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Beginning Operations on Your Reading Layout

Written by Conductor

By Barry Hensel

Operations on Jim Hertzog's Reading Layout - Jim Hertzog photo.The great thing about model railroading as a hobby is that one can tailor the depth of their involvement directly to their interests and desires.  Some modelers enjoy replicating a locomotive or piece of rolling stock as faithfully as possible, down to the last minor detail and bit of weathering, others are content with freight cars that reasonbly match the era and locale being modeled.  Some individuals have their layouts wired with complex electronic gadgetry that rivals NASA Mission Control, while others are content to hook up the power pack and go. 

It's the same with operations.  Some modelers simply enjoy seeing trains run, some derive much satisfaction from duplicating the operations of their prototype in as realistic a manner as possible, while many individuals fall somewhere in between.  I run regular operating sessions on my Reading Lines Central Division layout, and I've prepared an online clinic on "Getting Started in Model Railroad Operations" that presents a good deal of information on the things you'll need to think about if you are interested in operating your layout in a prototypical manner.  The clinic is available as an Adobe PDF file, which you can download by clicking this link.  If you have any questions about the material contained in the clinic, or about how I conduct sessions on my layout, you can contact me via e-mail at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..


Editor's Note:  Once you've gotten your feet wet and found that you enjoy operating your trains in a prototypical manner, another source for operations-related information is the Operations Special Interest Group (OPSIG) of the National Model Railroad Association.  A link to their website can be found here.

Today's Image

Did You Know?

June 20-23, 1972
The Reading is devastated by Hurricane Agnes; washouts and damage across the system require significant effort to repair, and also hasten the abandonment of marginal branches.


Operations Information

Click Here!A variety of Reading Company operations related documents, etc. that may be of use in your modeling efforts.

Operations Paperwork

Click Here!A variety of Reading Company operations paperwork, such as train orders, clearance forms, etc. that will help you operate your Reading layout in a prototypical manner.

Timetables, Rulebooks, Etc.

Click Here!Public Timetables, Employe Timetables, and Rulebooks that provide much useful operational information.

Modeling Goodies

Click Here!Signs, billboards, and other FREE goodies for your use.  We ask only that you help spread the word about The Reading Modeler!

Rolling Stock Reference

Click Here!Downloadable reference documents on the various classes of Reading Company Freight and Passenger rolling stock.

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