Saturday, April 23, 2011

SwitchList - now with PICL Reports and the SF Belt Line's Form B-7!

There's a new version of my SwitchList program available today. Two of the big improvements in the new version are a pair of new switchlist styles to help your model railroad paperwork look more like the real thing!

The first is the computerized PICL Report, used by many modern (post-1980) railroads. PICL stands for "Perpetual Inventory of Car Locations", and the switchlist presents information in terms of the cars being picked up on tracks at each station.

James McNab created this switchlist style for his planned Iowa Interstate layout, and it'll be useful for any other modern railroader using similar paperwork.

The second switchlist style imitates the San Francisco Belt Railroad's Form B-7. Because the San Francisco Belt Railroad acted only to move cars between shippers and the railroads actually handling the freight, their switchlists were actually individual forms provided by each shipper naming the cars to pick up and drop off at that industry. SwitchList's B-7 shows all cars to be switched for a given town rather than specific industry, so for the B-7 to be prototypical, you might need to change the idea of "town" to "each large industry". Even if your own railroad wouldn't use the B-7, you might find it worth using!

Check out Bill Kaufman's article on the Belt Railroad's odd paperwork in the July 2009 issue of Railroad Model Craftsman.

The new version of SwitchList also includes "fixed rate" cargos with none of the randomness that SwitchList normally provides. If you ask for three cars a day to be filled with a given cargo, then SwitchList will give you three cars a day with that cargo.

There's other improvements to SwitchList - check out the SwitchList home page for more information.

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