In 1964 John Allen adopted the “tab-on-car” system to achieve a realistic
ebb and flow and random distribution of rolling stock. With the addition of
a few simple rules an operating session could be picked up where the
previous session left off and continue for as long or as short a period of
time as desired.
The tab-on-car system was a
four-step cycle of car movement
dictated by a color-coded tab
carried on top of the car. Each
side of the tab had a large color
block indicating the first
destination to which the car was
to travel, and a small color
block indicating the second.
On the Gorre & Daphetid RR
colors on the tab could
indicated a destination or a
example, white indicated one
destination, Great Divide, while
green indicated points along the route of the Gorre Peddler; Sowbelly,
Squawbottom and Cross Junction.
If the color code indicated multiple destinations, lettering on the colored
block clarified to which destination the car was to travel. Once the car had
traveled to the two destinations shown on one side, the tab was turned
over to reveal two new destinations. Upon completing the trip to these
destinations the tab was once again turned over and the cycle repeated.
In the example shown, the car travels from Great Divide (white) to Port
(blue, F = Anabel Ferry) then Andrews (orange, A = Andrews as opposed to
Corsa, also on the Andrews Peddler route), then Gorre (yellow, G = Gorre as
opposed to Dapheid, connected to the Gorre Peddler route by a branch
line), then back to Great Divide and the cycle is repeated.
On the Gorre & Daphetid RR the rules were simple:
A car once spotted at a location had to remain there for 12 scale hours
(1 hour real time).
At the start of an operating session, this time limit did not apply and
all cars were ready for forwarding (with no "set-up" required).