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Realistic Model Railroad Operation, Second Edition
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Respected expert Tony Koester teaches modelers how real railroads operate trains and how to apply those methods to their own model railroads in this extensively updated edition. Learning about timetable-and-train-order operation, as well as how cars are switched, how yards function, how signals work, and more, provides an added dimension of realism and fun for modelers, keeping the hobby fresh and exciting.

• Written by a leading expert on model railroad operation
• Tips on how to organize operating sessions are included
• New information on track-warrant operation and how to make easy-to-use way bills are featured
96 pages
Price: $19.99
Product Number: 12480
ISBN: 9780890249390
Carton Quantity: 12
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Now in an updated second edition, Realistic Model Railroad Operation is a hobbyist's guide to applying real-life timetable and train-order principles in order to make one's model railroad layout operate as realistically as possible. Author and hobbyist Tony Koester, a contributing editor for "Model Railroader" magazine, covers the workings of signal system, controlling the purposeful movement of both passenger trains and cars, easy-to-use waybills that mimic the real thing, and much more. Full color photography on virtually every page enhances this excellent guide for the model railroading enthusiast interested in taking their hobby to the next level.

-The Midwest Book Review

While many enjoy model railroading operations that

consist of a continuous loop of track and near-endless laps around a miniature rail system, for a large group of model railroaders, the desire to replicate prototypical operations goes along with attention to locomotive detail and scenery application. A well run model railroad operates in similar style to the prototype. Well-known model railroader Tony Koester has recently revisited his 2003 effort Realistic Model Railroad

Operation with a new 10th anniversary edition. In this softcover Model Railroader Books’ release, part of the

magazine’s Layout Design and Planning series, the hobbyist is provided with indoctrination into the world of realistic


In the opening of this book, author Tony Koester states that in the decade since the first publication of this effort,

"we’ve enhanced our understanding of the way the

full-size railroads go about the business of moving cargo and passengers, and we’ve found more authentic ways of replicating these functions while maintaining the desired degree of simplicity and ease of use.” That quote sets the stage for the

information and many color illustrations included in this excellent guide.

If you have a copy of the original edition, this 2013 release includes two totally new sections. New sections on

timetable and train order operations (Chapter 5) and the establishment and use of realistic waybills (Chapter 7) join

seven additional chapters, presenting the world of running your model trains like real railroads. Naturally, Koester’s Nickel

Plate Road HO-scale system is featured and serves to demonstrate how to accomplish serious operations for model trains, but you’ll also find other model layouts featured, numerous prototype images, plus diagrams to enhance the reader’s understanding.

The first chapter provides basics for the reader on operations, both for model railroads as well as references to actual

rail carriers. This is important to note because some may wonder if this book might be too advanced for an entry-level

hobbyist. While it gives a good refresher to seasoned railfans, this information dealt out at the beginning of this guide is

beneficial to all model railroaders.

For anyone that feels a mammoth-size layout is required to attempt realistic operations, this book’s second chapter lays

this concern to rest. Presented early in Chapter 2 is a

diagram of a typical small, oval track plan layout. Similar to what could modestly be assembled on a 4x8 sheet of plywood in

HO scale. You may be surprised, but virtually any pike lends itself to operations.

The next sections handle understanding classification and staging yards, moving trains for purpose, car forwarding, plus

understanding and using signal systems.

The newly added section on waybills explains this paperwork part of moving freight. Included are example waybills

that easily serve as templates for start-up operators to create on home computers and use in their own operations.

Especially interesting is the timetable and train order operations chapter, which is also new for this edition. Most are familiar

with timetables and the purpose they serve, but applying them to model railroading may be a new idea. Dispatching

model trains and providing train order sheets and following a timetable go far to recreate the world of real railroad operations.

If you’ve never participated in an operating session, you may be surprised by the level of detail, thought, and attention

required to professionally run model trains.

By the time you’ve finished reading and taking in all the facts and information present in this nearly 100-page guide, you’ll have a new appreciation for this area of the hobby. Reflecting reality with realistic model railroad operations adds a new dimension to an already enjoyable pastime. Tony Koester has an excellent knowledge base for this subject, but has not limited his efforts to himself.

Koester tapped prototype railroad experts and fellow model railroaders to help present this information. This is a

well-written and informative book that will provide enhancement for many hobbyists for a very modest investment.

-Model Railroad News magazine