The staging on the the passenger car switching side of my layout is a help-yourself affair.  Consists of 3 cars are set-up in the fiddle yard by the operators and operations are more leisurely than on the engine terminal side.  This is the place to be for a relaxed self-paced session.  There is no clock to follow; operations are directed by permanent switch lists.


The cars are set-up  as shown in the switch list above.   They can be placed in any order to make it different.  Any designation “PLATFORM X” is staging.  Cars can be set-up on any of the four staging tracks in the fiddle yard.  The yard switcher, one of two Alco HH600’s, is run onto staging and emerges with the three-car consist (below).


The goal for the passenger car switching operation is to take the consist and spot the cars at the passenger car servicing building.  Due to the limited space between the turntable pit and the turnout to the servicing spur, a maximum of two heavyweights can be taken into the spur at one time.  The following is a typical operation:


Above, while still on the yard lead, the consist is uncoupled at the last car, which in our case, is Pullman observation Central Avenue.  Uncoupling is made with a special tool (a future post will describe it).


The two Pullman Sleepers (Centabella & Glen Sunset) are pulled to clear the switch (lower right, photo above), to enter the spur for the servicing building.


Then the cars are spotted at the roll-up door, aligning a car vestibule door across from it.


The switcher would go back and bring the third car in the same manner, however observation and solarium cars can have an additional interesting operation.  Central Avenue is taken onto the turntable to be turned to match the consist for a return trip.


The Alco switcher and car fit onto the turntable.


The turntable is aligned to a garden track and the switcher is uncoupled after bringing the Pullman to the centre of the bridge.  It then bails-out onto the garden track while the car is turned around.


The engine couples on again, the bridge re-aligned to the passenger car lead, and the turned observation is then shoved and coupled to the sleepers on the servicing spur.


The turning of cars can be done before (as described above) or after the servicing.  After a while, these cars would be taken away in one’s & two’s onto the passenger car lead, and then back to staging.

In between, some switching can be done with express cars at the REA platforms….