I've met a lot of great people in this hobby.  Ken, who's Dawson Station Layout is a small masterpiece, generously created a virtual version of my New Castle Industrial Railroad.  Thanks to Ken's creativity, you can now try your hand at shifting the mill.  (Please note that this simulation combines the dock and warehouse  tracks into a single spur.)     

Simply click on a specific car to view its destination.  Zoom in and out using the '+' / '-' keys, or move the layout left and right using the arrow keys.  Click on the switches to throw them.  

I've included a switch list below, similar to what crews would receive at the beginning of the day.  For a bit of background, you may wish to refer to my Trackplan and Operations and Layout Tour pages.  Have fun!  

You can scroll all the way down to the end of the page to see how the work was done on the 1:1 :-) 

NCIR Work Order:  PCA -- New Castle   1 November 2005

ABX 552     Paper Scrap     No Bill  (Car goes on storage track b/c rr hasn't received paperwork) 
CSX 866     Paper Scrap     Pull  (Car goes to interchange)

NS 638       Empty     Pull   (Car goes to interchange)
RBX 251     Empty     Pull   (Car goes to interchange)
RBX 801     Empty     Respot - Dock  (MTY car goes to dock for scrap paper loading)
NS 621       Empty     Pull    (Car goes to interchange)

RBX 605     Linerboard     Spot - Warehouse
CSX 174     Linerboard     (This car not needed, stays on storage track)
AGR 034     Linerboard     Spot - Dock
CLX 012     Corn Starch    Spot - Warehouse 3rd from door


CSX 514     Linerboard     Spot  - Warehouse
CSX 258     Linerboard     (This car not needed, goes to storage track)
RBX 772     Linerboard     Spot - Warehouse

One way of doing it:

Run locomotive down and couple to cars on the interchange track.

Inspect all cars and conduct brake test (on the layout this means admiring my cars and locomotive:-)

Uncouple RBOX 772.  Pull the other two inbound cars clear of the switch.

Still holding the two inbound boxcars, shove ahead and couple onto the cars standing on the storage track.

Pull everything clear of the switch.  Then shove ahead on the interchange track and couple to the lone RBOX 772.

Make a cut and leave the CCLX 012 starch hopper and AGR 034 with the RBOX.

Pull back clear of the switch.  Shove ahead into the storage track and set out  all four loaded boxcars that remain coupled to the engine. 

Pull back again to clear.  Run ahead onto interchange and couple to the three cars.  Make a cut , then pull back with just the AGR 034 to clear the switch.

Shove into the storage track and couple.  Make a cut and drop CSXT 174. 

Pull back to clear with all the other cars.

Shove ahead onto the interchange track and drop RBOX 605.  

Pull back, then drop CSX 258 on the storage track, coupled to the CSX 174 car you dropped earlier.  Make sure to leave enough headroom on the storage track so you can drop one more car in there a bit later.

Pull back, then shove onto the interchange track and set out CSX 514 and AGR 034.  Now all our cars are lined up for spotting on the PCA spur.  

Pull back. (Now you just have the light engine).  Go into the plant spur.  Couple all cars together from dock and warehouse.  

Pull back until the last car (NS 621) is just short of the fouling point.  Cut and leave the NS car on the spur.

Pull back to clear the switch.  Shove ahead and drop RBOX 801 with the cars already on the interchange track. (Now we have all 6 of our cars for the warehouse and dock lined up in spot order).

Pull back to clear switch.  Shove into the spur and grab the lone NS car (621).  

Pull everything back again to clear the switch.  Shove ahead and couple to cars on the interchange.  

Pull the whole string clear of the switch.  Then shove ahead into the spur.  Spot the 4 warehouse cars.  Then cut, pull back and spot the two dock cars.  

Pull everything else back to clear the switch.  The "no bill" ABOX 552 should be coupled right to the engine, followed by all the MTY's destined for the interchange.

Shove ahead and drop the 4 MTY's on the interchange.  Pull back.

Shove ABOX 552 into the storage track.  Pull the engine back to clear the switches.



Last time I mentioned that I placed temporary track down on the layout, simply to judge how all elements will fit together.  The overall picture is coming into sharper focus and I'm happy with what I see!

That being said, allow me give you a tour of the New Castle Industrial Railroad :-)

We are standing near the right end of the layout at what is known as New Castle Junction (the eastern limit of NCIR ownership).  The track running diagonal across the layout is the Conrail (now CSXT) main.  The boxcars are on the CSXT/NCIR interchange track.  The track in the foreground is the former Conrail New Castle Secondary main, now used by the NCIR as a storage track.  There used to be a diamond crossing here, but it was removed when Conrail abandoned the New Castle Secondary east of the crossing.  I  plan to model the abandoned, overgrown ROW.  The CSXT main will be well maintained code 148 rail on a nice bed of ballast.  In contrast, the NCIR's track will be lighter weight.  There will be a rusted signal standing guard at the former diamond, along with the foundation remains of a tower.  Long ago, many trains must have passed through here every day!

Above is an aerial view of the junction.  Note that the interchange track does not actually connect to the CSXT main.  Rather, it climbs upgrade to join the main somewhere in the "off-stage" distance.

We are now looking due west down the New Castle Industrial.  The CSXT main is in the foreground.  Left to right we see (1) the old Conrail main, now used for car storage; (2) the NCIR/CSXT interchange track; and (3) Packaging Corporation of America's warehouse and dock track (where the cars are spotted in the upper right of the photo.

Looking east.  Left to right: PCA's dock track (which will be on a higher grade); interchange track and old main.  Cars are drilled into spot order using the interchange and old main.  Overflow cars waiting to be spotted are stored on the old main.

Picture an outdoor dock here, between the RBOX and the backdrop.  Then picture a large warehouse where the cars in the background are spotted.  The dock is where empty boxcars from the warehouse are reloaded with scrap cardboard.  Tank cars of caustic soda are also unloaded here.

Loads on the old main waiting to be spotted.  A conductor spends a lot of time here, shifting out cars requested by PCA on a given day's switch list.  In the distance is NCIR's RS-11, tied down awaiting the next day's switching chores.


Above is an overall view of the layout.  I'm excited!  I think the O Scale New Castle Industrial will offer good operation and a variety of neat scenic elements in 18 lineal feet. 

We'll conclude by looking at the left end of the train room.  A long switching lead (staging track) will wrap around the far wall and over my cabinets.  The track will be on a narrow wooden shelf.  If I ever expand, I'll widen a portion of this shelf and add a chemical plant in the left corner, served by another trailing point switch.  However, I'm getting way ahead of myself here:-)

And just for fun...

I recently found this photo from August 2007, when we first looked at the house with our Realtor.  This was the previous owner's workshop and storage room, which is now my railroad room.  These last two photos were taken from roughly the same spot.  Boy, the previous owners had a lot of stuff!

Thanks for taking the tour!!


RS-11 no. 318

The locomotive assigned to the NCIR is Alco RS11 #318, a former Kankakee, Beaverville & Southern ex BN nee NP unit.  

In reality, the locomotive is a brass import from Overland Models with a rebuilt drive train from Doug Cockerham.  


This engine is a dream to switch with.  I can come in with speed, ease into a smooth coupling, then stop and stretch the slack just as we do on the 1:1

Here is a video of my RS-11 drilling cars: 

Eventually, I will get the engine painted and weathered.  The locomotive will wear a well worn coat of blue and yellow, (like its former owner, the Kankakee Beaverville & Southern) with patched NCIR reporting marks.

Former KB&S RS-11 #321 now drills grain hoppers for the CO-OP elevator in Darrow, Illinois.  When KB&S retired their Alco fleet in favor of newer EMD power, several of the veteran workhorses migrated to shortlines and industrial switching operations.