Design and Operations Clinics
References for clinics presented at regional and national events
Downloads are in Adobe Acrobat (.pdf) format. Clinics are listed below in approximately reverse chronological order (newest first). Note that there is quite a bit of repetition in the Operations-related clinics. Handouts for the earliest clinics may have many dated references. Some slide sets have builds or animations that won’t render properly in the .pdf format. Please do not publish, post, or reproduce these materials in any fashion. For your use as-is, no guarantees!
Layout Design Bootcamp (handout updated 2019)
The Bootcamp is a 4-hour “super clinic” sponsored by the Layout Design SIG. Because of the large number of slides and the use of builds and animations, there is no slide set available for download. But the handout contains many useful references.
3-page handout No slides available
A Quick and Easy Start for Operations
Intended for beginners to operations. Learn the simple steps needed to get your layout ready for operations. A few easy choices and simple preparation are all it takes for an engaging op session. This is one of the fastest growing and most enjoyable areas of the hobby – and you can join in!
Realistic Small Switching Layouts: Looking Beyond the Timesaver (handout updated 2019)
Over the years, many small layouts have been designed to focus on maddening puzzles and tricks. But these can rapidly become boring and repetitive. However, operation on small layouts can be challenging, fun, and prototype-inspired. The key is taking care to include layout design “best practices” even in small layouts.
Layout Design from the Prototype (2008)
Describes the process of distilling prototype scenes into plausible layouts that look great and operate well. Examples from several different prototypes show how the essence of real-life scenes can be captured in reasonably-sized layout spaces. Learn to overcome common pitfalls for a better overall layout without losing the prototype personality.
2-page handout Slide set (about 4.5M)
Creating an Operating Session (2008)
A discussion of all the elements needed to begin or expand an operating session: train movement and control, car routing, human factors, and ideas for increasing challenge and complexity. The concepts of Personality, Interaction, and Balance combine to create an engaging op session for any size layout and crew. Includes practical "lessons learned" from actual op sessions on several layouts.
Op Session Design – Prototype and Freelance (2004)
Case study of the creation of two different operating sessions for quite different layouts. Developing personality, interaction, and balance through themes, train types, operating roles, and more. Adapting prototype timetables and creating freelance timetables from scratch. Modifying operating schemes as layouts expand.
No handout available Slide set (about 860K)