Model Railroad Waybills Using Prototypic PRR Industry Data

So you've got a model railroad and you want to operate it. Before you can host an operating session, an operational strategy must be developed -- how do trains move? How do cars move? How do crews communicate? The scope of questions goes well beyond this article.

One of the methods for freight car movement is the use of "Car Cards and Waybills". This was popularized as the "McFall" system decades ago, and forms for manual creation are available from MicroMark. A number of software products are also available to generate waybills, including Albion's popular ShipIt program.

I personally favor Shenware's MiTrains and Waybills for creation of car cards and waybills, respectively. They are available as a bundle for a very reasonable price.

When it comes time to create actual waybills, both shippers and receivers must be defined. The industries on your model railroad may be either, or both, but one needs another industry at the other end of the transaction. One can make up industry names or locations or...


Some time ago, the OpSIG created text files of prototype industries to support model railroaders in the creation of waybills. These are offered as four files of approximately 10,000 records each, representing the North East, South, West, and Mid West. There is also a condensed sample file available. The challenge became finding an efficient way to use this data.

Shenware's Waybills application has a component called Protoype Industries. It is designed to allow one to enter off-layout industries for use on waybills.

As a result of the availability of the OpSIG files, ShenWare published a free versioon of the Prototype Industries functionality called Industry Manager (IndMan) for perusing and searching these files.

Both Industry Manager and Prototype Industries can use the same files, though their originally intended field use differ slightly.

The PENNSYRR.COM Contribution

The OpSIG files include many industries that were served by the Pennsylvania Railroad, but PRR model railroaders may very well desire more choices.

The PRR periodically published books (CT1000) containing listings of all industries located online. The final version was published in 1945.

Available to you, through PENNSYRR.COM are industry listings taken from the CT1000, division by division. Division data will be released every week or so at first. The first division available is the Middle Division. Enjoy!

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