The principal purpose of the Operations Special Interest Group (OPSIG) is to discuss, develop and disseminate ways of operating model railroads to realistically emulate practices of the prototype. This includes sharing information on various methods of generating, moving and controlling traffic to heighten the feeling that our models are an active and integral part of the national rail transportation network, serving shippers and consignees throughout the nation. We also discuss and communicate information about the methods and procedures used by the real railroads and ways of most practically and realistically adapting them to the model world. So if you like to operate the railroad you've created, this is a place to learn more and find others with similar interests.

We publish a quarterly magazine, The Dispatcher's Office, which in addition to containing articles and information on railroad operations (both prototype and model), contains listings of operating layouts, sessions, and events that members are invited to attend. Back issues are available. In addition, the OPSIG web site serves as a clearinghouse for publicizing regional operating events and meetings, where layouts are open for guest operations. We also have a Facebook page and send out the Second Section email newsletter on a regular basis. 

What's New?

The OpSIG is happy to announce our brand new web site. It uses a responsive design so it will look good on any size monitor or tablet. In addition, the Members Only section has been updated to allow you to maintain your membership information without filling out and mailing paperwork. 

As you may have noticed, your user name for the Members Only site is now your email address. If you had an existing password, that has been copied from the old site; however, we strongly recommend that you update your password. Now that the site allows you to maintain your personal information, the previous password is no longer secure enough. Strong passwords are now required when you change or reset your password, meaning that they need to be at least 8 characters and contain at least upper and lowercase letters. 

The other reason for the credential change is that as of the July 2020 Dispatcher's Office, we will no longer be bagging the issue. Instead, the mailing address will be printed directly on the cover of the magazine. This both saves money in the bagging and stuffing and also protects your credentials from snooping eyes. 

There are a number of features being redesigned to allow for easier maintenance:

  • Event Calendar - all entries will be tied to a member's information so they can be updated by that member at any time.
  • Call Board - we'll be merging your user profile information with what's on the call board so that you only have one place to update that information.
  • Past Issue Index - I'm also looking into whether we can make the PDFs searchable through the database, allowing a full-text search throughout the history of the Dispatcher's Office publication. 
  • Member Index - this will be tied to the member profile database and only show your contact information if you've granted that permission in your profile.
  • Membership Orders/Renewals - we'll be integrating with PayPal directly so that your order/renewal is processed immediately without having to mail in a form. For people who still want to pay by check, we'll provide a stub to send with your check so that it's processed properly. However, your membership information will be maintained here.

If you find any issues, please email them to webmaster@opsig.org