Lyon Valley Northern

This site is designed to promote the hobby of ferroequinology. It also provides an opportunity to show the development of the "Lyon Valley Northern": an HO railroad featuring CN and BNSF action in the West. Please feel free to contact me if you have questions or comments at

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Location: Ottawa, Ontario, Canada


Friday, January 11, 2013

Tips and hints for MR Operations

Mike Hamer and I got together over the holidays and decided to put together a series of videos on how to efficiently operate a model railroad.  In four parts, the show covers:

Part 1.   What to look for when coming to a new railroad.  Areas to pay attention to.
Part 2.   How to switch, doing lifts and drops from a mainline train
Part 3.   Understanding arrival at a major yard and locomotive moves
Part 4.  Switching a yard and industrial area efficiently.

 As Mike says, there are more than six ways to skin a cat.  The main focus here is to provide folks with information and methods to handle most situations that arise in an operating session.  The terminology may vary and the approaches you take maybe different depending on your experience.  Our goal was to provide some help to take the mystery out of operations and maybe show some techniques that you can incorporate into your toolbox.  We want to help make this hobby an enjoyable experience for you.



Blogger George J said...

Thanks to you and Mike for making these and posting these videos. I actually found them on youtube before you posted them here.

2:46 PM  
Blogger Eric said...

Very enjoyable videos, Chris and Mike! Always nice to see the layout.
My favourite was the water tower schtick!
Thanks for sharing,

4:49 PM  
Blogger Gerard Wassink said...

A very informational and interesting set of videos! Thanks for these! I shared them with forums here in the Netherlands as instructional for the US (CN) way of modelrailroading as opposed to the fully automated way many european modelers do their thing.

Question: Things go very relaxed on your layout. What is your layout's maximum scale speed?


6:14 AM  
Blogger Chris Lyon said...

Glad you enjoyed the show guys. It was fun. Gerard, The maximum scale speed has to do with the proximity to yards in my layout so they are always close. So speed is IAW with the north american yard speeds. This is necessary for safety when there are lots of operators controlling trains independently. So 5 mph in the yard and 20 mph on the main. The only time you see trains in the 50 to 80 mph range is on open country good visability mainline. Lots if grade crossings and the such. The trains are long and heavy as well.

12:15 PM  
Blogger Gerard Wassink said...

Hi Chris,

I'm seriously considering modeling a yard like you got, the 'Richmon yard'. Would you happen to have a layout plan with dimensions, and more specific, the length of the various tracks?

I would appreciate it,

11:44 AM  
Anonymous Tim Barnes said...

Hi Chris,

Love the tutorials. You pointed out some tips that I learned the hard way, and one big tip that I had yet to learn...go to the last car first!

Cheers and looking forward to seeing you again soon.

Tim Barnes

10:41 AM  
Blogger Chris Lyon said...

Gerard. I got my info regarding Richmond yard from this plan. I then modified it by adding a siding and doubling the dimensions so larger rolling stock could be accommodated. Hope this helps

8:31 PM  
Blogger Chris Lyon said...

Hi Tim. Glad you enjoyed the tips and that it was useful to you.

8:34 PM  
Blogger Gerard Wassink said...

Hi Chris,

Thanks for that link, much appreciated. I had heard of this site before, it's referred to a lot on the American Trains forum here in the Netherlands (which is where I posted the link to your video's as well by the way).

Tnx again,

12:48 AM  
Blogger Chris Lyon said...

Hi Gerard.
Very kind of you to post my videos to your forum. Model Railroading is truly one of the best hobbies out there and a lot of the success is due to folks like yourself that network ideas to your friends.

8:39 AM  

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