Almost from the very start, the CSWRR has used Interchange Cars to add variety to the Operating Sessions. The cars are placed on the railroad for one cycle, then removed. The cycle consists of; placing the car on the railroad, routing to a destination/Industry, then routing for removal from the railroad. The cars are identified by a colored stick-on dot and usually placed in an Interchange Yard. The color of the dot identifies the car's owner. The car will then be routed, usually to the B Yard where it is placed in a train and sent to a destination/industry. While at the destination, usually between sessions it will receive a stick-on circle indicating that it has arrived. Later the car is picked up and returns to the B Yard who sees the circle and routs it back to the Interchange Track. The car is then removed from the railroad. These dots and circles can be purchased from office suppliers, and a sample is shown below.
Over the years, the interchange has taken several shapes: 1, Home Cars which are owned by me and kept in a drawer when off the railroad. 2, Visiting Cars which are owned by a friend, placed on the railroad for a cycle, then returned to the owner. 3, Cars which are in a different scale and have a HO scale clone on the CSWRR which is owned by me.
You need to have a back-up in your home road cars to pick-up the slack in the event that one or more of your outside interchange partner fails of send cars.
The Corona Turn
Often times when I have friends over, and it is not an Operation Session, they want to just Operate a train to do some switching. For these times, I have created what we call a Corona Turn. This is like the weekend job that services some industries which require time sensitive service. Unlike the regular operation, the crew has to make up their train in the B Yard, service the industries, then break the train back down when it returns to the B Yard. For the operation of this train, I strongly suggest that they substitute their power, however the home power is available if needed. Below is a sample, one of five of the Corona Switch List.