", and "CUT 3".

The Trainmaster can designate how many passenger trains will run and on what schedules. At the scheduled time, two passenger trains can leave the two track passenger loading ramp without interference with the yard operations. Also, a third passenger train can leave from the loading track behind the Depot. The Trainmaster can also designate a local freight crew to haul a through freight out to Cumberland or to go to Cumberland and bring back a through freight.

Cumberland Yard operates differently from the Eagle Point Yard. A conductor working the Cumberland Yard stops at the entrance to the yard and calls the Yardmaster for permission to enter the yard. With permission, the switch is thrown and the engineer pulls the train down toward the turntable and stops before the turntable switch. The Yard Crew uncouples the engine, the tower operator throws the turntable switch remotely, and the engineer pulls the engine onto the turntable. The Yard Crew turns the table and the engineer backs the engine onto one of the engine ready tracks. The conductor hands the car cards to the Cumberland Yardmaster and asks for either an Upper Division or a Lower Division cut of cars. The switch engineer then couples the yard engine to the freight cars, pulls them off the train leaving the crew car and caboose, places the freight cars on track#1 for sorting, returns to the ladder track and couples to the caboose, then pulls them onto the turntable. The yard crew turns the cars 180 degrees, the yard engine couples to the caboose and crew car then pulls them back onto the ladder track.

At the same time, the train engineer moves the engine from the ready track onto the turntable, the yard crew turns the table for outbound, and the engineer proceeds to the departure track. The conductor receives the waybill of cards as the yard engine couples the caboose and crew car to the cut of freight cars, pulls the cut onto the ladder track, then the train crew couples the train to the engine for departure. The train then moves to the end of the outbound track where there is a signal and block switch control for leaving the Cumberland Yard. The Cumberland Yardmaster then pulls the car cards from the track #1 slot in the tower card box, flips the destination cards, and directs the switch engine engineer to place the cars into four car cuts on track #2 for the Lower Division or on track #3 for the Upper Division. All the switching is done from the tower using the pneumatic switch controls.

Passenger train schedules will be used if enough folks come to play the game. Since a full ride around the EPRR takes about an hour and twenty minutes, passengers get really tired so there are three shorter passenger schedules from which to choose. Schedule (1) leaves the passenger loading station destined for Cumberland Loop and returns on the same track. Schedule (2) leaves the passenger loading station, proceeds to Cumberland Loop but returns via the Sequatchie lower line passing under the Kimball Trestle, and back to the station. Schedule (3) passenger train leaves the station in the opposite direction to trains (1) and (2), crosses the Kimball Trestle, passes through Saddleback and proceeds up the mountain through Cowan, the tunnel, to the Henley Switch, and returns via Cumberland Loop and Stillhouse to the station. The schedule (3) passenger train can also utilize the loading track behind the Depot.

A Small Operating Session
In the event there are an insufficient number of folks to play a full-up card-order session, a small operating session can be performed.

The only significant change to the operating session is the number of personnel at Cumberland Yard and the use of Cumberland yard. The worst case scenario is when no one is working the Cumberland Yard. In this case, local freight and the through freight crews will work the yard with their engine as the yard switcher. The engineer will be the switcher engineer. The rest of the crew will operate the pneumatic switches from the tower, turn the turntable, couple and uncouple cars, and turn the cards in the tower card-order box.

Car-card This is a card with a pocket, listing the details of each railroad car used. It includes the type of car, the reporting marks and car number. The card pocket holds the waybill with movement orders; only the current movement order is visible when in the pocket.

Waybill This is the order that the conductor uses to spot the car, location and industry. Note: some large industries have multiple tracks or different locations to spot cars. The cards have up to four sets of instructions so the car may be moved up to four times to different industries. After the forth move it can go back to position #1 or receive a new waybill. Train crews only follow the waybill as shown. The Yardmaster turns the waybill when the car is returned to the yard.

Industry Map This strip-map indicates the location of all industries on the railroad and the orientation of the siding for each. It also shows the division or local run area for each local run as all industries included may not be grouped within sight of each other.

Local Freight This is a train that switches the cars out of the yards to the industries. A local run is assigned to work one division of the railroad. A local has a crew of two to four people, a locomotive car, engineer's car, crew car(s) and a caboose. They are normally sent out with four freight cars for delivery to industries in one division.

Through Freight This is a freight train that runs between yards with an engineer and conductor. It could haul 4 to 10 or more cars at a time. It is sent out by the Trainmaster.

Passenger Trains These trains depart Eagle Point on schedule and have specific routes with scheduled stops over most of the railroad. Local and through freights must keep mainline track clear to allow passenger trains to pass without delay.

Radio Usage All operations are on Family Service Radio (FSR) systems. The main operating frequency for the railroad is 5.0 (channel five, eliminator code zero).
Train Master: 5.0/4.0/3.0
Eagle Point Yard: 4.0
Cumberland Yard 3.0
Passenger train: 5.0
Through Freight: 5.0
Local Freights, any available other than 3, 4, & 5

If local trains use radios to help in switching while out on runs, they should have two radios one set for 5.0 and the other set to a channel other than 5.0, 4.0, or 3.0.