3ROPS - Three Rivers OPerationS

3ROPS - Three Rivers OPerationS Logo

Model Railroad Operations

What do you do after you have “finished” building your model railroad? (Editorial comment: Within the hobby, the inside joke is that no model railroad is ever finished.) For some people, the model railroad is merely the first step toward operating a miniature railroad service. The layout serves as the stage where the trains are the actors and the storyline is simulating the dynamics of the railroad industry. The scope of operations varies widely, depending upon the interests of the modeler:

  • Run around a circle of track, Christmas-tree layout and “chasing your caboose.”
  • Run two trains one at a time, 4 by 8 foot layout with passing track.
  • Larger layout with switching opportunities at multiple industrial sidings.
  • Basement layout with freight, commuter, and passenger trains running at the same time.

Each of these techniques is a valid form of operations suited to the desires of each modeler. Operations can focus on the ‘people’ side of the industry, the roles and jobs they perform, and why things are done in specific ways. Any modeler can move into operations in a phased manner and continue until he/she reaches a comfortable level of interest.

An internet search for “model railroad operations” opens the world of opportunities and activities.

What is OPSIG?

In case you are wondering what an ‘OPSIG’ is, the Operations Special Interest Group web site located at www.opsig.org contains a wealth of information and details. The Dispatcher’s Office is the official journal of the group. New members are welcome.

Three Rivers OPSIG is a local group of OPSIG members, operating our model railroads in northeast Indiana, northwest Ohio, and southeast Michigan. Our operations weekends are named 3ROPS.

Upcoming Activity - 2017 3ROPS

The Three Rivers Division of the NMRA NCR, in association with the Operations Special Interest Group, will hold its SEVENTH operations event April 7-9, 2017. For 2017 we have identified over 25 layouts, with operations capabilities. Schedule will be the same as in the past with FOUR (4) Op Sessions: Friday Evening, Saturday AM, Saturday PM and Sunday AM. Operators who have joined our Three Rivers Operations Yahoo Group (threeriversoperations-subscribe@yahoogroups.com) will receive advice as to when registration will open, layout availability, times, addresses, Details for Saturday evening, etc.

This year, our Saturday Evening Gathering will be at the BACK 40 JUNCTION in Decatur, IN. a local eatery know for its railroad themed motif.

* * * * * REGISTRATION IS NOW OPEN * * * * *

Please click here to register for the 2017 Operations Weekend

Please click here to complete the emergency contacts form.

Ongoing Activity

Several layouts in our area host operating sessions on a monthly basis; some conduct special sessions and open houses.

If you are interested in participating in our ongoing activity, contact us through the Contact Us menu option at the top of this page.

Please indicate the layout(s) or session(s) that interest you along with your name and contact information. We will forward your message to the layout owner(s).

Note: No personal owner information is contained on this page.

Recurring Operating Sessions

Monthly operating sessions are scheduled as shown below. We all know sessions might be cancelled or moved. Do not just show up at these layouts. Please confirm your attendance with the layout owner.

Tuesday, 7:00pm - 10:00pm 
Sessions in even months only.
Michigan Northern Railroad
Sunday, 1:30pm - 4:30pm 
Sessions in odd months only.
Nickel Plate - Indiana Northern
Tuesday, 7:00pm - 10:00pm  B&O Lost Division
Thursday, 6:30pm - 9:30pm 
No sessions in November and December.
The NoWhere Line
Saturday, 1:00pm - 5:00pm  Great Northern Railway, Cascade Division

Special Sessions and Events

Special sessions and events, if any, are scheduled as shown below. Events highlighted in red have completed.

No Special Events at this time