Operation: Railroad

Time Table and Train Order TT/TO

Time Table and Train Order TT/TO

Do you want to know what TT & TO (= Timetable & Train Order Operation) is?

How one can use it on a model railroad?

Do you really want to learn how it works, want to get Questions & Answers?

If so, I recommend:

Timetable & Train Order Operation, by Steve King:

  • Part I - Some Rules, Superiority, and the Timetable (The Dispatcher's Office, January 1998, p. 5 to 13)
  • Part II - On to Charlie, Meets, Yard Limits, and More (The Dispatcher's Office, April 1998, p. 11 to 17)
  • Part III - Train Orders and Clearances (The Dispatcher's Office, July 1998, p. 17 to 24)
  • Part IV - Running Extra (The Dispatcher's Office, October 1998, p. 16 to 30)

These publications are still available, and you can get these here. "The Dispatcher's Office" is the Newsletter of the Operations Special Interest Group.


A comprehensive introduction to the TT/TO and the "Right of Trains" is the whole chapter 5 of the

book: Operation Handbook for Model Railroades
by: Paul Mallery
Carstens Publications, 1991

 Paul describes how the prototype was operated, and topics are

  • engines and trains
  • schedules trains
  • extra trains
  • main track, secondary track, sidings
  • main line and branch line
  • superiority of trains
  • superiority by direction
  • superiority by class
  • train operation in sections
  • train orders
  • meet and pass
  • giving right over trains
  • time orders

Paul Mallery was the founder of TMRCI = "The Model Railroad Club, Inc." in New Jersey.

While in chapter 5 he describes how the real thing did it, other chapters of this book tells us how the prototype way was adopted to model railroads, und in many examples he uses the HO model railroads of TMRCI as reference:

  • HD&O Hudson, Delaware & Ohio (maybe the largest model railroad operated in prototype manner? With trains over 100cars)
  • TN Trenton Northern Traction (compared with the HD&O this is the "small" railroad, but nevertheless it has over 330' (= 100m) of track
  • Rahway River Railroad (a shortline)
  • Mauch Chunck Terminal Railroad (the terminal railroad doing the switching in Jim Thorpe, and doing the interhange between HD&O, TN and the industrial district of Jim Thorpe)