All trains will register…

With a visiting nephew occupying the train room, I had an enforced break from modelling. That didn’t mean progress would stop, however. Being an easterner, he went to bed early, leaving me at loose ends in the evenings.

Idle hands are the devil’s playground, my Mum used to say. In this instance, I was possessed to slow down operations on Pembroke. The 1903 employee timetable for the Pembroke Branch and indicates all trains did indeed have to register at both Golden Lake and Pembroke. So, I used my enforced absence from the modelling desk to make up some register books.

A brief search on eBay brought up two real registers, albeit for unrelated roads and many years later. However, the two forms had many similar columns and I conjectured that these would be reasonable as a basis for my own register books.

I found fonts that were similar to those in the employee timetable, and condensed each pair of books into a single book, with northbound and southbound determined by turning the book upside down. The number of columns required printing on legal size paper, which in turn set in motion a brief search for appropriate bindings.

It’s been a few days now since Calvin returned east, and I’ve run at least one train each day in timetable sequence. Somehow, the act of filling out the register transforms this simple movement from just running a train to operating a train. It feels purposeful, as if the tiny people of Pembroke are relying on me to get them to Golden Lake, or to bring their packages up from the mainline train.

Of course, as soon as the registers were in place, I wanted to change them. The two source registers both had tonnage columns, but upon further research, that wasn’t universal. I could specify amounts for loads and empties and passenger cars, but then I’d have to calculate the tonnage, which seems like make-work on top of make-work. I’m not that idle.

I also found that not all registers had columns for the caboose, which gave me pause when running the passenger train. Speaking of passenger trains, are passenger cars loaded or empty? Some registers had a column for passenger cars, dodging that question elegantly.

The current version of the registers can be found here.

2 thoughts on “All trains will register…

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