Operating Part One – The Staging Yard for the Operation of the Hintock Branch

3200 Hintock's Staging Yard, a traditional ladder system for seven trains

3200 Hintock’s Staging Yard, a traditional ladder system for seven trains

Hintock’s Staging Yard is an essential components in the operation of the Branch. There are several variations in its form and  either a traverser or cassettes could have been used. I have had experience of both, but adopted for Hintock the traditional ladder format. With it and within a length of about 54” and a width of 18” I have seven roads of varying length. And, with a road allocated to each, can operate seven individual trains.

Use of the ladder means I have to change a loco from one end to the other by hand but that is easy enough to do. I can equally conveniently also attach or detach vehicles with all but two roads long enough to accommodate loose stock. Each separate train run has a road allocated to it.

My Staging Yard, a description I choose to use, rather than ‘fiddle yard’ as it more aptly describes its function, has two important functions: one it provides storage space for my trains and two, it represents the rest of the railway system beyond Hintock Junction some 12 miles up the line and the ultimate destination of all the trains that depart. And equally so from whence they arrive1. (A further use is as a notional Hintock Town Yard, the carriage sidings and engine shed.)

As will be apparent the scenario I have created lends itself to running a representative series of trains. The image also shows the trains I typically run, their makeup and motive power. These roads are from which the trains depart and return, and are, from the top:

  1. SR pick up goods
  2. GWR pick up goods
  3. Milk and parcels
  4. GWR local passenger
  5. Perishable fruit and vegetables
  6. GWR through coaches
  7. SR local passenger

Seen in the image and on the fascia is a  three section card holder, two sections are for cards of wagons in trains in the Yard, the third for wagons not currently employed.

  1. For a discussion of traffic flow, where trains come from and go to, see the traffic chapter

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