Operational timetable for my model railway

idlemarvel

Neither idle nor a marvel
13 Jul 2015
2,556
718
Ascot
Warning. Long nerdy posting!

I am currently modelling the Steyrtalbahn narrow gauge railway in the 1980s, around Grünburg station, and I want to try and reproduce real weekday operations. By then the line was reduced to one section between Garsten and Molln, with intermediate stations of Steyr (Lokalbahn), Aschach and Grünburg. Other parts of the line had been replaced by bus services as roads in Austria improved. From Grünburg to Molln there was a bus service in the morning, with train services in the afternoon and evening, so for half the day Grünburg was a passenger terminus, the other half a through station. Most trains were mixed passenger and goods, and towards the end of the life of the line, trains were often goods wagons with one passenger car at the end. Like most narrow-gauge lines, it is single track with passing places at the major stations.

map.jpg

I found a timetable for Winter 1981/82 for line 28a (Garsten-Klaus), which lists the passenger and replacement bus services (in italics), reproduced below in spreadsheet form:

timetable.JPG

For operations planning it helps to show the timetable in diagram form.

diagram_initial.JPG

Train diagrams are typically shown as line graphs with distance on one axis and time on the other. Trains are shown travelling down the page from left to right (orange) or right to left (blue) – my choice of colours. In the diagram above, the line is about 30km long (horizontal axis) and the services run from 4am to 9pm (vertical axis). The slope of the line is an indication of the speed of the trains. In this case they are all much the same, averaging about 22 kmph.

Where the lines cross the trains pass each other in opposite directions, so that needs to be at a passing point, in this case mostly at Aschach but also at Steyr for the first train of the day and Grünburg for the last.

You can use these charts to figure out where if required a new service could be scheduled. This is most easily seen as wider gaps between the lines, for example outbound between the 8am service and the 11am service from Garsten, and inbound between the 9am and 12am from Grünburg. As this is single track with almost no signalling, gaps between services need to be quite “wide”.

You can also use these charts to figure out how many trains/locomotives are required to run the timetable. If we mark on the chart where the last trains finish (red arrow), we might think that three trains are required; one ends at Garsten, one at Aschach and one at Molln. The second train from Garsten (for early morning workers) terminates at Aschach and seems to have no further purpose than to sit there all day.

diagram_initial_ptr.jpg

This is because we are only looking at the public timetable passenger services. Behind the scenes there are other train movements. If we timetabled an empty stock movement from Aschach to Garsten via Grünburg for example, that train could be used for the 11am from Garsten. If we moved the last train from Molln to Grünburg that could be the first train from there the following day. These are shown as dotted lines on the diagram below. Now potentially we could manage with two trains.

diagram_intermediate.JPG

Scheduling the last train is easy as nothing else is running, but the movement during the day from Aschach to Grünburg then back to Garsten is trickier. There needs to be sufficient gap between the previous and following service for safety reasons, and as the return will be crossing paths with the 8am outbound, we need to make sure it crosses at a station. The best fit seems to be if it leaves Grünburg just after 8am and crosses at Aschach, getting to Garsten just after 9am.

Now we can confirm that two trains are sufficient to run this timetable. In this diagram train one is green and train two yellow, and the dotted lines are services not on the published timetable:

diagram_final.JPG

Both trains travel just over 200 km each day, and seem to have sufficient stops for water, fuel, crew rests and changeovers (the Steyrtalbahn was all steam, no diesel). It might seem wasteful to make empty journeys, but as mentioned earlier there were often more goods wagons than passenger cars, so the services during the day could be used for freight. The last one at night would most likely be empty. There is/was a loco shed at Grünburg.

There are alternatives to these workings. The train at Aschach could return directly to Garsten. The last train could return to Garsten, but it would make for late finish and a very early start to get a loco steamed up and ready and travel an hour to get to Grünburg by 5am.

I now have a working timetable to reproduce the operations at Grünburg. I am looking to see if I can run a goods only service in the morning between the passenger workings.
 

trammayo

Interested in vintage commercial vehicle, trams, t
24 Oct 2009
21,184
3,500
72
Co. Mayo
Interesting timings of bus versus train and according to which direction. Presume there's gadients involved?
 

idlemarvel

Neither idle nor a marvel
13 Jul 2015
2,556
718
Ascot
Buses (and trucks) were quicker than trains, that was the main cause of the demise of the Steyrtalbahn, that and a landslide.
No real gradients as the train follows the river, so I can't really account for the variation except perhaps typing error! Here is another full timetable from Summer 1974, showing all the intermediate stops and the replacement bus services from Molln to Klaus (end of the line). Bus journeys from Grunburg to Molln take about 19-20 mins, by train about 26-27 mins.

a_OBB_Kursbuch_Sommer_1974_Steyrtalbahn_Tabelle_28a.jpg
 

dunnyrail

DOGS, Garden Railways, Steam Trains, Jive Dancing,
25 Oct 2009
19,172
3,871
72
St.Neots Cambridgeshire UK
Few go to the extent of making Timetables for their line in this Forum, or if they do they rarely talk about it. Your post is an interesting dIversion. I have had a pleasant hour or two researching for this reply, but one of my source books cannot be found. It is there somewhere..... Problem is all of any Countries books should be on the same shelf, but with a big collection of books and many books having differing sizes, size matters when laying out bookshelves thus books for any one Country can be over 4 or 5 shelves!

I have a copy of Steyertalbahn by Jean-Michel Hartman which has many iconic pictures of this line plus the other two lines looked at within it‘s pages (Erzbergbahn and Waldviertelbahn). There were certainly freights (Güterzug) on the St.B. with a heavy showing of Logs heading in the Molln direction, though general goods appeared to be fairly well carried as well. My memory of my visit in 1972 was that there was an extensive wood works at Waldneukirchen. This had a quite extensive set of sidings that I mapped roughly on my visit.

There was also a very interesting morning double headed Train. It involved 3663 (GK41) and 3662 (GK12) in your listing, though when I visited in 1972 and in the book pics from 1976 the trains were GK41 and GK12. Not quite sure how this occured but GK12 was not only double headed but was a double train consisting of 2 engines 5x4 wheel coaches a 4 wheel van xx 2xbogie coaches and a 4wheel van. The train split or was it joined? But the split was between the 2 bogie coaches and the first 4 wheel van as indicated by my xx. Trains were all Chimney first from Garsten so the short formation was from there and the larger from Grünberg. My feeling is that the short formation as GK41 (3663) ran from Garsten to Grünberg and was joined at Aschach with GK12 (3662) to return with the kids for School at Garsten as a the big Double Headed Train. Of course GK41 could have been the School Train and the enlarged GK41 (3663) being the way to get Engine and Stock back to Garsten from the short working GK41 (3663). There was no similar equivalent of trains when the kids came home, perhaps the trains were empty enough to accommodate them after School?

Another interesting tool that is highly usable with a spreadsheet is to create Loco Workings sideways. Each Loco working has a Row and the Trains are highlighted with the train number in the block. Locations are in then in the gaps between workings. The pic below shows how I have used this for my line, though the example is for my Platform Working that uses the same principle, I doubt that you would need a platform simplifier for the period that you are modeling, however if you were to backdate some to when the line to Bad Hall was open, Pergern Station being the Junction may be just the place to require such a simplifier.
image.jpg
Hope my ramblings give you a little more information on this super little line. I have scanned some of my slides of the visit, perhaps I should do the rest and post them in this thread if you do not mind.
 

ebay mike

Retired, but still hoarding. (GOF)
6 Dec 2011
3,707
655
Norfolk - edge of nowhere.
Quite a feat to put all that together Dave. Being renowned for your attention to detail and realism perhaps you should have one of these parked somewhere appropriate. Kassborher were knocking out loads of similar buses on Setra chassis' in the 80s, I'm sure your modelling skills could rise to the challenge.

Post edited from Jon to Dave. Too much reading got me confused as to the original poster. Mind you Jon might like a bus lurking at one of his stations.

austria.jpg
 
Last edited:
-1

idlemarvel

Neither idle nor a marvel
13 Jul 2015
2,556
718
Ascot
Thanks Jon, I like the block diagram, maybe I can test my spreadsheet skills and see if I can derive one from the timetable data!

You are correct about the double header, it was a daily occurrence from Aschach to Garsten. There is a picture of it in Railway Centres of Austria: The Steyrtalbahn published by the Austrian Railway Group (ARG) on page 36. It may well be the way they handled the train I referred to in my posting #1 where a train goes from Garsten to Aschach and then appears to stay there. No risk of collisions! As they had no turntable they ran bunker first.

Your memory is correct, Waldneukirchen did have a large sawmill with it's own sidings.

My picture book of the Steyrtalbahn is Bahn in Bild 25: Die Steyrtalbahn which is a series of books a bit like the Middleton Press books by John Organ, a few pages of text and then loads of B&W pictures properly captioned. (I have done a translation of this if anyone is interested). I would like the Hartman book you have but it is long out of print and I haven't seen a second hand copy for sale yet.

If you want to add some of your pictures to this thread feel free, I would certainly like to see them from that era.

Mike, thanks for the suggesting of a suitable bus, I am looking for a picture of the replacement bus service but no joy so far.

I'm glad this thread has generated some interest.
 

idlemarvel

Neither idle nor a marvel
13 Jul 2015
2,556
718
Ascot
Last edited:

dunnyrail

DOGS, Garden Railways, Steam Trains, Jive Dancing,
25 Oct 2009
19,172
3,871
72
St.Neots Cambridgeshire UK
Well I have scanned 33 pictures and was going to put them all in media and link it to your post here. Forget that, media is a pain to use in the forum, I just do not really get it and what Tags are for. So here are just a few of interest.

First up some pics at Garsten 20/2/72
4A1B1041-D99A-4BD0-8EDE-4B373F8D1BF5.jpeg 74CF4EB4-EA42-4D9B-95BD-84CC23DE5A1C.jpeg F3E94B42-F023-47A2-8022-CAC93BC387B6.jpeg
Then out in the Countryside, bridges and water were always one if my things to be in pictures. This is the bridge at Waldneukirchen. EDIT This is the Steyerbrüke.
D08BD4B7-9E9A-456F-821E-81040D64D76D.jpeg
Finally what I believe to be Grünburg Hbf
86E54A98-175D-4A32-A878-687961A08C56.jpeg
EDIT left one of the pics as a thumbnail only! Think it may be Waldneukirchrn Station, train is certainly heading back to Garsten.
9FA56535-485A-44EE-955C-F9F6A1F35111.jpeg
 
Last edited:

dunnyrail

DOGS, Garden Railways, Steam Trains, Jive Dancing,
25 Oct 2009
19,172
3,871
72
St.Neots Cambridgeshire UK

idlemarvel

Neither idle nor a marvel
13 Jul 2015
2,556
718
Ascot
Last edited:

AustrianNG

Director of my railway
16 Sep 2015
1,147
1,557
Wirral
Great thread and pictures.....
 

David K

Registered
17 Jul 2016
48
22
Offaly, Ireland
Hello Dave and all,

Thanks for posting about operational timetables. This is a topic that fascinates me. My layout is based on the Rhätische Bahn - the Sagliains to Scuol Tarasp branch in the Engadin. The RhB makes it easy for railway fans - you can access their graphical timetables on their website. (see attached)

I have only one station on my layout - Ardez. The layout is operated like an indoor model railway. The station area is the main feature with trains running through from both directions. The operational challenge is that the departing station and the destination station are the same place, i.e. my railway shed. It is realtively easy to replicate actual running if you have a linear, end-to-end layout. However, when it is out and back like mine (and you do not have sufficient space for separate arrival and departure sidings), then it is a considerable challenge to deal with conflicts in train movements. My compromise was to run passenger trains not to time but in the pattern of the 'real' timetable, with freight movements in between. The composition of freight trains is decided by a piece of software that randomly allocates individual wagons to the appropriate destinations on the layout.

I have to admit that while it is sometimes nice to grab a beer and just watch trains travel around the garden, I much prefer 'operating' the layout in a more challenging, and realistic way.

Thanks again for highlighting this aspect of our great hobby!
 

Attachments

  • Grafischer Fahrplan 960 2018.pdf
    462.5 KB · Views: 0

dunnyrail

DOGS, Garden Railways, Steam Trains, Jive Dancing,
25 Oct 2009
19,172
3,871
72
St.Neots Cambridgeshire UK
Hello Dave and all,

Thanks for posting about operational timetables. This is a topic that fascinates me. My layout is based on the Rhätische Bahn - the Sagliains to Scuol Tarasp branch in the Engadin. The RhB makes it easy for railway fans - you can access their graphical timetables on their website. (see attached)

I have only one station on my layout - Ardez. The layout is operated like an indoor model railway. The station area is the main feature with trains running through from both directions. The operational challenge is that the departing station and the destination station are the same place, i.e. my railway shed. It is realtively easy to replicate actual running if you have a linear, end-to-end layout. However, when it is out and back like mine (and you do not have sufficient space for separate arrival and departure sidings), then it is a considerable challenge to deal with conflicts in train movements. My compromise was to run passenger trains not to time but in the pattern of the 'real' timetable, with freight movements in between. The composition of freight trains is decided by a piece of software that randomly allocates individual wagons to the appropriate destinations on the layout.

I have to admit that while it is sometimes nice to grab a beer and just watch trains travel around the garden, I much prefer 'operating' the layout in a more challenging, and realistic way.

Thanks again for highlighting this aspect of our great hobby!
Another option that may work with your space challenged line is to regard the loop as a fiddle yard with multiple trains stacked up on that loop. Will always be 1st one out 1st back but you could have 2 or 3 departed before that needs to occur depending on the way the TT goes. Or of course a Railcar on that loop with nothing behind it could return out of sequence breaking up the regularity of the departed trains.
 

David K

Registered
17 Jul 2016
48
22
Offaly, Ireland
Thanks Dunnyrail, yes I have a dedicated siding for the Push-pull service and a double loop for the loco hauled passenger service to run around its train in the shed. The pinch point is just outside the shed entrance where the out and back lines meet before entering the shed. If I ever get organised I'll post some photos to illustrate the layout. Here's a shot of the entrance to the shed - the mainline out is on the left, it circles the big tree on the left and then runs in the middle of the picture, the mainline returns to the shed as the line on the far right of the shot. Entrance to Train Shed.jpg
 

dunnyrail

DOGS, Garden Railways, Steam Trains, Jive Dancing,
25 Oct 2009
19,172
3,871
72
St.Neots Cambridgeshire UK
Thanks Dunnyrail, yes I have a dedicated siding for the Push-pull service and a double loop for the loco hauled passenger service to run around its train in the shed. The pinch point is just outside the shed entrance where the out and back lines meet before entering the shed. If I ever get organised I'll post some photos to illustrate the layout. Here's a shot of the entrance to the shed - the mainline out is on the left, it circles the big tree on the left and then runs in the middle of the picture, the mainline returns to the shed as the line on the far right of the shot. View attachment 279792
Ah so you have quite a few options for swopping things around. One of the things that I have done in the past is to treat places as more than one that way locations can be moved around with wagons going from 1 siding in a station to another via the run out and back. Needs to return to the original siding on the way back. Wagon Cards can help a great deal in this respect, look forwards to views if the rest of your line.
 

David K

Registered
17 Jul 2016
48
22
Offaly, Ireland
Ah so you have quite a few options for swopping things around. One of the things that I have done in the past is to treat places as more than one that way locations can be moved around with wagons going from 1 siding in a station to another via the run out and back. Needs to return to the original siding on the way back. Wagon Cards can help a great deal in this respect, look forwards to views if the rest of your line.
Indeed, many of my sidings have multiple personalities :) The push pull is simple, it operates from a siding which takes a loco and four coaches. The siding acts as both ends of the line from Pontresina to Scuol-Tarasp. Similarly, the double return loop acts as Landquart and Scuol-Tarasp for a loco and five passenger coaches. I'll put together a little description of the line with photos and track diagrams - another lockdown project!
 

idlemarvel

Neither idle nor a marvel
13 Jul 2015
2,556
718
Ascot
Hello Dave and all,

Thanks for posting about operational timetables. This is a topic that fascinates me. My layout is based on the Rhätische Bahn - the Sagliains to Scuol Tarasp branch in the Engadin. The RhB makes it easy for railway fans - you can access their graphical timetables on their website. (see attached)

I have only one station on my layout - Ardez. The layout is operated like an indoor model railway. The station area is the main feature with trains running through from both directions. The operational challenge is that the departing station and the destination station are the same place, i.e. my railway shed. It is realtively easy to replicate actual running if you have a linear, end-to-end layout. However, when it is out and back like mine (and you do not have sufficient space for separate arrival and departure sidings), then it is a considerable challenge to deal with conflicts in train movements. My compromise was to run passenger trains not to time but in the pattern of the 'real' timetable, with freight movements in between. The composition of freight trains is decided by a piece of software that randomly allocates individual wagons to the appropriate destinations on the layout.

I have to admit that while it is sometimes nice to grab a beer and just watch trains travel around the garden, I much prefer 'operating' the layout in a more challenging, and realistic way.

Thanks again for highlighting this aspect of our great hobby!
Thanks for your comments. As a fellow "indoor-er" I would love to see more of your layout. Thanks also for the graphical timetables - easier to follow with time left to right and distance vertical.
 

David K

Registered
17 Jul 2016
48
22
Offaly, Ireland
Thanks for your comments. As a fellow "indoor-er" I would love to see more of your layout. Thanks also for the graphical timetables - easier to follow with time left to right and distance vertical.
If you really want to have fun with graphical timetables take a look at this site called Bildfahrplan: imBlickFeld.de | Klaus Bergmann I have only schoolboy German, so Google Translate is essential.
 

idlemarvel

Neither idle nor a marvel
13 Jul 2015
2,556
718
Ascot
Thanks for the software link. I have created a spreadsheet to do much the same but more simplistically - you enter a schedule and it outputs a graphical timetable - it only handles 10 stations, but that is enough for me.