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AP Chief Dispatcher

Posted: Mon May 25, 2015 1:09 pm
by PeterBowen
A number of us have expressed interest in getting on with the requirements for AP Chief Dispatcher.

The time has come and I personally want to get on with it and have a thought that it might be a good encouragement for us as members to give it a go and perhaps encourage other non members to join in.

Can we build the requirements for the certificate in the form of a travelling (modular) demonstration layout?

The AP requirements are:


I would like to see this idea get off the ground sooner rather than later but need help and guidance please... anyone interested?


Re: AP Chief Dispatcher

Posted: Mon May 25, 2015 1:22 pm
by BrianMoore
Why don't you approach the board for funds to build some sort of a demonstration ops layout of the type you show, for use in helping to acquire said ops ticket and also as an item that could be displayed at shows?

It's surely the sort of thing that fits into Mike Hughes's ideas of how we should be spending some kitty money.

Re: AP Chief Dispatcher

Posted: Tue May 26, 2015 11:40 am
by torikoos
Hello all,

I think it is a fantastic idea to have such a small layout build with funds from the board. It doesn't need to be fully scenicked, it can make use of no 4 turnouts, to keep it compact, as it is needed to be transportable etc, as long as it covers the basic requirements.

Anyway, before going too much into details, I'll have a read up of the requirements myself, as I was one of the persons that wants to have a go at the achievement program, and this is an element I'd like to include.


Re: AP Chief Dispatcher

Posted: Tue May 26, 2015 7:16 pm
by Mikehughes
This is an example of something that can be used when we are sharing know-how.

Although you've posted this as a Dispatcher item, there are opportunities to do much more than simple dispatching. What about a short series showing how something can be planned, built and used?

If you are thinking of doing the Dispatcher AP there are a couple of people in the Region who can help you. I can think of Peter Lloyd-Jones in the West Country and also Alan Crooks of Seaboard Southern who has been very active with his series of club manuals on dispatching using the Seaboard Club modules. Mick Moignard may also be helpful.

I notice that you've drawn this as a circular layout,but we could also make it as an end to end modular layout. I seem to remember that Railroad Modeller had a series where they made a layout that could be a roundy roundy or, by setting it up slightly differently could be an end to end, while still retaining the possibility of returning it to a circular layout.

So, having said all that, there are opportunities for those doing the AP program to get marks towards several AP certificates. Anyone want to start working out the possibilities?

As you are aware, there is money available for suitable projects. You just have to ask the BOD. As the Renewals Officer, I'm sure your application would be well received. I can also see it (and others) as being a useful aid in sharing know-how at shows.

It gets my support

Re: AP Chief Dispatcher

Posted: Wed May 27, 2015 9:34 am
by tunnelmotor

This is a brilliant idea.

The planned layout needs thinking about - primarily to get sign off from the AP team that it would satisfy the requirements with enough activity potential for any operators to earn their spurs/hours. Another factor in the planning would be portability but a budget could be set not just for the build costs but also the transportaion to locations over time. Need to consider where it will be stored between appearances.

The layout Mike is referring to is what I think they called The Beer Line. It was an imaginative design and use of sections to build it up in a number of different formats. Anyone with a Model Railroader subscription should be able to access the layout plans on the Kalmbach website.

Although we do have a lot of modules in HO and N that could be used the idea of a roadshow type approach as Peter L-J espoused is very appealing and it is all in one place.

This President awaits a formal proposal with much interest. I can see this being not only a very worthwhile investment as an OPs roadshow but also another project build that could form part of a series of articles in Roundhouse (remember Thorn Tree Flats?).

Re: AP Chief Dispatcher

Posted: Wed May 27, 2015 2:02 pm
by BrianMoore
Could Peco be approached for a donation of Code 83 track and points for this project? Would be great advertising for them if their name was on the module(s) at shows etc.

Re: AP Chief Dispatcher

Posted: Wed May 27, 2015 2:06 pm
by Gloriousnse
I do think with something like a bespoke training layout, funding it is maybe the easy bit. Getting it stored, transported, and having somebody who will look after it and make sure it turns up in working order ready to use are probably harder things to crack!

It does strike me, looking at the requirements: (which TBH aren't *that* exacting for this one!) that we've already built and we already run (at increasingly regular events which are accessible) modular layouts providing the majority of the roles listed, and that could accommodate the others if we'd decided to make it so* - and I know that there are modules in existence already that could provide a great basis for doing so (or going further with training sessions allowing folk to try out TT&TO or whatever) again.

I think the challenge from that approach is getting the owners of the right modules on board to supply them for a given event...

(*I think one key here is if folk want to be doing something specific towards this, tell the organiser...)

Re: AP Chief Dispatcher

Posted: Wed May 27, 2015 5:27 pm
by 053390
It's good to see so many positive responses to Peter's draft proposal; however, Martyn makes a number of very telling points which experience tells us will need to be addressed if the proposal is going to have any legs.

By the way, a number of us, including Mick Moignard and Keith Webb, have been gaining experience operating on Mike Tricker's home layout: Okay, it's as far from being a portable module as one can get ( !) but Mike has been building up a wealth of experience as a Dispatcher and I'm sure he would be happy to offer advice if called upon.

Tom Watson

Re: AP Chief Dispatcher

Posted: Thu May 28, 2015 10:13 am
by BrianMoore
Agree wholeheartedly with Martyn and Tom that there are indeed various locations up and down the country where you can "earn your spurs", without the need for a custom layout. All, or almost all of the requirements in the link Martyn posted happen most months at our HO modular meet in Plymouth.

Ditto with Martyn that it's the storing and organising of said layout that's the long-term, more difficult issue. But it's still a potential selling point for the NMRA(BR) at shows.

Re: AP Chief Dispatcher

Posted: Tue Oct 27, 2015 9:37 am
by PeterBowen
Congratulations to Peter Lloyd-Jones for achieving his NMRA Award for Chief Dispatcher . . .


Peter with Charlie Getz, National NMRA President 24 October 2015

Re: AP Chief Dispatcher

Posted: Tue Oct 27, 2015 10:12 am
by BrianMoore
PeterBowen wrote:Congratulations to Peter Lloyd-Jones for achieving his NMRA Award for Chief Dispatcher . . .


Peter with Charlie Getz, National NMRA President 24 October 2015
A most well-deserved award.