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Operating the HO Scale Clifton Forge Division

Your job as an employee of the Chesapeake and Ohio Railway (operator) will be to handle the train in a safe and efficient manner to ensure on time deliveries and pickups, and to minimize or eliminate damage to cargo and to comply with all operating rules.

• There are 5 scheduled manifest trains (2 westbound and 3 eastbound); 2 local trains (1 in each direction); 4 scheduled east bound coal trains (additional Eastbound coal trains may be run as needed); westbound coal trains are run as “extras” and run as needed.

• The through manifest and coal trains (loads and empties) originate at points east or west of the James River Subdivision. They enter the James River Sub either at Gladstone (staging yard at the east end of the subdivision) or Clifton Forge (on the west end of the subdivision). Manifest trains make only one stop when traversing the James River subdivision at Sandy Hook yard in Lynchburg Virginia. This helps minimize delays to a “million dollars worth of freight.” Coal trains stop only to refuel the locomotives and change crews.

• The two local trains – one originates in Clifton Forge and the other originates in Gladstone. The crew on one local runs on one train one day and back the next day on the other. These local freight trains are to plod along the entire Subdivision to pick up and set out cars as necessary.

• Work trains are not scheduled and will be run as “Extras”. These types of trains originate in either Clifton Forge or Gladstone.

• Train crews are division train crews; they operate trains between Clifton Forge and Gladstone. Hotel YMCA facilities are available at both ends of the run.

• Overview of the yard functions:

- Gladstone (upper-level staging) = Division point yard
- Lynchburg = Interchange yard (Sou, N&W, C&O)
- Big Island = Industry support yard
- Smith Creek yard = Westbound manifest yard
- Clifton Forge yard = Major coal classification yard
- Selma yard = Eastbound manifest yard

• The James River subdivision operates, by “trick”, in a 24-hour day (three 8 hour increments in a 24 hour period). This is accomplished by using a fast clock set at 2 to 1 ratio.

• An effort is made to number and run trains like the prototype during this time period. Primarily train numbers are used to identify trains on the James server Subdivision. In addition to the numbering, some trains have names. For example: #90 = “The Expeditor”; #91 = “The Speedwest”; #78 = “The Meat Train”.


Excerpts from the C&O's 1958 Book of Rules, shown are signal aspects and indications illustrating Rules 281 through 292. For the pre-1958 version simply remove any illustrations of a three arm signal, Rule 283-A and 286 are removed in there entirety for this application.

Train order signal rules from the C&O's 1969 book of rules.
Close-up view of train order signals at ND Cabin, Lynchburg Virginia.