NEONS Layout Operating Information
Updated 3/20/2012

  1. Sign up for a running time, run trains and HAVE FUN!
  2. Normal operating protocol is counter-clockwise on the Red and Blue lines and clockwise on the Yellow line. However, these are just guidelines for Yellow and Blue. You may run on these lines in any direction you desire.
  3. Have your train made up on the appropriate setup track and be ready to pull out when your scheduled time begins. Let the engineer that is currently running on that line know when you are ready to depart so he/she can pull into the yard. Dirty locomotive wheels will affect the running of your train. Be sure your engine’s wheels are clean before you pull out onto the layout. There is a wheel cleaning tool on the Master Command Station.
  4. Be prepared to pull into the appropriate arrival yard when your scheduled time ends. If the engineer for the next time slot is not ready, continue to run on your line if you are able until he/she is ready to come out.
  5. Do not leave you train unattended. If you have to make a pit stop, have someone watch your train for you until you return.
  6. While running, pull any car that has repeated problems.
  7. If running DCC, be sure your engines are programmed with one of your assigned numbers. The Master Control Station also functions as a programming track. BE SURE YOU KNOW WHAT YOU ARE DOING IF YOU USE THE PROGRAMMING TRACK. HITTING THE WRONG BUTTONS CAN CAUSE MAJOR PROBLEMS!
  8. When running the Red Line Route, it is a good idea to take a couple of shake-down laps on the NEONS loop before heading out to other loops. If you choose to do that, be sure to reset the junction turnouts to the Red Line Route once your caboose has cleared the junction module.
  9. Check carefully for trains on the track before opening the Gateway. Don’t count on the flashing lights because they might not be working. The Gateway rule is the same as the bathroom rule for married men….. PUT THE LID DOWN WHEN YOU’RE THROUGH! Do not leave the gate in the up position without latching the gate hook. Do not leave it up when trains are running. When lowering the gate, check to be sure the tracks are aligned. If they a not, slightly raise the lid and re-close it firmly. If necessary, tug or bump the lid to get it aligned.
  10. Keep the infield clean. Throw away cups, cans, water bottles, etc when you are through with them. Stow your trains under the modules. Do not leave them on the set-up tables when you are not running trains. Others will need that space.
  11. If you get tools, supplies, equipment, etc out of the supply cabinet or blue cabinet, return them when you are through with them.
  12. Return Aristo-Craft throttles to the throttle box in the Supply Cabinet when you are through with them.
  13. BE FRIENDLY. TALK TO PATRONS OF THE SHOW AND PROMOTE THE HOBBY OF MODEL RAILROADING. ANSWER THEIR QUESTIONS IF YOU CAN OR DIRECT THEM TO ANOTHER MEMBER WHO MIGHT HAVE THE ANSWER IF YOU DON’T.
  14. If you have a problem that is affecting your enjoyment of the show, talk to Fearless Leader to see if the problem can be addressed and resolved. If your problem is with Fearless Leader, you are SOL.
Daily Start-up and Shut-down Procedure
  1. NEONS stand alone layout.
    1. Start-up.
      1. Be sure all four power supplies are turned off at the green switch on the front of each unit.
      2. Plug in main power cord to the facility power source.
      3. Turn on the power supply to the Master Control Box. Then turn on the other three power supplies. Make sure the right hand toggle switch on all Digitrax boxes are set to the top (Run) position and the left hand toggle switch is set to “N” Scale.
    2. Shut-down
      1. Turn off all four power supplies at the green switch on the front of each unit.
      2. Unplug extension cord from facility power source.
      3. Police the area and stow all supplies in the Supply Cabinet or Blue Cabinet.
      4. Close and lock Supply Cabinet doors.
      5. The last person out be sure the Gateway lid is down.
  2. Multi-loop layout operating the RED LINE ROUTE (Red Line Route)
    1. Start-up
      1. Be sure all four power supplies are turned off at the green switch on the front of each unit.
      2. Plug in main power cord to the facility power source.
      3. Turn on the power supply to our Master Control Box. Then turn on the other three power supplies. Make sure the right hand toggle switch on all Digitrax boxes are set to the top (Run) position and the left hand toggle switch is set to “N” Scale.
      4. This will activate Analog running on the Yellow and Blue lines. It will activate DCC only if the Master Command Station (MCS) is in our loop or if the MCS has already been turned on.
      5. If the MCS is in another loop, it must be activated first. Before it is activated our power must be turned off. Once the MCS it is turned on, then our power supplies can be turned on again and the DCC system will work.
      6. IF YOU WANT TO RUN DCC ON OUR LOOP AND YOU CANNOT ACTIVATE THE LAYOUT MASTER CONTROL STATION BECAISE THE LAYOUT MASTER CONTROL STATION IS IN ANOTHER LOOP AND IS SHUT DOWN:
        1. Disconnect the loconet cables under the junction modules that connect the NEONS loop to the rest of the layout.
        2. Connect our Master Control Box to the loconet.
        3. YOU MUST REVERSE STEPS B AND THEN A ABOVE ONCE THE LAYOUT MASTER CONTROL STATION IS ACTIVATED.
    2. Shut-down
      1. If the show has not closed for the day, shut-down cannot occur.
        1. Notify the Overall Layout Coordinator that he/she should power down the NEONS loop when the show shuts down for the day.
        2. Skip to step #5.
      2. Make sure that no trains are still running.
      3. Turn off all four power supplies at the green switch on the front of each unit.
      4. Unplug extension cord from facility power source.
      5. Police the area and stow all supplies in the Supply Cabinet or Blue Cabinet.
      6. Close and lock Supply Cabinet doors.
      7. The last person out be sure the Gateway lid is down.